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Transcript: The US-Australia Alliance on the Anniversary of AUKUS

Patrick M. Cronin, Peter Rough & Bryan Clark

Following is the full transcript of the Hudson Institute event titled Transcript: The US-Australia Alliance on the Anniversary of AUKUS.

Disclaimer: This transcript is based off of a recorded video conference and periodic breaks in the stream have resulted in disruptions to the audio and transcribed text.

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John Walters:
Hello, I’m John Walters. I’m President of Hudson Institute. I want to welcome everybody here for this program this morning. I want to particularly welcome Andrew Hastie from Australia, our friend and ally. I want to thank him for being with us and for giving us some time here for this important discussion. My responsibility is brief, and that is to introduce Congressman Mike Gallagher. Not everybody knows this but long time ago, well, not in his life, maybe, but we had a preliminary discussion about him joining the Hudson team. We wanted his intelligence and his experience to be part of our analytic team and we were impressed and hopeful, but he decided to use his considerable skills to run for elective office and serve the people of Wisconsin and all of America.

That intelligence, that patriotism and the considerable political gifts that he does have are now part of what our government’s trying to do to keep us safer. You’d have to be naive and out of touch, not to see that the forces of tyranny and injustice are pressing more and more. And without leadership like Congressman Gallagher, we’re not going to be able to do what we should do to save more lives and to protect our country and our allies. So it’s a great pleasure for me and an honor for me to introduce Congressman Mike Gallagher.

Mike Gallagher:
Well thank you for that. I’m not sure with the benefit of hindsight, I made the right choice on that, but would’ve been fun to be here. Well, thank you to the Hudson Institute for putting this together. The Hudson Institute is an indispensable asset. I see many friends in the room, people have long considered mentors, Mike Doran, Bryan Clark, among others, particularly in this moment, given the challenges we face, Hudson is an absolutely essential voice. So thank you for everything you’re doing. I’m very excited and honored to be able to introduce my good friend, the honorable Andrew Hastie. Andrew, or H as some of his military buddies call him represents the electorate of Canning in the Australian House of Representatives. Prior to parliament, Andrew served with distinction in the Australian military, graduating officer training at the Royal Military College in 2006 and being selected in 2010 for service with Australia’s Elite Special Air Service Regiment as a troop commander, taking commands in maritime and special reconnaissance capabilities.

Andrew has deployed throughout the world, throughout the end of Pacific, throughout the Middle East, including multiple combat tours, including three years of hardship duty in Darwin, Australia. And he decided after a very successful military career to run for office in 2015. And he’s been reelected three times since Andrew served as the Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on intelligence and security as Assistant Minister for Defense. And now after the recent general election, Andrew was appointed the Shadow Minister for Defense. But beyond all his positions, beyond all his accolades, I’d like to think that Andrew’s greatest contribution to Australia and it’s alliance with the United States has been through marrying his wife, Ruth, who’s an American and thereby cementing AUKUS with three children, including sons that I’m shamelessly trying to arrange in a marriage with my daughter so that Andrew and I can just hang out more often.

The last time I saw Andrew in person, it was on his home turf in Perth for the 2019 Australian American Leadership Dialogue. It’s fair to say that Andrew framed the conversation for the entire week with a op-ed that he published the day before we arrived in the Sydney Morning Herald. One that urged the free world to see China with clear eyes, including by understanding the role that communist ideology plays in CCP decision making. As he wrote, “We must be intellectually honest and take the Chinese leadership at its word.” At the time, the op-ed generated some amount of controversy. By the way, I should recognize Senator James Paterson who’s here as well, also a former Chair of the Intelligence Committee. Another politician who’s younger than me, which makes me very angry, an incredibly brave voice and defender of free world value. So thank you Senator for being here as well.

