The leaders of Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom announced last week the formation of a new trilateral security agreement called “AUKUS.” The new security pact will oversee the development of a nuclear-powered submarine fleet in Australia and also focus on developing joint artificial intelligence, cyber warfare, and long-range strike capabilities.
Experts believe that the partnership will meaningfully augment the United States and its allies’ ability to effectively deter Chinese Communist Party (CCP) adventurism in the Indo-Pacific and that its mission-oriented multilateralism may provide a framework for future joint military efforts among democratic nations.
The move indicates a growing understanding of the threat posed by the CCP to the nations of the Indo-Pacific, and how alliances might best combat it, Sam Kessler, a geopolitical adviser at the multinational risk management company North Star Support Group, told The Epoch Times.
“It’s an indication that the U.S. is taking the level of seriousness to the next level and showing that it realizes it needs to more fully utilize its established set of alliances that have been around for decades,” he said in an email.
“It shows that the UK and Australia are also more committed to addressing the regional security concerns that are escalating in the Indo-Pacific.”
Kessler noted that the United States doesn’t normally share its submarine technology, much less its nuclear submarine know-how, and that the move demonstrates the seriousness with which the nation believes that its allies will be vital to countering emerging global security crises.
The last time the United States committed to such a transfer of technology was from 1958 to 1962, when it agreed to exchange nuclear capabilities with the UK in an effort to deter the Soviet Union from nuclear action as part of the U.S.–UK Mutual Defense Agreement, which is still in effect.
The nuclear submarines will make Australia the seventh nation in the world to command such technology, and the only one without also owning nuclear weapons. The other countries that have nuclear submarines are China, France, India, the UK, the United States, and Russia.