According to experts, the AUKUS agreement, which envisages Australia to have nuclear powered submarines, could draw the country into a possible "3rd World War" between China and the USA.
According to the news of The New Zealand Herald, former Australian Ministry of Defense staff and Australian National University Center for Defense Studies strategist Prof. Dr. Hugh White noted that the AUKUS agreement, which will allow Australia to have nuclear powered submarines, "very seriously" changes the nature of the US-Australian security alliance.
White said that the US approach to this agreement is not about Australia's "submarine capacity", but about "making Australia part of its strategy to contain China" in a possible war against China.
In this context, White evaluated Australia's partnership with the USA over submarines as a "commitment" to stand by the USA in a possible "3rd World War" that might break out due to the Taiwan issue.
Emphasizing that Australia's war experience tends to "side with the winner", White said it is "unreasonable" to expect a possible Sino-US war to result in a US victory.
White said that "World War 3" is likely to turn into a nuclear war, and that nuclear-powered submarines are "sold to Australia for use by the United States" in a possible conflict in the region.
In addition, White pointed out that the AUKUS agreement, which is currently the focus of criticism due to the pressure it creates on the national budget, may be disrupted by a change of government in the USA.
Report: Chinese missiles could reach 2/3 of Australian territory
While domestic reactions to the AUKUS agreement continue, a new report by Australian security analysts shows that in case of a possible attack, missiles fired by China could reach two-thirds of Australian territory.
According to the news of the Townsville Bulletin, the 33-page report prepared for the "Defense Strategic Review" by the Rand Company, a former security analyst and the US-based think tank that works on international security issues, pointed out that Australia may be "vulnerable" to a possible Chinese attack.
In the report, the extent to which China is a "threat" for Australia by building military bases and arming the artificial islands it has established in the disputed region, which claims to dominate 80 percent of the South China Sea and is rich in underwater resources, was evaluated.
It was noted that China could fire "DF-26" medium-range ballistic missiles from these artificial islands, and the Mischief reef, 3000 kilometers northwest of Darwin city, was of particular concern.
In the report, experts warned that the Australian Defense Force (ADF) bases and fuel depots in the state of Queensland and in the northern and western parts of the country should be moved south against the Chinese threat through the islands.
Parts of the final report of the "Defence Strategic Review" announced by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese last year, which takes into account academic work on Australia's security and is expected to shed light on "where defense forces should prioritize investment", will be made public this month.
New AUKUS "concern" in increased armament region
The AUKUS deal raises concerns that it could escalate tensions in the region in the future, as it puts Australia "the first country to have nuclear submarines before reaching nuclear power".
While the transfer of nuclear technology from a nuclear-armed state to a non-armed state is considered a "gap" in the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), Australia is believed to set a precedent in this area.
Paul Keating, one of Australia's former prime ministers, described AUKUS as "the worst international decision by a Labor government since conscription in World War I".
Against the criticism coming from within the country, Australian Prime Minister Albanese argued that China has seriously increased its military power in the region and that's why the agreement is necessary.
In October 2021, Australia signed the AUKUS agreement with the USA and the UK, which envisages cooperation in the field of nuclear submarine technology.