Good friend of Andrews, who I’ve gotten to know this week. This op-ed at the time generated a good amount of controversy. It was the talk of the conference, but what was interesting to me was though people were debating it, at the end of the day, no one really disagreed with the fundamental premise. What started off as controversial became common wisdom. Andrew was way ahead of the curve in calling out the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party. Andrew exhibited similar courage in calling out bad actors from his own tribe in the Special Air Service Regiment who tarnished their units honor with war crimes in Afghanistan. And Andrew’s unflinching moral compass led him not only to criticize what he saw as a pagan warrior ethos divorced from the just war tradition that had taken hold in the regiment, but also to demand reform, as he wrote in a reflection that is really worth reading in whole, “We were sent to Afghanistan in a double trust to defend Australia’s values and interest by force, but also to uphold those values in our battlefield conduct,” Andrew has always been willing to speak the truth.

And for that, I greatly admire him. A few years ago, I interviewed Andrew for my now defunct podcast in front of a worldwide audience of literally dozens of people. And at the end, we were talking about some of our favorite books and Andrew brought up a scene from Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, which I believe he first read on a C17 leaving Afghanistan for the first time in 2013. And he talked about the scene in which a father tells his son that their job is to carry the fire, to carry civilization forward, even amidst the darkness of a post apocalyptic future. Well, I would submit to you that few have done more today to carry the fire and to defend civilization against the darkness of totalitarianism than Andrew Hastie. So please join me in welcoming my good friend, the honorable Andrew Hastie.

Andrew Hastie:
Well, good morning. And Mike, thank you for that warm welcome. I might just leave now and bank that one. It’s really good to be with you this morning. And it’s a great pleasure to be at the Hudson Institute. Let us speak plainly, the second Elizabeth in age is closing in darkness. Gone are the hard won, rock sure handholds of the last 70 years. The unipolar world we knew you briefly has descended in struggling kingdoms. Russia has drawn the sword against the Ukrainian people. China brandishes a spear against Taiwan, and those who stand with her and the Anglo sphere remains divided against itself. History has swung back hard and more data is not going to help us here. We are awash with it, drowning even, what we need is clarity. We need to go deep and lodge our anchor on the sea floor of historical reality and timeless truth.

Past experience tells us that geography, the character of nations, leadership, courage, and our relationships matter, that they’ve always mattered. But first I’d like to thank the Hudson Institute for the honor of speaking here today. Thank you for your hospitality, John, Peter Rough, especially for bringing this together and a Congressman Mike Gallagher for that energetic, warm welcome. This is the first live event in three years, in the flesh, since we’ve done. And in public life, true friends are hard to find. Mike is one of those people I count as a true friend. We first connected here in DC back in 2018 at an event at the library of Congress, he’s come all the way to my hometown of Perth, which is a huge feat for a Congressman with all sort of schedule. And I’m always impressed by his vitality, vitality being the essential element of leadership, according to JFK and his intellect and his keenness to engage with the Indo-Pacific and America’s place in it. And no matter the challenges ahead, I do feel stronger knowing that we have people like Mike Gallagher in our corner. So thank you, Mike.

Now in a world that is cynical towards their people, towards people rather, and their motives in public life, let me declare my family’s admiration for America and her people. There’s three reasons for this. The first reason is that I would not be alive today, if it weren’t for a United States Army medic from Virginia, by the name of Sergeant O’Mayberry who saved the life of my grandfather on the 31st of March, 1945. They were both aboard a Royal Australian Air force Catalina, conducting an air sea rescue of two downed Australian air crew in the Indonesian archipelago. They landed, plucked the survivors from their RAAF as three Japanese heavy machine guns opened up on them. My grandfather was on the 50 caliber machine gun returning fire when he was hit in the abdomen. The medic, Mayberry, kept him alive for three hours on the flight back to Morotai Island where another American, a field surgeon, operated and saved his life.

The second reason is that I met my wife here, Ruth, back in 2007, and we were married, as Mike said, at Capitol Hill Baptist Church. We now have three kids. So dual US citizens outnumber me four to one in my house. And their future is also tied to America through the bonds of family and if Mike’s plan works out, perhaps marriage. And the third reason I admire America and her people is that every single combat mission that I commanded in Afghanistan in 2013 was supported by brave American pilots and crew flying Black Hawks and Apaches. Your air crews gave us a ride in and out. You provided close air support and they were always standing ready with a medevac bird in case it all went wrong. I’m thankful for those three reasons and I stand before you today because of them. Now, some might say that makes me one eye about our relationship, perhaps.

