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January 20, 2023

The Fall and Rise of the Quad

By Lisa Curtis

The defining national security issue for the United States for the foreseeable future is strategic competition with China. Beijing will continue to try to circumvent global norms and rules to gain strategic advantage; use economic coercion to bring countries in line with its policies and strategies; and dominate critical technologies and harness them to push its authoritarian ideology both at home and abroad.

One of the most important tools for balancing China's rise and promoting a liberal order in the Indo-Pacific is the Quad-four powerful democracies coming together with a shared vision of the region and pooling their resources and capabilities to realize that vision. After a false start in 2007, the Quad is finally developing into a consequential strategic grouping that is likely to set the course of the Indo-Pacific region for decades to come.

The Quad has become the linchpin of U.S. strategy to maintain peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific and to counter increased Chinese aggression and hegemony.

Since the Biden administration took power in January 2021, there have been four Quad summits (two held in person and two held virtually) and the establishment of six coordination groups on critical and emerging technologies, vaccine distribution, climate, space, infrastructure, and cyber security. When Trump administration officials revived the Quad in 2017, they never imagined the progress the group would achieve just five years later. The reason behind the advance of the Quad in such a short period of time can largely be credited to Chinese behavior on the global stage, which took a sharply aggressive turn in the final year of the Trump administration, coinciding with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Read the full article from Quad Plus.

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