WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden along with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a new alliance with Britain and Australia known by the acronym “AUKUS”, which will share advanced technologies.
Speaking from the White House on Wednesday afternoon, Biden was joined virtually by Johnson and Morrison and said this new working group will make it easier for the three countries to share key technology information such as cyber, quantum, underwater systems, and long-range strike capabilities.
“We all recognize the imperative of ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific over the long term,” said Biden. “We need to be able to address both the current strategic environment in the region and how it may evolve.”
“This is about investing in our greatest source of strength, our alliances and updating them to better meet the threats of today and tomorrow,” he added. “AUKUS — it sounds strange, all these acronyms, but it’s a good one.”
The three countries will now work together over the next 18 months to figure out ways to deliver the technology.
“We must now take our partnership to a new level,” said Morrison.
Both Morrison and Biden made clear that Australia does not seek to have a nuclear weapon. The U.S. and U.K. have been partners in the past regarding nuclear-powered submarine programs and will now share that information with Australia.
“We’re adding a new chapter in our friendship,” Johnson added.
Pentagon officials have already begun talks with Congress for more industrial cooperation with Australia and the U.K.
“We’re working with Congress to make sure that we have that authority to invest in Australia and the U.K.,” Jesse Salazar, the Pentagon’s deputy assistant secretary for industrial policy, said Wednesday.
The new partnership comes after it was announced the four Quad-nation heads will meet at the White House next week for the first in-person meeting between the group. Axios reported late Wednesday that Biden will welcome Johnson to the White House next week.