Back in June I wrote here [OK, Cold War It Is]:
Joe, you and your new posse gotta rescue already-suborned New Zealand, and make Australia feel a lot more comfortable with its situation. Fast. Otherwise it'll be clear that your reach is only to those lazy countries that are a comfortable distance away from the coming action in the Far East. And even they will still be defending their precious Sino-exports and graduate-student fee income, hoping nobody will notice or mind too much.
He was listening! And now we have AUKUS, replete with new nuclear subs for Oz. (Gotta love the choice of name: not sure AUSUK would have worked at all ... At least someone was giving half a thought to the matter.)
A bit of context. What has recently become common parlance as "the Five-Eyes (intelligence) community" is officially AUSCANUKUS, with the 'Aus' being Australasia. (You will sometimes find people, e.g. Wiki, inserting an 'NZ' but that's technically spurious.) Sadly, NZ has been so thoroughly suborned by China, they've effectively self-selected themselves out of the inner circle; and we have to guess Canada had no particular reason to be in on this latest one. Pity, but there it is.
Now to the reactions. China very hostile, natch: say no more. France, hahah! Crocodile tears all around. They were screwing up their own Oz-deal, and had it coming. What are they going to say to us - if you don't back-track, we'll let all those refugees sail across the Channel? (Oh, wait a minute ...) In fact, what we'll be saying to them is: pipe down, Johnny Frog, or we'll leave those troops of yours in Central Africa with no helicopter support or aerial reconnaissance.
And everyone else on the world stage? Well, by Heaven, after the Afghan debacle, something had to be done, or else the Taiwanese and many others besides would have been starting to make their accommodations. Let's hope there are several other good ideas where this one came from rolling out over the weeks and months - most especially including something significant and soon for New Zealand, please. As often noted here before: the lines of logistics in politics - particularly in foreign policy - can be very short. Imagination is everything.
Which brings us to the Labour Party - which rushed to applaud the whole thing! With a speed that must leave plenty of domestic lefties just reeling. Even the Graun is more or less onside, even if leaving themselves a bit of equivocal wriggle-room. (Gad, these people are so easily blindsided!) We can expect some pushback to this amusingly tame position, I expect, in the run-up to Party Conference. (Perhaps Starmer's Lotto crowd plans to make it yet another dividing line for advancing their really quite ruthless purge.)
Anyhow: credit where it's due - hats off to Biden this time.
(I reserve the right to call him senile again if he drops the ball next time, though.)