I prefer to say that I’m one hearted. I understand how special the relationship is to both our countries, but I hasten to add it’s not without faults. The old proverb says that the wounds of a friend can be trusted while an enemy multiplies kisses. That’s good advice for people in politics. I come as a friend, so I’ll also speak of the wounds and my family also knows these personally. On the 1st of July, 1942, my great uncle along with 1053 Australian prisoners of war were drowned when the submarine USS Sturgeon with its final torpedo, sank the SS Montevideo Maru in the South China sea. The Montevideo was a Japanese auxiliary ship that was transporting Australian prisoners of war from Rabaul, Papau New Guinea to the Chinese island of Hainan. A big loss of life in the fog of war. And since then, we’ve shared together in mistakes made in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

I know it’s a heavy thing for me to say and a heavy thing perhaps for you to hear. And these aren’t abstract geopolitical thoughts. These are national burdens, personal burdens, and I gather that’s true of all of us in some way, all of us have our own stories and how they interact with big historical events. They shape our approaches with the present reality, a reality that is growing more uncertain and fraught with danger, a reality darkened by the strategic ambitions of China and Russia and the fear of what these ambitions mean, not just for our people and for our families, but for all people around the world. Admiral Phil Davidson sounded the ships Clarkson last year when he warned that the people’s Republic of China may seize Taiwan by force within the next five years. And worse, the PRC aims to usurp US leadership at the rules based international order within the next three decades, they want to move from uni-polarity to multi-polarity and onward to a new uni-polarity.

If that sounds alarmist, the volley of Chinese missiles fired over Taiwan last month should focus our minds. Authoritarian powers are on the move, energized by revisionist and expansionist ambitions as they struck their no limits partnership in February this year Xi and Putin created a strange new monster. We see its carnage in the atrocities of Buka and its menacing missiles streaking across the Taiwan Strait. This monster nurses a hard grievance against America and the global order she protects and our response to it is conflicted because of our economic dependence and our internal disunity. And if we can speak of external threats plainly, let us admit the internal threats may be even more dangerous. Economic disorder fueled by inflation, supply chain fragility and energy shortages. These tensions are tearing at the fabric of our democracies. Many among us are no longer confident of truth, tradition and our democratic values.

It was predicted in 1994 by Swarthmore College Professor, James Kurth. He took issue with Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations thesis by arguing that the real clash would happen within the West itself, that as the enlightenment project of modernity buckled under post-modernism, the West would break down into two tribes, the pre-modern and the post-modern, neither tribe is overly enthusiastic about classical liberalism. Consensus on fundamental questions of humanity, justice and politics began to fade and back then this was happening in our universities, but it was more of an elite preoccupation. The toxins are in the mainstream now, seeping through the media in entertainment, in our schools and in our families. It has brought disruption and this has political consequences for the Western body politic. It makes it harder for our leaders and policy makers to deal with the strategic challenges ahead. Put starkly, if we can’t agree on basic definitions of gender, how can we possibly agree on national strategy?

If we can’t agree on Western values, how can we defend the West? If we look up from the cultural chaos at home, we see China encroach on Taiwan and Russia on Eastern Europe. And in this moment, we are looking to the US leadership for the next move. And I accept historian Williamson Murray’s view that only great powers do grand strategy, the rest of us middle or smaller powers respond to those strategies. As a Singaporean official once said to me, “In the market for influence and might, we are price takers.” And the question of the decade ahead is this, whose grand strategy will prevail? The United States or the people’s Republic of China? Who will shape the global order? Will it be a global order shaped by a US led network of democratic states, albeit imperfect? Or a global order imposed by and tethered to a one party authoritarian surveillance state?

