Or, the lack thereof. I had a piece up on the Strategist site today on AUKUS, refecting my immediate takeaways from the announcement.

As I noted, I’m struggling to see a strategy in this, one that tells us what we, collectively trying to achieve, and the shape of the world want to see. So far, it is much more about offsetting what we think we don’t want–a worst case outcome.

The agreement is a stretch across the globe, seeking to bind the United Kingdom to the other side of the world and Australia more closely to the United States.

There is lots of white space. So much has yet to be nutted out. At this point, AUKUS comprises pretty words and promises.

My last impression is of a need to uplift a lagging Australia in technology.

Now, none of this denies that a rising revanchist China is anything but a strategic challenge. Nor should we, as a democracy, be prepared to simply accomodate such an authoritarian bully, one that seeks to act with impunity inside our own societies and economic systems.

But what is goal we are pursuing–holding, rolling back, establishing an alternative, strengthening our own claim and view of what the world could be? What is the kernal, the core idea, atrributes, capabilities, assets, competencies, that will let us shape a response? And that response has to be more than we’ll build some nuclear subs in a few years time.