Sunday, October 24, 2021

New AUKUS partnership a ‘win’ for democracies: experts

The leaders of Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom last week announced the formation of a new tripartite security agreement called the “Ocus”. The new security agreement will oversee the development of a nuclear-powered submarine fleet in Australia and will also focus on developing joint artificial intelligence, cyber warfare and long-range strike capabilities.

Experts believe that this partnership will enhance the ability of the United States and its allies to effectively counter the misadventures of the Communist Party of China (CCP) in the Indo-Pacific and its mission-oriented multilateralism for future joint ventures between democratic nations. could provide a framework for military efforts. .

Sam Kessler, a geopolitical consultant at multinational risk management company North Star Support Group, told The Epoch that the move indicates a growing understanding of the threat posed by the CCP to countries in the Indo-Pacific, and how the coalition best counters it. can do. Times.

“This is a sign that the US is taking the level of seriousness to the next level and showing that it realizes it needs to fully utilize its decades-established alliances,” he said in an email. Is.”

“It shows that the UK and Australia are also more committed to addressing growing regional security concerns in the Indo-Pacific.”

Kessler noted that the United States does not in general share its submarine technology, much less its nuclear submarine information, and that the move demonstrates the seriousness with which the nation regards it. that its allies will be critical to countering emerging global security crises.

The last time the United States committed such a technology transfer was from 1958 to 1962, when it used nuclear capabilities with the UK in an effort to deter the Soviet Union from nuclear action as part of a US-UK mutual defense agreement. agreed to exchange. , which is still in effect.

Nuclear submarines would make Australia the seventh country in the world to order such technology, and the only country that would not even have nuclear weapons. Other countries that have nuclear submarines are China, France, India, the UK, the United States and Russia.

The CCP reacted furiously to the development, with state-owned media Global Times suggesting that Australia would now be a target of nuclear war.

Strengthening Australia’s military capabilities comes a year after the CCP’s efforts to cripple the Australian economy through sanctions and tariffs in response to calls by Australian authorities to investigate the origins of the CCP virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus Is known.

Anders Kors, principal at advisory firm Core Analytics, told The Epoch Times that AUKUS is particularly important because it provides a strategic military capability and sets a specific mission for nations that have other security agreements, such as the Five Eyes. Intelligence alliances, were otherwise limited to intelligence sharing or non-mission-specific exercises.

“AUKUS is important because it forms a strong core for the Five Eyes alliance,” Cor, who is also an Era Times contributor, said in an email, referring to the group from the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. doing .

“Canada and New Zealand are still members of the Five Eyes, but AUKUS can go where the Five Eyes cannot, especially in China’s strategic deterrence,” he said.

allies and vassals

Both experts also highlighted the fact that AUKUS serves as a reinforcement for allied efforts to enhance interoperability – the ability of their individual military forces to effectively operate and operate as a combined force.

“The Australians have nuclear submarine technology designed to aid US and British efforts, as diesel has major limitations and uses,” Kessler said. “This is just one example of where interoperable forces can help ensure security in the Indo-Pacific.”

Another key component of developing such interoperability, Core says, is the ability to share specific weapon systems in the future, should nations deem such action necessary.

“Interoperability could be the key to AUKUS’s strategic strength,” he said. “For example, if the United States or Britain decide to provide nuclear weapons that fit the Tomahawk cruise missiles that will arm Australia’s new nuclear submarines.”

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As part of the agreement, Australia is set to receive Tomahawk cruise missiles to arm its nuclear submarines. Thus far, all three AUKUS nations have pledged that Australia’s new fleet of submarines will be powered only by nuclear generators, and not be equipped with nuclear weapons.

It is also important to note that, although Tomahawk missiles are nuclear-capable, the nuclear weapons for the system were abolished in 2014.

Additionally, the focus on building interoperability between nations’ armies has become a key feature that distinguishes United States military alliances from those of China.

While the United States and its allies seek to create joint forces that can work together toward one end, the CCP generally seeks to control its partners for the purposes of pursuing their own goals. , and generally refrains from building any interoperability capability, according to experts.

It is a phenomenon that Core believes stems from very different forms of governance between the democratic West and Communist China.

“The Ocus is a victory for the ability of democracies, which by nature share power, to cooperate with each other,” Cor said. “The dictatorship, which is power-hungry by nature, does not have that advantage.”

Kessler also believes that the agreement represents a real progress in the ability of the Allies to expand on traditional coalition structures and leverage resources toward a common goal in a new way.

“What we’re seeing is that redrawing the lines and going outside the box can create a new landscape and range of opportunities that didn’t exist before,” he said. Multilateralism and traditional established coalition structures could potentially happen. Find new life and meaning in this new strategic reality.”

a roadmap for the future

Importantly, Kor and Kessler believe that the AUKUS can provide a framework for meaningful improvements in the way democratic nations jointly pursue security interests, and that the agreement will be in line with other informal agreements such as the Quadrilateral. Security talks, or “quads”, can provide an opportunity to learn how to inform. “

The Quad is a forum between Australia, India, Japan and the United States designed to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific and rules-based maritime order.

“It is possible that AUKUS could provide a framework for formalizing other non-binding partnerships like the Quad,” Kessler said. “However, this will depend on how the two find a way to coexist and help each other in ways that serve specific objectives and goals.”

Similarly, the Corps stated that the strength of AUKUS is largely in its dedication to solving a specific problem, and that other security agreements should also focus on developing specific solutions to particular problems.

“Ocus shows what a coalition can do when it has a specific mission, for example, the provision of nuclear submarines to Australia,” Cor said. “The quad has a less specific, and relatively non-obvious mission, and therefore has been less effective to this point.

“As the threat from Beijing mounts, the Quad will be forced to step in with more specific missions.”

Kors and Kessler hope that the AUKUS will prove to be a valuable springboard for effective resistance to the CCP in the Indo-Pacific and a boon to many of the world’s democracies. That hope was shared by the leaders of the AUKUS nations, whose declaration of agreement on 15 September marked the beginning of a commitment to the values ​​of “marine democracy”.

For now, Kessler says that the success of AUKUS will depend on its leaders’ ability to accept that the threat from Beijing is reaching its peak, and to act accordingly.

“AUKUS as a multilateral cooperation tool can be a win-win if Western players realize that the strategic reality is more serious, with higher stakes, after being developed for many years,” he said.

Andrew Thornbrook

freelance reporter


Andrew Thornbrook is a freelance reporter covering issues related to China with a focus on defense and security. He has an MA in Military History from Norwich University and is the author of the newsletter Quixote Hyperdrive.


This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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