Ten years ago, ANZUS was stretched to cover attacks in cyber space. It’s hard to judge whether that’s been consequential, yet more is needed.
…a strategic, and statecraft, understanding of cybertech is needed: digital technologies are inextricable from daily life, individuality, economic activity, broader technological progress, institutions and the social substrate of nations. How cyber interference—the dark side of digital—is managed has consequences for trust in systems, institutions and governments: without care, that may work in favour of authoritarians and against democracies.
Those challenges may—and probably should—prompt a change in the role of the alliance. Cyberpower is but part of a broader diffusion and reaggregation of power resulting from digital technologies and social, economic and political realignments over the past 30 to 40 years.
So, while ANZUS still remains the stuff of bedrock, especially for Australia, it may make sense to expand Article II cooperation to strengthen our democracies, build resilience, improve technological competitiveness and provide guardrails to improve certainty during rapid change in the environment. If we’re less confident about a ‘secure, resilient and trusted cyberspace that ensures safe and reliable access for all nations’, as envisaged by the 2011 AUSMIN declaration, then we’d better be prepared for the alternative.
Read the full piece, my contribution to ASPI’s compilation of reflection on ANZUS at 70 years, here.