OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Several federal cabinet members in Australia were called to a “top secret” cabinet meeting in Canberra on Wednesday ahead of a “major international development” expected out of the U.S. on Thursday.
“Some members of the cabinet were granted border exemptions to urgently fly to Canberra for the hastily arranged meeting, sources familiar with the development said,” according to The Age, an Australian-based publication.
“Several Coalition MPs told this masthead they had been ordered at short notice to dial into a rare conference call for 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, but none were aware of the reason for the briefing,” the report continued.
“Australian and foreign diplomats will also be briefed on the development on Thursday,” the report said, adding, “The announcement will be “significant to the United States and British governments.”
Breaking: Several federal cabinet ministers were called to a top-secret meeting in Canberra on Wednesday ahead of a major international development expected out of the United States on Thursday morning #auspol #US https://t.co/ZbundaHois
— The Age (@theage) September 15, 2021
“We know there will be new airbases in the north added to the list of locations the US will operate from (RAAF Darwin/Tindal were added and built out for tankers/bombers a decade ago). My guess is this is an announcement to deploy ground-based missiles in the near future,” AEI scholar Eric Sayers wrote on Twitter.
We know there will be new airbases in the north added to the list of locations the US will operate from (RAAF Darwin/Tindal were added and built out for tankers/bombers a decade ago). My guess is this is an announcement to deploy ground-based missiles in the near future. https://t.co/qvu56koKmQ
— Eric Sayers (@DEricSayers) September 15, 2021
“Per a WH source, today’s national security announcement has something to do with the UK and Australia. The piece below seems to confirm that. But what, exactly? Still don’t know,” Politico reporter Alex Ward tweeted.
Per a WH source, today’s national security announcement has something to do with the UK and Australia.
The piece below seems to confirm that.
But what, exactly? Still don’t know. https://t.co/CStGL1E5CA
— Alex Ward (@alexbward) September 15, 2021
“Australia, the United States, and Britain will unveil a landmark new security pact to share advanced technologies, including nuclear submarine technology, in a major international announcement on Thursday morning,” The Age reported.
“As part of the pact, to be known as AUKUS, the US would help Australia develop a nuclear submarine capability, which could result in Australia dumping its $90 billion submarine deal with France, sources confirmed,” the report added.
“The working group will enable the three countries to share information in areas including long-range strike capabilities, artificial intelligence, and underwater systems in a thinly veiled bid to counter China, Politico reported, citing a White House official and a congressional staffer,” it added.
On Wednesday, Joe Biden was joined virtually by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to detail some of the reasons for the trilateral effort.
“This is about investing in our greatest source of strength, our alliances and updating them to better meet the threats of today and tomorrow,” Biden said from the White House in between two monitors showing the other world leaders. “AUKUS — it sounds strange, all these acronyms, but it’s a good one.”
“We must now take our partnership to a new level,” said Morrison.
“We’re adding a new chapter in our friendship,” Johnson added.
Pentagon officials are working with Congress to smooth the path for more cooperation with Australia and the U.K. in terms of defense agreements.
“We’re working with Congress to make sure that we have that authority to invest in Australia and the U.K.,” Jesse Salazar, the Pentagon’s deputy assistant secretary for industrial policy, said.