"The Way Ahead for AUKUS" with Abe Denmark

On August 31, 2023, NBR held its twenty-fourth President’s Circle dialogue with special guest Abraham Denmark, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Defense for AUKUS, the Australia-UK-U.S. trilateral security agreement.

NBR President Roy Kamphausen began the event by highlighting key developments in Asia from the prior month. He covered the numerous challenges facing China’s domestic economy and the regional implication of the country’s slowdown, as well as Xi Jinping’s purge of senior generals in the PLA Rocket Force. He also analyzed the outcomes of the historic U.S.-ROK-Japan trilateral summit at Camp David and the prospects of expanded trilateral cooperation between the United States and two key regional allies. He also provided key takeaways from the U.S. hosting the third round of meetings as part of its APEC host year, before concluding his remarks by examining recent political developments in Cambodia, where the country’s longtime prime minister Hun Sen has just stepped down, being replaced by his son.

In the second half of the event, Mr. Denmark discussed his role in pushing forward the groundbreaking AUKUS agreement under its two pillars—namely, delivering Australia a conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarine capability; and expanding joint defense R&D. He highlighted both the progress that has been made directly in implementing AUKUS, as well as the regional impact this new partnership is having.