APLN Special Newsletter: AUKUS edition
Weekly Newsletters

APLN Special Newsletter: AUKUS edition






29 September 2021




Dear Network Members and Colleagues,

This week, we focus exclusively on the AUKUS deal, featuring analysis from APLN members, staff and experts on this landmark strategic agreement between the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. This is a part of APLN’s ongoing analytical series assessing the implications for the Asia-Pacific region.

Next week, APLN will publish a special report on AUKUS, authored by APLN senior research adviser Dr. Tanya Ogilvie-White and Rear Admiral (ret.) John Gower, former commander of two British submarines and former Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Nuclear & Chemical, Biological) in the UK Ministry of Defence.. This upcoming report will offer a detailed analysis on the proposed submarine programme and the provision of cruise missiles. It assesses the proliferation risks including nuclear breakout and technology transfer by other nuclear armed powers, as well as the national perspectives of the AUKUS partners, China, South Korea, Russia, France, the Five Eyes and NATO.



Read our AUKUS series

What is AUKUS?

On September 16, the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia announced a new enhanced partnership, AUKUS, to deepen trilateral cooperation on defence and security capabilities. The agreement will allow Australia to acquire nuclear-powered submarine technology for the first time. Although the leaders of the three countries stressed that they will continue to meet their nuclear non-proliferation obligations analysts and others are expressing concerns over the broader security implications in the region and on the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty regime.





Manpreet Sethi, Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi, discusses how India will view the AUKUS deal. She argues an AUKUS arrangement which seeks to deter China is a welcome move from an Indian national security perspective. At the same time, she concedes that the deal is likely to open up new security dilemmas in the long term. Read more





APLN Policy Fellow Joel Petersson Ivre, argues that South Korea might be the next marine power in the Asia-Pacific to purchase or develop nuclear submarines, and suggests ways to prevent this from happening. Read more





Mely Caballero-Anthony, APLN board member and Professor of International Relations at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore, argues that AUKUS raises concerns for ASEAN states, heightens nuclear security risks and heightens major power rivalry and competition in the region. Read more






John Carlson, APLN member and former Director-General of the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office, provides an overview of the non-proliferation and safeguards aspects of the proposal for Australia to build and operate nuclear-powered submarines. Read more





Allan Behm, Head of the International and Security Affairs Program at the Australia Institute, argued that AUKUS submarine contribution to US battle plans against China will be viewed as profoundly threatening with implications also for nuclear war planning by Russia, North Korea and nuclear-armed other states, as well as knock-on effects on Japan and ROK. Read more





APLN Board Member Gareth Evans, former Australian Foreign Minister, commented on the newly-announced AUKUS deal, to provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarines. He argues that the deal should neither be construed as a significant challenge to the global nuclear nonproliferation regime nor as another Australian over-reaction to China. Read more





Chung-in Moon, APLN Vice-Chair, Chairman of the Sejong Institute, and the former Special Adviser of National Security and Foreign Affairs to the ROK President argues that the deal reveals US double standards, prioritizes some allies over others, is bad for non-proliferation, and doesn’t bode well for the regional order. Read more





Ton Nu Thi Ninh, APLN board member and former Vietnamese Ambassador to EU, Belgium, and the Netherlands explains that it is unclear how AUKUS will affect ASEAN yet it cannot be isolated from the broader security and geopolitical context. Read more





Marty Natalegawa, APLN Chair and former Foreign Minister of Indonesia and former Ambassador to the United Nations, argues that the AUKUS decision may reduce rather than improve security in the region but that it is not too late for ASEAN to reassert its relevance. Read more








Sharon Squassoni, Research Professor at George Washington University and Bulletin Atomic Scientists Board member, shares her views on the implications of the trilateral security partnership between the US, UK, and Australia (AUKUS) arguing that expanding the club of states that use highly-enriched uranium to fuel submarines would be a mistake. Read more.





Van Jackson, APLN Senior Associate Fellow and Professor of international relations at Victoria University of Wellington, will participate in a talk on AUKUS’ implications for Australia and the region on September 30, 1 pm (AEST). The talk is hosted by Australian Institute of International Affairs. Sign up here





APLN member Ramesh Thakur, former UN Assistant Secretary-General and director of the Centre for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament at the Australian National University, published an analysis in The Strategist where he discussed AUKUS in relation to other regional groupings. Read more





APLN member Rakesh Sood, former Indian Ambassador, published an article in Hindustan Times, arguing that AUKUS shows that the time has come for India and France to set a new milestone for strengthening their strategic partnership. Read more (paywall)





APLN member C. Raja Mohan, director of the National University of Singapore’s Institute of South Asian Studies, published two articles on AUKUS. For Foreign Policy, he argued that AUKUS is one part of a larger US effort to reconfigure the Indo-Pacific balance of power. Read more. For The Indian Express, he explored India’s opportunities for strategic cooperation with France and Europe as well as the Quad and the Anglosphere in the aftermath of the divisive impact of the AUKUS deal. Read more (paywall)



















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