US 90 billion down the drain – Zut Alors!

“A French cabinet official has compared President Joe Biden to Donald Trump and accused the United States of stabbing France in the back for leading Australia‘s decision to abandon a multibillion-dollar submarine program with a French shipbuilder.Boris Johnson et al. in a room: President Joe Biden participates in a virtual press conference to announce trilateral defense partnership AUKUS, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (R) and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C, on September 15, 2021.© BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images President Joe Biden participates in a virtual press conference to announce trilateral defense partnership AUKUS, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (R) and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C, on September 15, 2021.

In an interview with radio station franceinfo on Thursday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian channeled prevailing national sentiment and went on to describe Canberra’s reneging on a diesel submarine agreement with France’s Naval Group as a betrayal of trust.

“It’s a real stab in the back. We created a relationship of trust with Australia, and that trust has been betrayed,” said Le Drian.”

Comment: Ah, les sales Anglais, but what can you expect? Come to think of it, a pox on all les sales Anglo-Saxons. Seriously, in a country that is still predominately agricultural 90 billion dollars is a lot of money. pl

Encore – Zut Alors!
This entry was posted in France. Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to US 90 billion down the drain – Zut Alors!

  1. Barbara Ann says:

    Is “confiance” (trust) a prominent concept in French contract law? If so, I’d suggest the loss of $90 billion worth of it might be the kind of thing that could bring down a government. Aux barricades!

  2. The Beaver says:

    There would be penalties to be paid:
    The ABC has now obtained a section of the confidential SPA document, prepared last year, detailing at which point certain “break payments” will be invoked if Australia decides to walk away from the massive contract.

    Defence industry expert Andrew Davies said it was standard practice to include financial penalties if a military project was terminated before completion, as well as clauses for damages in the event of non-performance by a company.

  3. Fred says:

    “just two weeks earlier, the Foreign and Defense Ministers of France and Australia reaffirmed commitments to deepen defense industry cooperation and also referenced the now scrapped submarine program.”

    Australian diplomacy at its best; or to put a different spin on it, Biden managed to sink most of the Australian Submarine Force before it even got built. I see another Sun Tau meme opportunity. Gotta love the “build back better” approach to foreign policy.

    How much of our money did Biden promise to piss away, sorry, give to Australia so our defense contractors, having lost the golden goat of Kabul, can milk the taxpayers some more? As an actual defense question, how many years before the Australians actually have a single ship in active service to defend their nation from the current threat? Just what naval construction and maintenance foundation do they have to keep the ships going? It looks like an idiotic move only politicians and consultants could make.

  4. kakaouskia says:

    Greeting Colonel

    Australia said they want a diesel-electric sub able to do what a nuke boat can.
    The funny fact is that Naval Group won the contract by offering a nuclear boat converted to diesel-electric, in itself a high risk. After 5 years Australia cancels that contract and say they want a nuclear boat after all. And instead of asking Naval Group for the original Barracuda, they decide to go for UK-US tech.

    In what could be related news, Macron is scheduled to visit Athens soon where another Naval Group ship is competing for a $5B contract, along with an LCS variant among others. Greek navy wants RAM system integrated on the ship, Naval Group was very reluctant to do so. After loosing such a contract I am curious as to what their attitude might be now.

  5. Deap says:

    Biden created an association of trust with the US defense industry employee unions. Check mate. Sacre bleu!

  6. walrus says:

    Col. Lang, my limited understanding of the French proposal suggests our Navy was seduced by the prospect of more weekends in chateaux and fine wines. As for Thales, the general airforce view is unprintable.

    Looking ahead, I wonder if we have the necessary security classifications and procedures for “things nuclear”.

    Paying for it? Good question. We are a bigger mining country than agricultural. Manufacturing was “let go” as in the USA. I think that is about to change dramatically.

    In addition, There is no reason, apart from left wing inner city millennials, why we cannot build and operate the complete nuclear fuel cycle/; mining – enrichment – fabrication and disposal right here. We have all the technology already, we developed some of it. I also wonder if these subs will be fitted “for” as opposed to “with” the buckets of sunshine as well as conventional weapons.

    One of my favourite vacation destinations overlooks thirty percent of the worlds uranium reserves.

    All I know or wish to know about submarines is that they pop up in the strangest places.

    • Pat Lang says:


      “my limited understanding of the French proposal suggests our Navy was seduced by the prospect of more weekends in chateaux and fine wines.” That is how you sell large, expensive things. You know that.

  7. Deap says:

    Going off topic, but not about more money going down the drain:

    Is the Durham report finally connecting some of the dots – CROWDSTRIKE, Hilary Clinton, Perkins Cole, Fusion GPS and Trump-Russia,Russis, Russia.

