AUKUS After San Diego: The real challenges and nuclear risks
Rear Admiral (ret.) John Gower, CB OBE, argues that the AUKUS SSN programme details announced on in San Diego on 13 March significantly enhance the capability of the AUKUS countries to counter Chinese influence in the Asia-Pacific region, augments the national submarine capabilities of all three nations, and will be the foundation of improved stability in the Indo-Pacific region. He refutes Chinese criticism, amplified by criticisms from the non-proliferation community that AUKUS would pose a risk of proliferation of fissile material for weapons purposes. Provided that AUKUS is not emasculated by foolish nuclear adventurism – such as a US decision to acquire submarine-launched nuclear-armed cruise missiles – it will prove to be a force for good in the Asia-Pacific region.
About the Author
Rear Admiral (ret.) John Gower, CB OBE, is a Senior Advisor to the Janne E. Nolan Center on Strategic Weapons at the Council on Strategic Risks, a consulting member of the IISS, and former Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Nuclear & Chemical, Biological) in the UK Ministry of Defence. He had MoD lead for the UK nuclear weapons policy between 2008 and 2014.
Disclaimer: The opinions articulated above represent the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Asia Pacific Leadership Network or any of its members. The APLN’s website is a source of authoritative research and analysis and serves as a platform for debate and discussion among our senior network members, experts and practitioners, as well as the next generation of policymakers, analysts and advocates. Comments and responses can be emailed to email@example.com.
Image: US Department of Defense