Opinion

Is AUKUS a Quadmire?


The Quad was born from the vision of the Indo-Pacific as a single strategic space, where activities in one area would inevitably affect activities in the other…. The problem for India, however, is that even with its renewed wariness about China, and the rebooting of the Quad, it has to weigh a number of long-standing and conflicting security, diplomatic and economic calculations.

India’s vision of the Indo-Pacific rests more on the Indian Ocean and less on the Pacific Ocean, where Chinese assertiveness arouses the most concern from the US, Australia and Japan. For India, the Indo-Pacific framework stretches from the east coast of Africa to the western and southern Pacific and includes portions of the Middle East….

The formation of Aukus has underlined some of the contradictions. The Quad is not an Asian North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) and has no commitment to collective security…. Aukus is emphatically a security grouping to contain China….

For India, this means that the Quad can maintain its broad agenda – Covid-19 vaccine distribution, climate change, technology and science expertise – and is absolved of any immediate responsibility to step up and commit to an explicitly anti-China security framework. This meshes well with India’s outlook – it would like China contained but does not want to be the one containing China – as well as its defence policy.

From ‘The Quad, Aukus and India’s Dilemmas’, Council on Foreign Relations



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