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.
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Image: US Department of Defense