July 10, 2023

AUKUS Is More Than Submarines: Its Advanced Capabilities Pillar Will Also Require Fundamental Shifts

Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States are nearing their third year of the most forward-looking and visionary strategic industrial effort since the 1941 Lend-Lease Act, which empowered the United States to lend or lease war supplies to any nation deemed “vital to the defense of the United States.” Their joint decision, announced in September 2021, to establish the “enhanced trilateral security partnership” known as AUKUS stemmed from a mutual recognition that China’s military build-up and technological advancement presents a clear threat to each country.

The leaders of the trilateral partnership should demonstrate the importance of AUKUS by cementing its place on the international agenda.

The most high-profile element of the collaboration is to build nuclear-powered submarines (the so-called first pillar of the agreement). But the second pillar of AUKUS — cooperation on advanced capabilities including in cyber, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and additional undersea capabilities — is equally important and will require the three governments to interact in new ways with each other, with industry, and with other nations. This week’s NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, where the leaders of Australia, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand also have been invited, would be a perfect opportunity for the AUKUS three to meet and elevate this collaboration to the international stage.

Read the full article from Just Security.

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