This outcome will affect millions of people around the world, it is existential for the Taiwanese people, but it’s not just our friends in Taiwan that are under the gun. As Congressman Gallagher has said, “What happens there will not stay there.” So for America, your friends are waiting for you to lead and soon, some voices even herald the death of us strategic primacy and global leadership. You don’t have to look far for an obituary on the US global order. We hear this kind of strategic pessimism, not from China, but back home in Australia. Last month, Professor Hugh White published an essay titled, Sleepwalk to War: Australia’s Unthinking alliance with America. He argues China’s rise is inevitable and will soon eclipse the United States in economic and military power. According to White, it’s therefore time to compromise and share power. Australia, as America’s trusted friend, should counsel the United States to seed the sphere of East Asia to China and with it, our Taiwanese friends.

He asks us to walk away from an island democracy like our own and to push away its protector. He speaks of the appalling choice between abandoning Taiwan or waging a conventional war. A war he does not think America has the resolve to win. In his words, “To be brutally realistic, we need to abandon Taiwan to Beijing and with it, any strategic ambiguity that remains.” This is a chilling conclusion and a provocative one. And as you can imagine, he’s drawn heavy fire from both sides of the political aisle. Two of Australia’s former Prime Ministers have responded vigorously. One of them, Dr. Kevin Rudd from the center left of Australian politics has taken a sledge hammer to White’s assumptions and presumptions about China, about Australia, about the US, about the measures of their economies, their strategies, and their strength of resolve calling White’s thesis and i quote, “Intellectually arrogant futurology from the Lord Halifax appeasement faction of the green left.”

And to be very clear, they are his words and not mine. And having received a tongue lashing from Dr. Rudd in the past, I allowed myself a smile at his latest broad broadside. These are big questions that merit our full engagement. Dr. Rudd is right though, we shouldn’t overestimate China’s capabilities, nor should we underestimate the unified power of America and her friends. Instead, Rudd offers an alternative to White’s strategic capitulation, what he calls managed strategic competition, or if you like acronyms MSC. To deal with the reality of China’s growth and assertiveness, Rudd proposes vibrant strategic competition within a set of minimum guardrails to reduce the risk of escalation, crisis, conflict and war. He claims that managed appropriately, we can accept the reality of competition with China as we limit the risks of escalating to war. I must say that managed strategic competition is a far more compelling view than White’s anemic realism.

Rudd calls it capitulation. Now there’s a new word for you. But for MSC to work in closing, there are a number of things that need to happen. First, the United States must develop a grand strategy that outlasts congressional and presidential electoral cycles, and that can weather the worst of any domestic political disagreements. This asks a lot, I know, but it is vital. The eyes of the world are on the United States, watching the hesitancy, lack of resolve and weakness, signals of American decline, disinterest and demise. People are asking, are our long term interest better served by closer cooperation with the people’s Republic of China or do we stick with the United States? We know the answer, but only a strong and engaged United States leading the way can make it a reality for those who are wavering on the fence. Second, America’s allies must take responsibility for safeguarding their own sovereignty and prosperity.

Sovereignty cannot be outsourced, this is an obvious lesson from Ukraine. Nations must look to their own defense. We must build up our hard power because as President Reagan said, “Military strength is a prerequisite to peace and we must maintain this strength in the hope that it will never be used,” but we need America’s strength and partnership, and AUKUS is a great start. Our decision to acquire nuclear powered submarines with both bold and historic. It is a powerful signal that we are going to take responsibility for ourselves and the security of our neighbors. We need to move though, at warp speed, time is not on our side. America’s industrial might rather, and dynamism is critical to delivering those submarines, not in 20 years, but within the next decade, ideally sooner. Many more nations are pondering similar decisions about defense and America has a role to play in guiding and building this uplift in sovereign capability.

Many hands are needed for this heavy work, but America has a distinct leadership role in this task. Finally, our relationships really do matter. They are a unique advantage in geopolitics. I mentioned how Mike and I met four years ago. Our friendship has grown over four years and yielded other important partnerships across the world, including with Senator James Paterson here. It’s been great working with him over the last week to build those relationships. We need thousands more friendship like ours across government and across other countries. We need greater investment from the United States in the Pacific Islands in places like Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. And your state department has been renewing these key relationships and we can help with that. But America has to invest and commit, or the relationships as we have seen will be vulnerable to less benign partners. And America has a natural advantage here.

