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OPINION                                                            NOVEMBER 18, 2022  |      The Indian Eye 10

        IAEA Board of Governors reiterated   Employment.                    operated until the 2050s.         ics Autonomous Systems (AURAS)
        China’s concerns over the transfer of   It is widely speculated that    Through the analysis  of the de-  and the AUKUS Quantum Arrange-
        HEU involved in AUKUS. He called   based on NPST’s recommendations,   velopments that have unfolded in the   ment (AQuA) have already been es-
        on the AUKUS nations to immedi-   Australia would opt between the   one year since the announcement of   tablished under the working groups
        ately and comprehensively report   Virginia Class or Astute class, which   AUKUS, the following inferences can   of Undersea Capabilities and Quan-
        all relevant information about HEU   are the latest  SSN classes of the   be drawn:                   tum technologies, respectively. Apart
        transfer to IAEA.                 US and UK navies respectively. As     AUKUS  reflects  the  primacy  of   from this, the doubling of the working
            At the Tenth NPT Review Con-  brought out before, the announce-  the US–Australia Strategic Depth:   groups under the AUKUS’s advanced
        ference held on 10 August 2022, Chi-  ment and provisions have already   There have been numerous criticisms   capability within one year is an indi-
        nese Ambassador for Disarmament   been made for the Australian sub-  from both within and outside Austra-  cator that the scope of AUKUS is be-
        Affairs, Li Song, described AUKUS   mariners to receive training aboard   lia that by joining AUKUS, Australia   yond just submarines.
        as a textbook example of nuclear   both these SSN classes.          has compromised its strategic auton-  Year  One  of  AUKUS has  been
        proliferation.  He also stated that   However, this complex range   omy. On the contrary, as put forth by   eventful and this has indicated that
        AUKUS grossly undermines the      of developments only illustrates the   Australian Member of Parliament,   AUKUS has been successful in gain-
        South Pacific and Southeast Asia nu-  tip of the iceberg for AUKUS’s core   Andrew Hastie, Australia’s conformi-  ing momentum. Year Two of AUKUS
        clear weapon zones. China proactive-  objective which is bound to span for   ty to the US strategic perspective has   is also bound to be extremely import-
        ly  sought  to get  a  resolution  passed   nearly 30 years. Post this, the estimat-  been the benchmark of their bilateral   ant as the 18-month consultation peri-
        against  AUKUS  at  the  IAEA Gen-  ed completion and delivery of the   relations.                    od will end in March 2023 and an an-
        eral Conference held in the last week   first SSN is likely to take place during   This has been evident from Aus-  nouncement on the future course of
        of September 2022. But China with-  2038–2040. The earliest forecast for   tralia’s allegiance to the US through-  action would be made. Also, the Aus-
        drew this resolution foreseeing that it   the completion of all eight SSNs is   out its engagements during the Cold   tralian Government has announced
        would not garner majority support in   not until 2050, while the farthest fore-  War, and active participation in the   a new “Defense Strategic Review”,
        the IAEA. India’s role in persuading   cast suggests it may even extend up   prolonged US-led military operations   which will be published in 2023. This
        several countries to oppose this reso-  to 2059. Given this time-frame, sev-  in Afghanistan and Iraq. The US and   document would provide crucial in-
        lution has been widely highlighted in   eral observers and stakeholders have   Australian strategic conformity are a   sights  into  how  AUKUS  would  fig-
        both the Indian and international me-  flagged some of the obvious challeng-  common feature across all Indo-Pa-  ure in the Australian military’s future
        dia. Despite this, it can be expected   es that AUKUS is bound to face in   cific  geostrategic  architectures  like   force structure. Despite these series
        that China’s proactive and steadfast   the long run.                the QUAD, Five Eyes and ANZUS.    of developments, however, AUKUS’s
        opposition to AUKUS is bound to       Several articles and opinion piec-  Therefore, AUKUS can be viewed as   potential to tangibly impact the In-
        continue in the years to come.    es have been published marking one   yet another indicator of the primacy   do-Pacific  geopolitical  discourse  can
            The Australian Government is   year of AUKUS. Most of these arti-  of the US–Australia Strategic Depth   perhaps only be seen in the long term.
        expected to announce the plan of ac-  cles have flagged certain key challeng-  across the Indo-Pacific.    Dr R. Vignesh is Research Analyst
        tion for the construction of the eight   es that lie ahead for AUKUS.   AUKUS signals the UK’s return   at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for
        SSNs in the latter half of 2023, based   Submarine Gap: The Australian   to the East of Suez: On 9 December   Defense Studies and Analyses (MP-ID-
        on the recommendation of the Nu-  Defense White Paper titled “De-   2016, Boris Johnson, who was then           SA), New Delhi.
        clear-Powered Submarine Taskforce   fending Australia in the Asia Pacific   the Foreign Secretary of the UK, de-
        (NPST), which is headed by Vice Ad-  Century: Force 2030” was published   livered a speech on the changing na-  Cmde Abhay Kumar Singh (Retd) is
        miral Jonathan Mead of the RAN.   in 2009. In this document, Australia   ture of his country’s foreign policy at   Research Fellow at the Manohar Par-
        The NPST is carrying out rigorous   acknowledged the RAN’s depleting   the Manama Dialogue in Bahrain. In   rikar Institute for Defense Studies and
        scrutiny of the various aspects of the   submarine capability and the need   his address, he denounced the UK’s   Analyses, New Delhi
        SSN’s construction.               for swiftly replacing the six existing   withdrawal from the ‘East of Suez’ in   Views expressed are of the author and
            This includes the assessment of   Collin  Class  submarines  in  its  fleet.   1968 as a historic mistake. He brought
                                                                                                                do not necessarily reflect the views of
        the design of the hull, the safety of the   The document also  had ambitiously   out that the UK is committed to re-  the Manohar Parrrikar IDSA or of the
        nuclear reactors and the establish-  laid out that RAN seeks to acquire 12   versing that policy despite not being   Government of India.
        ment of the prerequisite infrastruc-  advanced conventional attack subma-  the greatest military power. AUKUS
        ture. The NPST is a whole-of-govern-  rines (SSK) through the future sub-  illustrates the UK’s efforts to re-es-  This article first appeared in the
        ment effort spanning 12 departments   marines programme. The White Pa-  tablish its strategic footprint in a re-  Comments section of the website (www.
        across the Australian Government   per also stated that these submarines   gion where it had historic influence. of Manohar Parrikar Institute
        ranging from the Prime Minister’s Of-  would be acquired within the next 30   AUKUS is not just about Subma-  for Defense Studies and Analyses, New
        fice to the Department of Skills and   years and that these boats would be   rines: The AUKUS Undersea Robot-  Delhi on November 2, 2022

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