I am writing a briefing paper for the main UK opposition party on the new AUKUS security pact between the US, Australia and UK. It is possible that this paper will shape their stance on the issue and could affect future Government policy.
I have not been able to find anything on the EA forum about AUKUS (although this annoyingly could be because the search tool corrects 'AUKUS' to 'August') and I would be grateful for any input, particularly from the following perspectives:
- Whether AUKUS increases or reduces the chance of armed conflict. It feels like we should always be wary of proliferation of military capacities, but there is also a chance that the strengthening of US allies in the region deters or delays Chinese invasion of Taiwan. It is also notable that Taiwan, who have the most to lose from any conflict, have welcomed the deal.
- The precedent set by use of nuclear technologies, and whether this counts as nuclear proliferation given that it is nuclear powered submarines rather than nuclear warheads
- Whether this is better than the realistic alternatives. I.e. we'd all like a world where China and the US could just get on, but given that they can't, perhaps a meaningful security pact is a better way of drawing clear lines than proxy trade wars and cyber attacks. My understanding is that clarity about intentions and red lines can reduce the chance of conflict in many game settings.
- Exclusion of France, Japan and other potential allies. Most of the media attention, at least in the UK, has been on how France is pissed off, which to me feels like a fairly minor concern compared to the above points, but potentially I'm missing something. E.g. maybe it's really important that the US and UK don't do things without broader 'Western' backing
Would be grateful for comments, thoughts, articles and blog posts of any length and depth!