You don’t default to strategic coercion in your diplomacy. People migrate towards democracy, not away from it. I was reminded of this on Monday night, as I enjoyed dinner with Thae Yong-ho, North Korea’s Former Deputy Ambassador to the UK who with his family defected to South Korea in 2016, an incredible story of courage. He now serves as a member of the National Assembly of South Korea, was a reminder that people run towards democracy and they run away from autocracy. They’ll even risk their lives for it. We need this kind of bravery, now more than ever, we need the US to exercise strong democratic leadership at home and abroad, much depends upon it. Look forward to the panel discussion. Thanks again for having me.

Peter Rough:
Well, thanks so much for that, I’d say rousing call to reject decline by knowing ourselves and to see our opponents for who they are and our enemies for who they are. My name is Peter Rough, a senior fellow here and it’s my honor to quarterback this session, that’s American for moderate, the panel. And I’d like to welcome all those tuning in from Australia. I suspect if it includes your boys, given the time, something’s gone horribly wrong on bedtime, but hello to Australia and hello to our friend and colleague John Lee, who’s watching from Sydney, virtually. I’m joined in the flesh though by two Hudson colleagues, Patrick Cronin is our Asia Pacific Security Chair. It’s actually remarkable that he is at Hudson, because if you glance at his bio, you can see that he tends to work at places with spiffy acronyms. He does like acronyms, per the MSC.

He’s worked at IISS, USIP, CNAS. In government, he worked at USAID on the MCC. So for those of you wondering what that is, I’ll keep you in suspense and let you consult Dr. Google, but suffice to say he really is one of America’s foremost experts on Asian Pacific Security. And so thank you, Patrick, for taking the time to join us. I’m also joined by Bryan Clark, who is the Director of our Center on Defense Concepts and Technologies. Bryan, appropriately given the anniversary of AUKUS is a former submariner. I don’t know if you’re ever a former submariner, he is a submariner.

You retired from the United States Navy in 2008. From 2004 to 2011, he was on the Navy headquarters staff and he’s served as Special Assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations and Director of the Commander’s Action Group. Both of them have many accolades to their name, I just urge you to consult hudson.org for more details on them. But with that, perhaps I would just open by asking each of you to reflect on Andrew Hastie’s speech and give us your views on what you have to say. Patrick, I’ll turn to you first.

Patrick Cronin:
Well, it’s a speech to be savored, I mean, to be read. So I will react to it, but I haven’t read it before. It’s an inspirational call to arms. And I appreciate that. We need that kind of inspirational leadership coming from political leaders in our democracies, Mike Gallagher’s one in our own democracy here, and we need them on both sides of the aisle. And that’s the great thing about the US-Australian alliance. And then somebody who’s followed this for decades is that you have to go back to Gough Whitlam to find a crisis in the alliance when parties change, there is depth for this alliance. And we now face these very perilous times that you’ve, I think outlined, so AUKUS is one major initiative that we need to build on because it is a technology accelerator. It’s a transformation and a harnessing of the fourth industrial revolution by two leading democracies in the end of Pacific, plus the United Kingdom in Europe, coming in and bringing their technology.

So all of that is pointing the way, and I think your speech has given us the kind of ballast and the framework and the foundation on which to build the specifics of it, which are very, very tough, very hard day to day fights that go on in Navies, in bureaucracies, in our politics, not to mention in the region where China has a very strong information campaign. Russia is right behind them when you think about some of the things they’re doing with misinformation, so we have a lot of challenges, but I am also an optimist that we can meet these challenges with this kind of leadership.

Bryan Clark:
I’m incredibly encouraged. I mean, I think it shows the value of the alliance. I think it shows that we need to stop being negative and resign ourselves to the perspective of Hugh White and others, that we need to accept the fact that China’s going to be the rising power and we need to recede and let that become Chinese hegemonic region. I think that it’s encouraging that we need to think about the alliance and the tools that we do have available to us, so our relationship, our friendship, our operational innovation, I think sometimes we fail to take advantage of the great conceptual development and tactical development that happens between the Australian and US forces and the fact that that can give us an advantage against a country like China militarily that would enable us to be able to deter and defeat them in combat.

