The latest trilateral arrangement in the Indo-Pacific – the Australia-United Kingdom-United States or AUKUS – is good news for both the Indo-Pacific and India. The Joe Biden administration, in quite a dramatic fashion, has put to rest any lingering questions about the United States’ willingness to play a global role.
These questions were always somewhat unwarranted because there was little doubt that Washington would respond to the challenge posed by China in the Indo-Pacific. Despite many ideological differences, Biden had already doubled down on some key aspects of the Donald Trump administration’s foreign policy on competing with China.
Nevertheless, Biden’s badly mismanaged troops withdrawal from Afghanistan also raised concerns about the US’ staying power and dependability. The AUKUS initiative, coming barely two weeks after the withdrawal, is further testament to the US’ commitment to its global role.
Indeed, in retrospect, the withdrawal itself appears to be a planned refocus, disengaging from a fruitless fight that was sapping US strength so that it could redirect American attention to the much more important task of countering China.
US partnership is essential for India
For India, this refocus should be welcome because US power is better served in dealing with China than with Pakistan. India has more than adequate military capacity, assuming focus and preparation, to deal with any Pakistani mischief.