photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Vincent E. Zline/U.S. Navy/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0">

The RAND Alliance Initiative

A structure for collaboration among RAND’s business units to offer analytical support to the Australia-United Kingdom-United States (AUKUS) initiative

On September 15, 2021, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and U.S. President Joe Biden announced the creation of an enhanced trilateral security partnership among Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In this partnership, known as AUKUS (Australia–United Kingdom–United States), the three governments committed to improving coordination in technology, science, industry, and national security to promote a safer and more secure Indo-Pacific region.

The cornerstone of the AUKUS announcement is the delivery of a nuclear-powered submarine fleet for Australia by 2039. Other cooperative technology areas mentioned in the joint statement are cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and additional undersea capabilities. Many other national security technologies, capabilities, and activities (including advanced munitions and intelligence collection systems) could eventually be candidates for projects under the AUKUS banner.

The Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Ballarat (FFH 155) receives fuel from the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) during a fueling-at-sea. The America Expeditionary Strike Group, along with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, are conducting operations alongside partner nations and allies in support of the Combined and Join Battle Problem (CJBP). CJBP is one of many operations nested under the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command's Large Scale Global Exercise (LSGE) 21. LSGE 21 is a global command and control exercise, with a regional focus, to enhance integration of the U.S., allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region, <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/56594044@N06/51367121646/">photo</a> by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Vincent E. Zline/U.S. Navy/<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">CC BY-NC-ND 2.0</a>

The Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Ballarat (FFH 155) receives fuel from the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) during a fueling-at-sea.

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Vincent E. Zline/U.S. Navy/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The RAND Corporation has undertaken an initiative to assist the parties by providing evidence-based analysis and recommendations for maximizing the potential of the AUKUS partnership. RAND is well positioned to provide this support. RAND has offices in each of the three AUKUS countries. It has technical experience working as a trusted adviser for decades to all three governments across many defense efforts, including the shipbuilding sector. It has conducted extensive analysis on many subjects deeply relevant to AUKUS issues, such as barriers to collaborating with highly capable countries, the impact of emerging technologies on defense and security, the character of alliance and partnership dynamics, and the larger geostrategic environment in the Indo-Pacific region.

As in RAND’s other work, a wider research portfolio on issues pertinent to AUKUS will provide an important subsidiary benefit for all three governments. This wider research portfolio helps RAND fill critical gaps in current thinking and analysis; it also allows RAND to prompt questions and answers that fall between the cracks of sponsor interests and to look farther ahead than most other research institutions can. These efforts can promote the success of the AUKUS initiative by anticipating problems and opportunities that are not yet the focus of the policy process.

As in all its areas of research, moreover, RAND’s work on AUKUS will support research-informed publications beyond RAND reports, such as articles in newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals. In this way, RAND’s research agenda will allow its scholars to contribute to the public dialogue on the AUKUS partnership while supporting the policy discussions among the three governments.

Please Contact the Team to Learn More

Australia

Andrew Dowse
Director, RAND Australia
Office: +61 2 6232 6972
Mobile: +61 456 651 011
Email: adowse@rand.org

United Kingdom

Benedict (Ben) Wilkinson
Deputy Director (Defence), RAND Europe
Office: +44 7814 929189
Email: bwilkins@randeurope.org

United States

Gene Germanovich
Acting International Portfolio Lead, RAND National Security Division, RAND Corporation
Office: +1 703-413-1100 x5732
Email: ggermano@rand.org

RAND Research on AUKUS-Related Issues