BLUFASPI argues that improved communications and branding, as well as prioritising goals, are just two of the things the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) must do to ensure a successful future.
The recent AUKUS announcement has, to a degree, overshadowed the Quadrilateral (Quad) Security Dialogue meeting that took place in Washington on 24 September. However, the Quad—a strategic grouping comprising Australia, the United States, Japan and India—would no doubt have included the AUKUS announcement as a late but significant addition to discussions. ASPI’s Hayley Channer makes some salient points about the meeting:
Japan’s Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga, will appreciate how AUKUS draws the US and UK deeper into the Indo-Pacific region.
The future of India’s trilateral consultations with Australia and France is (temporarily, at least) in jeopardy. However, India appears to be supportive of the new AUKUS alliance.
The US should be prepared for India to seek new military technology deals; given that America has decided to share its secret nuclear technology with Australia.
The summit needed to address what has been a much longer-term challenge for the Quad—its branding. So, what should the Quad do from here?
The Quad has produced a joint statement but has no joint communications platform. It needs to establish one.
Reassure Quad partners and regional allies that the new AUKUS alliance will not detract from the Quad and its strategic goals.
Consolidate. The virtual Quad leaders’ summit in March greatly expanded the group’s remit. There are now ten official Quad working groups. The Quad needs to consolidate its existing activities and avoid making any new commitments.
Set priorities. Delivering its Covid vaccine commitment to the region is an obvious priority, and work is already underway.
The second Quad leaders’ summit was an opportunity to strengthen the Quad brand by creating an online platform to promote the outcomes of the group’s meetings and consolidate and prioritise its commitments.
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