Context:

The U.S. has announced a new trilateral security partnership for the Indo-Pacific between Australia, the U.K. and the U.S. (AUKUS).

Relevance:

GS-II: International Relations (Foreign Policies and Treaties affecting India’s Interests)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About AUKUS
  2. Why was AUKUS needed?
  3. Five Eyes Alliance
  4. Indo-Pacific Region

About AUKUS

  • A new trilateral security partnership for the Indo-Pacific, between Australia, the U.K. and the U.S. (AUKUS) has been announced.
  • An important aspect of this partnership would involve a trilateral 18-month effort to help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines.
  • The partnership would also involve a new architecture of meetings and engagements between the three countries and also cooperation across emerging technologies like AI, quantum technologies and undersea capabilities.
  • This trilateral grouping would be security-focused, implying that it would be different from — but complementary to — arrangements such as the Quad.
  • The U.S. has announced that the new partnership is aimed at advancing strategic interests and upholding the international rules-based order, and promoting peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific.
  • The three countries alongside Canada and New Zealand already share extensive intelligence through the Five Eyes alliance.

Why was AUKUS needed?

  • Australia has felt increasing pressure from an assertive China. In order to balance this threat, Australia has been trying to strengthen its partnerships with India, the U.S. and the U.K to strategically balance out China.
  • The U.S. too has been shifting its focus to the Indo-Pacific region given the potential of the region and also the increasing assertiveness of the Chinese whom it considers a challenger to its global dominance. In this regard, it has been focussing on strengthening bilateral partnerships with its traditional partners in Asia like Japan, South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, and new partners like India and Vietnam. It has also been promoting new formations like the Quad.
  • The U.K. has expressed its vision to engage more deeply with the Indo-Pacific.

Five Eyes Alliance

  • The Five Eyes alliance is an intelligence-sharing arrangement between five English-speaking democracies: the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, which is often described as the world’s most successful intelligence alliance.
  • The alliance was created during the Cold War (1946-1991) that was fought between the United States and the Soviet Union, as well as their respective allies.
  • The alliance was needed to share sensitive information regarding their adversaries on all possible fronts available.

Indo-Pacific Region

  • The “Indo-Pacific” idea was originally conceived in 2006- 07. The term ‘IndoPacific’ combines the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and the Western Pacific Region (WP) – inclusive of the contiguous seas off East Asia and Southeast Asia – into a singular regional construct.
  • The idea has gained eminence in recent times due to:
    • Increasing geopolitical connect between the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific in both the geo-economics
    • Eastward shift of the world’s economic “centre of gravity” towards the Asian continent .
    • Growing Eminence of India
    • Politico-military aggressiveness of China.

-Source: The Hindu

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