September 22, 2021

Sharper: Indo-Pacific Partnerships & Allies

By Anna Pederson

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.

Features

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.

Indo-Pacific Security

Advancing a Liberal Digital Order in the Indo-Pacific

Executive Summary The United States and other regional democracies risk losing ground in the competition to shape Asia’s digital future. China is making rapid inroads in devel...

Indo-Pacific Security

CNAS Press Note: 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-...

Technology & National Security

Networked: Techno-Democratic Statecraft for Australia and the Quad

Australia is well positioned to lead the Quad to achieve important technology policy objectives....

Events

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.

Indo-Pacific Security

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, Indi...

Indo-Pacific Security

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-Pa...

Commentaries

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."

Indo-Pacific Security

A Profound Move for Both Canberra and Washington

AUKUS and the submarine deal make a profound diplomatic point about how Washington weighs Canberra’s importance....

Indo-Pacific Security

In its hour of need, Quad members stand with India

The extent to which Quad countries can collaborate across all four domains will determine whether China’s designs on the Indo-Pacific will succeed....

Indo-Pacific Security

To Compete With Beijing, the Quad Must Remain Pro-Asia, Not Anti-China

The Quad must navigate the resulting complex set of regional attitudes toward the China-U.S. rivalry...

In the News

Featuring commentary and analysis by Richard Fontaine, Lisa Curtis, and Jacob Stokes.

Indo-Pacific Security

Secret Talks and a Hidden Agenda: Behind the U.S. Defense Deal That France Called a ‘Betrayal’

In the end, Mr. Biden’s decision was the result of a brutal calculus that nations sometimes make in which one ally is determined to be more strategically vital than another — ...

Indo-Pacific Security

The Quad is finding its purpose, at last

On again, off again, for years, the security grouping known as the Quad appears in recent months to be gaining purpose at last. Not least, the two members who are not part of ...

Indo-Pacific Security

Biden not seeking to add countries to Quad to counter China

Biden administration officials say they are not pushing to add other countries to the strategic U.S.-India-Japan-Australia “Quad” group but stress that the future of American ...

Indo-Pacific Security

US builds bulwark against China with UK-Australia security pact

The US has launched a new trilateral security partnership with the UK and Australia that will enable Canberra to build a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines, a move that will ...

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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  • Commentary
    • Le Grand Continent
    • September 22, 2021
    Unite technodemocracies

    Technology has become a central element in today's geopolitical competition. Yet there is still no coordination forum among the world's technodemocracies....

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  • Commentary
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