So I think the focus on the alliance and the strength that provides us is really encouraging to me. And I think sometimes we need to step back and think about our strengths and what we can leverage, as opposed to thinking about where we fall short in terms of overall military capacity or perceived capability and talk ourselves out of… And essentially self deter ourselves. So it was very encouraging to hear the inspirational remarks that you had.

Peter Rough:
Well, let me just dig down then, and I’ll start with Patrick and perhaps you could react to this, but also I’ll stay with the theme of acronyms since it seems to be appropriate here. And I was just thinking of some of the agreements the US has pushed in the Asia Pacific. If it’s the I2, U2, the Quad, APEC, now there’s an Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, IPEF, how does AUKUS fit into that from the point of view of Washington? And how does Australia see Washington coming into the region under the Biden administration, perhaps the alternative view for you?

Patrick Cronin:
Every administration looks for initiatives, they want to call their own, but there are some things that are truly a step up. And I think the Australia-US, UK-US AUKUS Defense Partnership is indeed an impressive step up because I mentioned it is this sort of technology accelerator. It is an investment in the United States. There was a very critical piece in the Lowy Institute, in the interpreter that you may have seen this past week on AUKUS. So you’re right, the criticism from within the Australian mainstream is that on AUKUS, is that somehow this is Australia becoming an adjunct to the US Navy, wasting lots of money, alienating the options for dealing with China in other ways, and not addressing the capabilities gap that’s in the Australian military, in the coming decade or 15 years. And while there’s some validity to these points and I respect the kind of national fervor that’s coming behind these sentiments, it completely misses the fact that America’s taking a big gamble on Australia.

We’re not talking about just any technology transfer here. This doesn’t happened every day, and we’re talking not just about nuclear propulsion, we’re talking about technology written large because that’s driving so much of this century. Are we going to get ahead of it? Are we going to harness it at the university level and the governments and the militaries together with allies and partners? Or are we not going to do that? Are we going to seed that ground? That’s the choice. And I think AUKUS is… I don’t want to build it up too much because it’s a long term plan. It’s not just be impatient, “I haven’t heard any details for the last 12 months” and it’s not all going to be solved in six months from now, when they finally reveal, is it astute or Virginia class, or what combination of these subs or what’s the future… That’s just the beginning of the next stage of the debate.

This is a long term investment in our common values and our shared interests in a very, very challenging region. So I think AUKUS is different from even the Indo-Pacific economic framework, which is a critical aspect of the crucial economic framework that we’ll fight for the future, but in and of itself it’s not as important even as AUKUS, our overall trade in economics and trading rules, those are more important. But IPEF is still at this point, just a discussion. AUKUS I think, is genuinely a change. And that’s why Beijing has reacted so sharply to this. They do see this as a serious threat to their ambitions of that unilateralism post the plurilateralism stage that they’re trying to build here with Russia and others.

Bryan Clark:
So one thing I would add to that though, is that AUKUS institutionalizes a series of relationships and sharing agreements that have already been in place for decades between Australia, the US and the UK, particularly in undersea warfare. So this is an area where we have shared technology and knowhow and practiced our techniques and tactics since the Cold War. And it institutionalizes that and provides a framework to, going forward, make that technology sharing more, I guess, energized and maybe more standardized. So it’s not just on a case by case basis, but we’ve got this umbrella framework under which we can share our operational innovation and our technology. Sometimes people miss the fact that this is something that’s been going on for a while, now we’ve actually taken it and codified it in a way that’s going to allow us to get a lot more benefit from it going to the next decade.

