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AUKUS supplants Quad's geo-strategic ante, shaping strategic affairs

The newly formed strategic alliance involving Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States will form a pivotal role in shaping the strategic affairs of the international system.

US, United States

Photo: ANI

The newly formed strategic alliance involving Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States will form a pivotal role in shaping the strategic affairs of the international system.
The AUKUS will be a cornerstone of strategic alignment supplanting Quad and vice versa according to the situation.
AUKUS is a trilateral security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, announced on 15 September 2021 for the Indo-Pacific region. Under the pact, the US and the UK will help Australia to acquire nuclear-powered submarines.
It's understood that Quadrilateral Security Initiative 2.0 is an informal proposed maritime alliance involving the United States, India, Japan, and Australia for strategic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific
The concept of Quad though was mooted by Japan, India, or Australia at different times, it's true that the United States happens to be the hub around which the spokes of the wheels of the Quad are extended. It's understood that under US President Joe Biden the contours of the Quad will be clearly seen in the upcoming months.
The contours of the Quad is formed at a time when the US is confronted by rising and resurgent powers and an absence of consensus on how nation-states should behave in such transitional times.
On the other hand, Joe Biden will continue the Obama-era "pivot" or "rebalance" to Asia strategy, which had set specific targets for relocating the US military away from the Middle East and concentrating maximum US naval assets to ring-fence China in its backyard. Since Biden is also a professed believer in a multilateral US foreign policy, it's expected that Washington will team up with other China-wary countries and form a united front.
Despite the shortcomings, the US will take a stronger line on Chinese influence in the Pacific, which will include reassertion of US naval dominance in the wider Indo Pacific waterways and sea lanes of communication used by the Chinese for trade and the prioritization of US defense ties to the countries surrounding countries.
As a subset of the Quad initiative, it's true that the US will continue to work to cement its chain of security partners throughout the region, which now includes Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, Brunei, Singapore, and Indonesia as well as Australia and New Zealand (the US is also pursuing improved security ties with Malaysia and Vietnam, both of whom have their own concerns about Chinese regional expansionism and in the Vietnamese case history of enmity with its larger neighbor).
The US' defense treaties with Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and the Philippines have often been seen as a strategic partner's reiteration of its commitment to the security of these countries. Through the rebalancing strategy, the US seeks to reassure its allies that it stands by them in the face of an increasingly assertive China.
US' grand strategy as part of its long-term national interests considers engagement with other countries of the Indo-Pacific as vital to its foreign policy objectives. The seriousness of the US in 'rebalancing' to the Asia-Pacific can be gauged from some of the decisions of the earlier US administration, such as the closing down of two military bases in Europe and shifting its military weight to the Asia-Pacific despite the defense budget cuts. This makes it clear that the US is prepared to go the distance if required but will not compromise the core components of its 'rebalancing' strategy.
The United States' Pivot approach to China was a continuation of the Grand Strategic vision envisaged under Barack Obama's presidency continued under Trump administration which is likely to be inherited under Joe Biden's presidency also
First, it was understood the pivot under the Barack Obama administration was intended to demonstrate United States commitment to give greater priority to focusing U.S. power and resources toward the Indo-Pacific region.
Earlier, the Quad 2.0 was formed on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and East Asia Summit held in November 2017 with the proposal for the maritime alliance being mooted by Japan.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Dec 31 2021 | 6:57 AM IST

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