16 Mar AUKUS
This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the topic details the AUKUS grouping. The grouping led by Australia, UK, and US is seen as a counter to Chinese growing aggression in the Indo-Pacific. It is dubbed as a military pact that aims to act as a deterrent and thereby dissuade Chinese behavior.
- About participating countries
- Details of the grouping.
- Details of Indo-Pacific.
- GS 2: International Relations
- India’s role in AUKUS formation
Why in the news?
Recently, it has been announced that under the AUKUS grouping Australia will receive up to five Virginia class submarines and a nuclear-powered submarine, SSN-AUKUS, being trilaterally developed by the countries.
What is AUKUS?
AUKUS is the acronym for a trilateral security partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It is focused on enhancing cooperation in the areas of security, technology, and defense.
The partnership is primarily focused on sharing advanced military technologies, including nuclear submarine technology, in order to counter the strategic influence of China in the Indo-Pacific region.
What are the components of AUKUS?
- Assistance to Australia: Under the AUKUS agreement, the United States and the United Kingdom have agreed to provide Australia with the technology and expertise necessary to build a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.
- Nuclear submarines are considered quieter than conventional submarines. They can be deployed for longer periods without the need to come on the surface regularly.
- Cybersecurity: The partnership aims to strengthen cybersecurity measures and intelligence sharing between the three countries, with a focus on protecting critical infrastructure and national security interests.
- Artificial intelligence and quantum technologies: The partnership aims to enhance collaboration in the development of cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence and quantum technologies.
What is the need for AUKUS?
The AUKUS aims to target a range of strategic challenges and threats faced by the three countries in the Indo-Pacific region. Some of the key reasons why this agreement was established include
- Chinese Military Aggression and economic might: China has been rapidly expanding its military and economic power in the Indo-Pacific region which has raised concerns among the group members. AUKUS is seen as a way to counterbalance China’s influence and maintain stability in the region.
- North Korea’s nuclear weapons program: North Korea has continued to develop its nuclear weapons program. AUKUS aims to strengthen the partners’ ability to deter and respond to nuclear threats.
- Terrorism and other non-state threats: Owing to its strategic importance the Indo-Pacific region is home to a range of non-state threats, including terrorism, cyber-attacks, and transnational crimes. It aims to enhance cooperation in these areas to ensure the safety and security of the three countries.
- Changing global power dynamics: Geopolitics is in a state of flux. AUKUS aims to help the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia strengthen their positions as major powers in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.
What are the issues with this Agreement?
- Perception of anti-China alliance: This agreement has been viewed by some as a way to contain or counterbalance China’s growing influence in the region, which has the potential to escalate tensions and contribute to a new arms race in the Indo-Pacific.
- Exclusion of France: The announcement of the AUKUS partnership has angered France. France is a key player in the Indo-Pacific with key territories in the region. It was also having an existing contract to supply conventional submarines to Australia.
- Nuclear proliferation concerns: The decision to provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarine technology, has raised concerns about nuclear proliferation in the Indo-Pacific region.
What is India’s role in AUKUS formation?
India has a strategic interest in the Indo-Pacific region and has been working to enhance its own security and economic interests in the region. It has strategic partnerships with other countries in the region, including Japan, Australia, and the United States, as part of its broader efforts to promote regional stability and balance against the rise of China.
India is not a part of the AUKUS partnership, however, India has been closely monitoring the development of AUKUS and has been involved in discussions with the grouping members about the implications of the partnership for regional security. It has been cautious in exploring strategic and defense aspects in the Quad, and the AUKUS partnership provides a welcomed relief in the Indo-Pacific military landscape.
Way forward for India
India must take measures to prevent the AUKUS announcement from further polarising the already tense divide between US-led alliances and the Russia-China coalition. Any kind of sharpened differences will be a cause of instability in the region. The partnership should be seen as a deterrent for potential conflicts, rather than as a catalyst for global escalation.
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