The five “nots” of AUKUS

Interesting rundown of what AUKUS is and is not by Michael Shoebridge for ICDS Diplomaatia magazine:

AUKUS, though, is five ‘Nots’. It is not just a pact about sharing nuclear submarine technology that leads to Australia acquiring and operating eight of these “peak predator” deterrent weapons. It is not a military alliance that contains commitments to come to each other’s aid in times of crisis and conflict. It is not a sidelining of the other key rising Indo-Pacific-focused minilateral—the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue involving India, the US, Japan and Australia. It is not a signal that Australia seeks to be less engaged in existing regional multilateral architecture like the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the East Asia Summit. And it is not a substitute for the deep and successful Five Eyes intelligence partnership involving the US, Canada, the UK, New Zealand and Australia.

One of the problems with AUKUS is the name. It is an acronym that lists the names of the participating countries. The group cannot grow without a name change of the entire security partnership. This sends a message that is hard to miss: The anglophone countries have a unique relationship, and others are second-rate partners. It is easy to emphasize with France here, who must be wondering which qualification aside from the language that made UK the preferred European partner in the Indo-Pacific.

I think they should have chosen a better name.




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