Aukus has upstaged the Quad’s Indo-Pacific role2 min read . Updated: 22 Sep 2021, 09:36 PM IST
America’s geo-strategic pivot to the East looks set to rely on this new tripartite defence pact, with Australia to be armed vis-a-vis China. Given the signals, India must watch out for itself
Even as anticipation was rising in New Delhi around the first in-person meeting this Friday of Quad leaders after the covid outbreak, with the US, Australia, Japan and India expected to turn the contours of this four-nation grouping into the foreshadow of an alliance for mutual security in the face of China’s rise, it has been upstaged in Indo-Pacific geopolitics by Aukus. This acronym of Australia, UK and US that also sounds as if it’s short for an ‘Aussie caucus’ is a trilateral defence pact that now looks set to serve as the military lynchpin of Washington’s strategy—such as it is—to secure the region from Beijing’s dominance and shield the post-1945 global order. If this has spelt some disappointment in India’s capital, our diplomats have not shown it, pointing out that the Quad has an agenda of its own which suits our common interests. But it is hard to deny that Tokyo and New Delhi suddenly seem relatively peripheral to US President Joe Biden’s plan of a power-projection pivot from West to East Asia. We need to decode these signals with due care and adjust our approach accordingly.