The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Pacific Ocean:
Preparing for War

Mar 20, 2023

This article is translated from the March 17 issue #2850 of Lutte Ouvrière (Workers’ Struggle), the newspaper of the revolutionary workers group of that name active in France.

President Biden, British prime minister Rishi Sunak, and Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese announced a new phase of their military alliance on March 13 while touring a Navy base in San Diego.

The three countries will jointly develop and build a new type of nuclear-powered attack submarine. They named this warship program SNN AUKUS, after the Australia-UK-USA alliance of 2021. Within two years, the U.S. will provide several new submarines to the Australian Navy, in advance of the first launches, which are to take place around 2040. The official budget for this program exceeds 200 billion dollars.

In addition to the buildup of naval firepower, AUKUS shows how the British and Australian navies are being integrated more and more into the U.S. Navy—ships and crews included. The project also includes teams researching weapons, from hypersonic missiles to quantum computers needed for space warfare! The Japanese Navy is already equipped in part by the U.S. and coordinates with them. Soon it too will join this alliance which is so blatantly aimed at China.

To justify this war program, American imperialism’s official and unofficial spokespeople underscore the so-called Chinese threat. Their topics range from the ridiculous—like banning teen social network app Tik-Tok—to the terrifying, claiming that China’s fleet is now the most powerful in the world.

China’s fleet is certainly the most numerous, if we count all its vessels down to the most modest customs patrol boat. But the U.S. fleet remains the most powerful by far, without even considering AUKUS or NATO or the U.S.’s other allies. The U.S. has 14 nuclear-powered missile-launching submarines, while China has seven. The U.S. has 50 attack submarines—half the world’s total—while China has only nine. Any one of America’s 11 aircraft carriers—larger, faster, better armed—is more lethal and expensive than China’s three aircraft carriers put together.

The AUKUS program ensures substantial profits for already multi-billion-dollar American weapons dealers and a gift to their British confederate BAE Systems. But also, by establishing an integrated global naval force, the program sketches out the sides of a future general conflict, and prepares for it. Far from defending peace, imperialism guarantees war.