Issue Brief on “India’s stance on AUKUS: An appraisal”

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The inking of the AUKUS, a trilateral security pact on September 15, 2021 among Australia, the UK and the US, without Indian inclusion has surprised many experts. The AUKUS is designed to contain China. The AUKUS for the first time will be building nuclear-powered submarines which means Canberra will be using technologies provided by Washington. Some analysts are of the view that the AUKUS pact covering Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other sophisticated technologies appear to be the AUKUS members’ biggest defence partnership in recent decades.[1] In such circumstances, the non-inclusion of India, a strategic ally of the US in the containment of China from the pact puts New Delhi in a deep quandary. Within India, among the analysts, there have been mixed feelings as far as the AUKUS is concerned.

Some experts who view Australia as a crucial ally of the Quad Quadrilateral Security Dialogue are content with the provision of top-quality nuclear submarine technology from the US and the UK to Canberra, bolstering Australian position in the Indo-Pacific to counter China. However, others regard the AUKUS as the betrayal of the US with France to whom New Delhi considers as a crucial partner in the Indian Ocean. Critics have strong remonstrations on the pact arguing that the US should have taken France in confidence before signing the pact. Critics further reiterate that “It would have prevented an unseemly spat between friends, all big players in the Indo-Pacific region.”[2] Opponents of the pact also say that the members of the AUKUS played a double game with France a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) partner and the same duplicity is round the corner with India.

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