Do we know if there is any Aussie former prime minister that supports the nuclear submarine deal at all?
I'm sure Tony Abbott does, though I haven't heard anything directly from him on the subject. He's an Anglophone throwback like no other. May have been too busy giving speeches at right-wing British thinktanks to notice what is going on in Australia these days. Julia Gillard was forthright about her lack of knowledge or interest in international politics or strategic affairs and and so her input or lack thereof can safely be discounted.
I haven't heard anything from John Howard aka America's ex-deputy sheriff. Given his history, which includes committing Australia to Afghanistan, Iraq, and the F-35 program, one might be expect him to be supportive, but complicating this is that he is also of that bygone era of Australian strategic relations in which he famously declared that we "do not have to choose" between America and China, so his perspective may be more nuanced than expected. But he is also an "honoured elder" of the modern Liberal party and is certainly not going to jeapordise his legacy by publicly breaking with the present government. So we have...
Malcolm Fraiser (Lib) -- Deceased. Author of "Dangerous Allies" warning of the danger to Australia of becoming too deeply enmeshed with the United States in the Great Game of the 21st century. I think we can safely say that he would disapprove.
Bob Hawke (Lab) -- Deceased. Not sure what he would've thought.
Paul Keating (Lab) -- Architect of Australia's policy of engagement with South-East Asia. Publicly describes AUKUS as Australia surrendering itself to a foreign power. Criticism turned to 11. Always was an outspoken and entertaining guy.
John Howard (Lib) -- See above.
Kevin Rudd (Lab) -- Formulated the initial requirement for 12 future submarines (up from present six). Modest criticism, mostly on the France angle and its repercussions.
Julia Gillard (Lab) -- Irrelevant. See above.
Tony Abbott (Lib) -- In favour. See above.
Malcolm Turnbull (Lib) -- Estranged from present Liberal party and so free to speak his mind. Organised partnership with France. Vocal in his disapproval though with more moderate language than Keating, mostly on the France angle and its repercussions.
"arse end of the world" is mine.
shows just how ridiculous is Australia's detachment from Asia (esp. South-East Asia)