On September 15, the Biden administration announced a new trilateral security partnership for the Indo-Pacific, between Australia, the U.K., and the U.S.
The move is to strengthen military capabilities in the face of growing competition with China and to counter them, including a new Australian nuclear submarine fleet and cruise missiles. The announcement was done via video conference by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison who joined U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also participated in the launch via video link.
The trilateral security partnership is named AUKUS. Its first initiative will be collaboration on future nuclear-powered submarines for the Royal Australian Navy. AUKUS is based on an Australian idea. It will cover diplomatic, security, and defense co-operation in the Indo-Pacific. Cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and “additional undersea capabilities”, such as underwater sensors and drones are the joint works of AUKUS. AUKUS will also involve a new architecture of meetings and engagements between the three countries, as well as cooperation across emerging technologies.
“The future of the Indo-Pacific will impact all our futures,” Mr. Morrison said. He added that AUKUS will enhance Australia’s contribution to its other partnerships, including the Quad. A panel of technical assistants will be in duty to monitor how to carry out Australia’s upgrade.
Biden administration said in the statement that the partnership project is a unique decision to build a nuclear fleet.
The new submarines will allow Australia to “play at a much higher level,” without having nuclear weapons with it, the official said.