US won’t guarantee Australia will have complete control of Aukus submarines

A US official has declined to explicitly guarantee Australia will have full control of the Aukus nuclear-powered submarines, saying he won’t get “into some of the minutiae of various questions that are out there”.

But the assistant secretary of state, Daniel Kritenbrink, played down broader concerns about whether a future US president would approve or block the planned sale of at least three Virginia class submarines to Australia in the 2030s.

Kritenbrink said during a visit to Canberra on Tuesday that “no one should doubt the strength” of the US commitment to the Aukus pact, which also includes the UK and collaboration on other advanced defence technologies.

During a press conference at the US embassy, Kritenbrink was questioned about past statements by US officials, including Aukus architect Kurt Campbell, who said last year: “When submarines are provided from the United States to Australia, it’s not like they’re lost – they will just be deployed by the closest possible allied force.”

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