    Will this charge beat the statute of limitations, or was delay, delay, delay the real name of this DOJ slow, slow, slow walk to justice?

    • Bill Roche says:

      Coaches can hurry along up a game by telling the ref to “speed up the clock” or slow the game down by “Hey, let the clock run”. If the DOIJ intended to go beyond the SOL or simply put time between the report and the event, so there is nothing new under the sun here. I wonder what happened to that intrepid investigator John Huber. When, why, and by whom, was he officially called off the case? It is hard for me to think that there ever was any real interest in getting to the bottom of the events of 2017-18. It already seems so long ago, hmmn.

      • Deap says:

        If indeed the suspected Durham indictment is Clinton/DNC Perkins Cole lawyer Sussman, it could show Durham did trace this Russiagate back to its very early origins, which can excuse the time spent.

        Since this is a new player Sussman; well beyond the round of players first caught up publicly in the Russiagate hoax – the Papadopolus/Page spies accusing them of the DNC Wikileaks caper – Joseph Mifsud, Stephen Harper, Aussie Downer et al.

        Is Sussman the birthing person for the entire plot, acting under direction of Ms Clinton herself who wanted a Trump pseudo-scandal to divert from her own 2016 email woes?

        Should this ultimate plot line end up on Broadway as a tragedy, a comedy or a musical? Or a new video game.

        Or even better, perp walks and a prolonged stay in a federal GrayBar Hotel – most likely the plush confines of Lompoc Federal Penitentiary, where the Watergate crowd spent their time in criminal rehabilitation.

  8. Peter Williams says:

    Perhaps the French should remember their cancellation of the Mistral contract before they complain about “a real stab in the back”.

  9. scott s. says:

    All I know is in one of my jobs our office had FMS cases to support the Adelaide class frigates and it was a pretty sought-after order to be sent over to work on them.

  10. akaPatience says:

    Off-topic perhaps, but then again it may be another instance of government waste (in case the US is bestowing Australia with $$$ incentives $$$ to drop the French contract):

    I’m curious what people here in the know think about this so-called “Call for Congress to Address Continuity Vulnerabilities”. Is this proposal a superfluous layer of government or not? I’m skeptical since the rationale for it cites the January 6 “insurrection”, IMO an overwrought characterization which leftists seem to be milking dry.

    I thought the DNI (Director of National Intelligence) was created in the wake of 9/11 for the very purpose of improving continuity.

  11. d74 says:

    Sorry Colonel,

    “in a country that is still predominately agricultural “, this is not.

    After industrie went to the drain years ago, agriculture follows. Slowly but surely.
    We remain a country favored in agriculture, but it is God’s will.

  12. walrus says:

    The French are apparently mad at America for agreeing to share nuclear submarine technology with Australia. The French are always angry with perfidious Albion

  13. Mark Logan says:


    We are Yankee traders. Caveat Emptor since 1776….and a bit before…

  14. jerseycityjoan says:

    There was a great article explaining how this deal came about in the Daily Mail.

    The French got Australian PM Morrison to reexamine the deal by early delays and a jp in cost from $50 to $90 billion. Of course Chinese threats were a factor too. There was no twisting of arms by us at all.

    “The plan is thought to have been hatched as early as August 2019, with Mr Morrison asking a team of scientists, Navy top brass, engineers and other experts to look again at a deal Australia had signed with France to buy 12 diesel-powered subs and to see whether better options existed.

    Ultimately, the task force concluded that going nuclear – an option that Australia has long-resisted due to the lack of a domestic nuclear industry and a commitment to nuclear non-proliferation – would be preferable to paying France $90billion for its vessels, after the cost ballooned from the $50billion first agreed upon.”

    I found this description of the subs’ nuclear power incredible and frankly I won’t be surprised if it turns out not to be true:

    ‘Once the nuclear reactor is operational inside the submarine, powering its propulsion, it doesn’t need to be dismantled, recharged, have its nuclear fuel rods replaced or in any other way interfered with for 33 years, which is the lifespan of the submarine.

    ‘AUKUS is the game-changer.’

  15. oro says:

    .” Seriously, in a country that is still predominately agricultural 90 billion dollars is a lot of money. ”

    We may know that Americans don’t know the world but it’s always a surprise to understand how much.
    France has launched the Ariane program, airbus, civil nuclear industry etc.

    How it works with the Americans:
    Many French industrial partners were involved in the design of SuperCam: 3D+, Adveotec, CILAS, CIRETEC, COMAT, Fichou, Gerac, Hirex, MAP coatings, Matra Electronics, MecanoID, Microtec, Optoprim, Optosigma, RESA, Steel, Thalès and Winlight System
    Not even a word on the NASA website

    Translated with (free version)

Comments are closed.