Last month the United States entered into a tripartite defense agreement with the United Kingdom and Australia that would result in the latter country acquiring its first nuclear-powered attack submarines—at least eight, and probably of U.S. design. The new relationship has been widely referred to as AUKUS. AUKUS looks to be a turning point in security relations between Canberra and Washington. By agreeing to share sensitive undersea technology with a nation that is already buying advanced military aircraft from America, Washington is acknowledging that Australia has become indispensable to its security posture in the Southwest Pacific. I have written more on this subject here.
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