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Trust, Ambiguity & the New Security Outlook: Indian, Southeast Asian & Australian reflections on AUKUS & the Quad
The advent of minilateral groupings such as the tripartite AUKUS technology sharing arrangement, and the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad), attest to the complexity of the contest for a 'free and open Indo-Pacific'. They need not be formal alliances or treaties but ad hoc associations with particular objectives. They exist as overlapping and potentially ambiguous networks of collaboration within an unstable world order.

As an organising principle, minilateral associations offer three attributes: as points of connection and trust-building mechanisms for nations that confront certain challenges in common while retaining separation on others; enabling long-established allies such as Australia, the UK and the US (AUKUS) to problem-solve in specific areas or to invest their relationships with even more strategic intimacy; and the ability to operate within or parallel to pre-existing formal frameworks of association or alliance, for short or longer periods.

Just as these minilaterals are creatures of the multi-polar international order, so too they are subject to the stresses, divergent interests and ambiguities of such an environment. Under stress, for example, how does India balance its commitment to the Quad with imperatives of continental defence and its relationships with China and Russia? Given that ASEAN sits between China, Australia and India, what likely effect will the wariness of key Southeast Asian nations have on regional perspectives and the conduct of relationships? What key issues should the new Australian Labor government grapple with in reconciling its minilateral priorities with those of the formal US alliance and engagement with its Southeast Asian neighborhood?

Key speakers:
• From Global Dialogue Forum (GDF) Mr Moses Manoharan,
• From the University of Tasmania/AIIA Professor James Chin,
• Dr Geoff Heriot (AIIA-Tas)- former ABC correspondent in India (and others) offering the Australian perspective of minilaterals.

Aug 3, 2022 06:00 PM in Hobart

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