In mid-September 2021, Australia, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US), announced a new ‘trilateral security arrangement’, termed AUKUS, focusing on Asia-Pacific region to offset growing prowess of China. The first project under AUKUS will focus on delivering eight nuclear-powered submarines to Australia. This initiative has the potential to alter the regional balance, reshape order, and even trigger a military conflagration (both intended or unintended).
AUKUS: Scope and Strategy
AUKUS brings together old treaty allies that share historical and cultural linkages. In its entirety it will encompass wide-ranging diplomatic, military and security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. It will include collaboration between three countries in the areas of artificial intelligence, cyber, quantum technologies, and undersea capabilities including underwater sensors and drones. It is aimed at giving the US and its allies in the Indo-Pacific region a qualitative technological edge as competition with China escalates.