AUKUS – an alliance of Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States made public by U.S. President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on 15 September 2021. This strategic partnership on Indo-Pacific emerged in 2021; U.S. and U.K. would be sharing nuclear submarine technology with Australians; however, earlier, they have not shared any; neither the Australian defence elites thought of any compelling security environment to acquire that. The impetus behind this drive is to restrain assertive China. Furthermore, Russia – the China partnership for a booming east is also a vital question. AUKUS have equally surprised China, Russia, and the European states, especially France.
China’s growth scale made AUKUS a reality; something unthinkable years ago is now a must to restrain Beijing. AUKUS plays a role as a catalyst in the disturbing regional [military] balance of power equation. It is shifting the military balance and furthering a wedge between east and west. West’s ill intentions to rule the whole world, the colonial mindset is putting global peace and stability at stake. It is as of what Machiavellianism is “unprincipled lust for power achieved through subtle policies and guileful rogueries”. The state is supreme…., but keep in mind that it is not supreme for the U.S. only; it is for all. United States’ policies to acquire power and maintain its position in the global arena create an atmosphere of insecurity and discomfort for others.
The regional military balance shifts once China furthers military power to meet the deterrence level, and strategic deterrence is crucial and exigent. First Quad and now AUKUS, designed to undermine the regional stability through intensifying the arms race. With Australia on board, both Japan and India also have psychological jolt, and both welcomed this defence deal. This partnership, to some, is intimidation and to some is an opportunity. India, in this regard, will take it as an opportunity to boon its political interests. AUKUS – as per the former Japanese Prime Minister, is evidence of like-minded countries being engaged in the Indo-Pacific in the long term. The roots and historical links of AUKUS is decades-old geopolitical veracity – Australia in the security equation of the Indo-Pacific strategy.
AUKUS – is a military industry partnership rather than a diplomatic stunt. U.S. President Joe Biden mentioned that “the imperative of ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific over the long term” clearly illustrates the true intentions of counterbalancing China. AUKUS is not only a pact to share nuclear submarine, a military partnership to counter crisis and conflict, a parallel to Quad, or staying away from ASEAN, and an alternate of Five-Eyes intelligence, but it is beyond that. It would also be aiding artificial intelligence (A.I.), cyber technologies (C.T.), quantum technologies (Q.T.), and undersea technologies other than nuclear-powered submarines. The AUKUS execution plan would be depended on short-term and long-term deliverables. The short-term include A.I., CT, Q.T. and other undersea technologies, whereas nuclear subs are part of the long-term execution plan. AUKUS would be a technology booster, especially A.I. and Cyber. A.I. in this trilateral partnership is the core priority and would be applied to weapon systems and semi-autonomous and autonomous military vehicles of different origins.
Furthermore, AUKUS would be strengthening the other regional pacts like Quad, especially in defence, to withstand the operational authority in the Indo-Pacific region. The regional countries view this as a potential destabilization factor that nuclear subs, A.I. powered military weapon technology, and cyber technology would eventually cause. Discourses on AUKUS have already started at different international and regional forums, including ASEAN. Furthermore, it is on the table of many European states, especially France. The tension between France and Australia also heated, as due to AUKUS, the French will be losing a conventional subs project worth $ 90 billion.
For Russia and China, AUKUS – would be hindering regional development and economic prosperity. It is an effort made to slow down the eastern countries economic cooperation. Obviously, by having the U.S. at the doorstep, China would focus on strengthening maritime nuclear deterrence.AUKUS – would be deviating China from its belt and road projects. Moreover, AUKUS – would also be welcoming South Korea and Israel, which would further strain the regional peace and stability. Israel’s defence links with India are already a security concern for Pakistan and other regional countries. A.I. and Cyber Technology sharing is taking the world from actual warfare to more lethal hybrid warfare to collapse the state structure.
For regional stability and peace, all the regional countries, including Pakistan – a nuclear state, Russia and China, along with others, should opt a regional security bloc option. These U.S. backed alliances QUAD, and AUKUS are potential threats to this very nuclear region. It moves to attenuate the vulnerable region further already suffering terrorism, extremism, and separatism.