Through the Quad and the newly minted, yet controversial, AUKUS agreement, Washington is increasing its focus and resources on the Indo-Pacific region. The White House is also preparing to host the first in person meeting of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue leaders—the grouping of Australia, Japan, India, and the U.S. that was revived in 2017 under the Trump administration and has been elevated and expanded during the Biden administration. What tools do these regional powers have and what are the key areas for cooperation? CNAS experts are sharpening the conversation on the future of the Quad and U.S. strategy in the Indo-Pacific more broadly. Continue reading this edition of Sharper to explore their ideas and recommendations.
Advancing a Liberal Digital Order in the Indo-Pacific
The United States and Indo-Pacific democracies are at risk of losing ground to China in the competition to shape the region’s digital future. A CNAS report argues that as China expands its role in digital ecosystems, develops the region’s 5G infrastructure, and builds digital partnerships across the Indo-Pacific, it is essential that the United States works with like-minded countries to ensure the development of trusted and reliable digital infrastructure and to set mutually agreed upon standards for the use of technology to advance a liberal digital order in the region.
The Quad Heads to the White House
The Quad Heads to the White House On Friday, the four leaders of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue—India's Narendra Modi, Japan's Yoshihide Suga, Australia's Scott Morrison, and President Biden—will meet in-person for the first time at the White House. What is on the agenda for this increasingly important Indo-Pacific grouping? And how will the summit be viewed by China? Experts from the Center for a New American Security's Indo-Pacific Security and Technology and National Security programs are weighing in.
Networked: Techno-Democratic Statecraft for Australia and the Quad
Technology stands at the core of today's strategic competition between China and the Quad countries. Countries with innovative advantages will drive the digital economy, gain political power and military strength, and shape global norms for technology use. In a new CNAS report, expert Martijn Rasser lays out a blueprint for techno-democratic statecraft in the Quad. This report examines the technologies propelling rapid change, the competing visions for technology use driving geopolitical strains, and the opportunities and challenges posed by Quad members' approaches to technology.
The Quad Equation: How Four Democracies Can Uphold the Rules-based Order in the Indo-Pacific
Following the first-ever Quad summit earlier this year, what can we expect from this powerful emerging group of Indo-Pacific democracies? Will the four nations—Australia, India, Japan, and the United States—be able to develop a coherent agenda that strengthens their respective national security interests and fosters economic development, peace, and stability throughout the region? Watch a high-level panel of experts from the CNAS 2021 National Security Conference discuss the future of Quad engagement and what it means for growing strategic competition between the United States and China and the trajectory of the Indo-Pacific regional order.
Fireside Chat with Kurt Campbell
On June 8, 2021, the first day of the Center's annual conference, CNAS CEO Richard Fontaine hosted Kurt Campbell, deputy assistant to the president and coordinator for Indo-Pacific affairs on the National Security Council, for a conversation about how responses from the United States, Australia, India, and Japan to China’s growing regional assertiveness will prove crucial in shaping the region’s future.
A Profound Move for Both Canberra and Washington
"A co-operative security partnership, AUKUS reflects Washington’s emphasis on Indo-Pacific allies, London’s desire to tilt eastwards and Canberra’s aim of strengthening its defense partnerships," writes Richard Fontaine for the Australian Financial Review. "Without meat on the new bones, however, the AUKUS rollout might have marked a well-meaning but fairly inconsequential prelude to this week’s similarly named AUSMIN ministerial talks. In their joint announcement, the leaders committed themselves to working together across broad areas such as technology, supply chains, and industrial bases."
In Its Hour of Need, Quad Members Stand with India
"As China gains ground in a global competition across the military, economic, diplomatic, and technological domains, the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) made up of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States (US) is finally finding its footing. The extent to which Quad countries can collaborate across all four domains will determine whether China’s designs on the Indo-Pacific will succeed," argues Lisa Curtis in The Hindustan Times.
To Compete with Beijing, the Quad Must Remain Pro-Asia, Not Anti-China
"Southeast Asia is a region where the forces of great power competition push against critical and deep economic linkages with both the U.S. and China, thus complicating the strategic landscape," observes Zachary Durkee. "By necessity, the Quad must navigate the resulting complex set of regional attitudes toward the China-U.S. rivalry. This makes how the group identifies its purpose a delicate, but critical, balance to strike if it wants to effectively compete with Beijing in its own backyard. The first-ever in-person Quad summit, currently scheduled for late September, following the U.N. General Assembly, provides an opportunity to develop the contours of a Quad strategy to do just that."
In the News
Featuring commentary and analysis by Richard Fontaine, Lisa Curtis, and Jacob Stokes.
About the Sharper Series
The CNAS Sharper series features curated analysis and commentary from CNAS experts on the most critical challenges in U.S. foreign policy. From the future of America's relationship with China to the state of U.S. sanctions policy and more, each collection draws on the reports, interviews, and other commentaries produced by experts across the Center to explore how America can strengthen its competitive edge.
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