AUKUS (US, UK and Australia)

AUKUS (US, UK and Australia)

AUKUS (US, UK and Australia) unveiled details of plan to create a new fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.Announced in 2021, it is a new three-way strategic defence alliance between Australia, the UK and US.

● It aims to boost defense capabilities, accelerate technological integration, and expand the industrial capacity of all three nation. 
●AUKUS partnership is composed of two pillars (See infographics).
●For facilitating sharing of critical technology, a legally binding tripartite agreement known as the Exchange of 
Naval Nuclear Propulsion Information Agreement (ENNPIA)was signed in 2021.

Implications of AUKUS:

● Shifting US Priorities in Asia: US 
withdrawal from Afghanistan caused 
US a loss of credibility regarding its 
role in regional security. Thereafter, 
AUKUS is seen as US’s strong commitment to security of Indo-Pacific region. 
● Re-establish UK’s strategic footprint: After UK abandoned its security responsibilities East of Suez in late 1960s, it had become marginal to Asian security all these decades. 
AUKUS will renew its claim for a long-term role in Indo-Pacific security.
●Strategic implication for Indo-Pacific: 
By strengthening the defence capabilities of Australia, AUKUS aims to achieve the vision of free, open, resilient and inclusive Indo-Pacific.
●Model for similar collaboration: This 
template may be used to build the defence capabilities of other nations in the region. It would go a long way to contain the Chinese expansionist policyand thereby bring stability and peace in the region.
■AUKUS promotes deeper information and technology sharing fostering deeper  integration of security and defence-related
science, technology, industrial bases, and supply chains.
■AUKUS has reinvigorated the idea of an “Anglosphere” that speaks of the enduring geopolitical bonds between the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
■Along with QUAD, Five Eyes and ANZUS, AUKUS can be viewed yet another indicator of the primacy of the US–Australia Strategic Depth across the Indo-Pacific.

Concerns related to AUKUS:

● Lack of clarity: There is a lack of clarity about AUKUS’s strategic purpose and how AUKUS narrative would be rolled out to allies, partners, and adversaries.

■ All three countries say that AUKUS will stabilise the Indo-Pacific, but none of them has yet explained how it will do that.
●Undermines Nuclear non-proliferation: AUKUS requires Australia to become the first non-nuclear weapons state to remove material from the inspection of the  International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Critics argue that AUKUS undermines the spirit and objectives of the Nuclear Non-
Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
● Opposition by China: Experts have raised concerns that it may provoke China to act more aggressively in disputed areas like the South China Sea and the East China Sea. 
■ China and Russia have made a concerted effort to undermine AUKUS in international bodies. 
● Widened divide in trans-Atlantic relationship: AUKUS has also widened the divide in the trans-Atlantic relationship between the US and Europe. 
■ Secrecy surrounding the AUKUS negotiations have raised concerns about legitimacy of US alliance systems in Europe.

■ Australia had scrapped a diesel-powered submarine agreement with France in favour of AUKUS, undermining strategic partnership between France and Australia.
● Intelligent sharing and sovereignty concerns: Australian critics have questioned whether their country is ceding too 
much sovereignty given that their most powerful military tool is deeply embedded in an alliance structure.


AUKUS is progressing, but there’s a long way to go. There is a need to give clarity  regarding specific objectives AUKUS 
partners seek to achieve across vastly different technology sectors. AUKUS’s potential to tangibly impact the Indo-Pacific 
geopolitical discourse can perhaps only be seen in the long term.

India and AUKUS


● Complements the Quad in geostrategic arena: It can be a game changer alliance for Quad as well by increasing the cumulative 
capacity of Quad to deal with China as a common threat. Leveraging AUKUS would strengthen Quad to keep the Indo-Pacific 
region free, open and inclusive.
●Strategic collaboration with France: It also provides a window of opportunity for strategic collaboration with France and 
deepening trust with European nations.
● Erosion of India’s regional influence: There is a concern over possibility of erosion of India’s regional pre-eminence in Eastern 
Indian Ocean with the crowding of nuclear attack submarines in the future. 
● May Increase Chinese aggressiveness: AUKUS could push China into assuming a more adventurous posture by deploying more warships and submarines in the Eastern Indian Ocean. Critics argue that AUKUS could push India-China maritime dynamics into a negative spiral.
■ It also does not mitigate the strategic threat India faces in the Himalayas.
● May shift balance of power in Indo-pacific: As AUKUS partners expand cooperation in advanced capabilities, balance of power in the Indo-Pacific could shift in ways that India has not entirely accounted for.
● Impact on Quad: Critics argue that AUKUS diminishes the value and usefulness of the Quad.


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