Andrew Hastie:
Yeah, it’s been mischaracterized as a giant weapons deal, giant arms deal, and it’s far more than that as you’ve made clear, it’s a strategic framework. And I think if we get it right, then other countries can look to it as an example of how they might also achieve sovereign uplift in their defense capability. So it’s really important that we get it right. And if the three countries with all that history, can’t get it right, then there’s a problem. But for us, it has to be a whole of nation orientation. I talk to school kids now, and I say, “You need to start thinking about how you might be involved in AUKUS over the next 20 years. And it’s not just nuclear submarines, it’s quantum, it’s AI, it’s hypersonics, it’s cyber, it’s a whole range of things.”

And then there’s a whole lot of other questions that we need to answer as well. And that is immigration questions. How are we going to facilitate the movement of people between our three countries seamlessly? The movement of capital, IP, all of that has to be done securely and efficiently. So there’s a lot of things that go beyond just the transfer of nuclear technology.

Peter Rough:
Bryan, I think if I had to describe the center you lead it’s really… Works on the symbiosis of technology and strategy. So how technology drives strategy, but also how strategy has to be attuned to technology. Could you talk about some of the technologies that are underway or that should be underway that could be incorporated into AUKUS beyond the headline submarine feature? Although as a submariner, you’re also welcome to comment on that.

Bryan Clark:
So obviously the submarine is important. It’s kind of the anchor of the program. So if AUKUS doesn’t yield a nuclear submarine being assembled or built or provided to Australia at the end of it, it’s going to be perceived as not actually achieving its objective, because we’ve kind of built it up in that way. So expectations will have to be addressed. But underneath that though, there’s a lot of other technologies that are involved. So I think one thing we’re finding, obviously we talk about undersea warfare being really important to deter China because that’s a perceived weakness that they have, is their ability to defeat undersea threats, but it’s not just submarine. So there’s also unmanned technology that could be incorporated into this. One of the challenges that we’re already finding is that as China tries to defend themselves from undersea threats, they’re beginning to make that undersea environment more contested.

So we have to think about using unmanned systems to go into some of these more challenging environments where they’ve put in their own SOS arrays, or they put in their own weapons systems. Hypersonic technology that we’ve brought up is important as well. We’re looking at prompt global strike weapons that the US is developing that are land based. That would be potentially something that could be put in Australia or co-developed with Australia to be able to enable us to get a counterstrike capability from Australia. One of the challenges I think Australia has today is the inability to threaten China with a kind of retaliatory response for China’s coercive behavior against Australia. So undersea capabilities would be one mechanism to do that. Hypersonic capabilities would be another way to potentially do that. And then I’d say unmanned technologies is another big area of cooperation. There’s already efforts underway to sell large undersea vehicles that are unmanned to Australia, work that technology together.

There’s the Loyal Wingman Program underway right now with the Australian air force that would look to expand the ability of the air force to do operations in highly contested environments, by using unmanned systems to help facilitate the entry of manned platforms. And then we also talked about quantum technology. So clearly there’s opportunities here to share knowhow in computing and in sensing where there’s a lot of experience in Australia, particularly in electromagnetic spectrum operations. Can we leverage that to be able to take advantage of Australia’s geographic position to enable new operational concepts that allow us to maybe degrade or deny the ability of China to see into the south China sea? For example, using electric magnetic expect operations. So there’s a series of technology sharing arrangements that could be made that would allow new conceptual approaches to deterring and potentially defeating Chinese aggression that I think they’re all a part of what could be contained under AUKUS.

Peter Rough:
I take your point that it’s more than just a weapons deal and we’ll get to that in a second to broader strategic implications. But from Australia’s point of view, is there a class of systems or precision fires that you’re in particularly eager to get from the United States or that you want to work on under this agreement? Or is that not really the right way to think about this?

Andrew Hastie:
I think we definitely need to consider sovereign missile capability to defend ourselves. Obviously we want to be able to hold an adversary at risk. And so submarines are a critical part of that, but also sovereign defense missiles are really, really important. So they’re the two things I think that would enable us to have an effective strike capability and hold an adversary at risk.

Peter Rough:
And perhaps for all three of you, should we think of AUKUS as a model that is to be applied to other allies or other relationships or is it to be expanded to include others in, or is it really AUKUS as it stands and we’ll see how it develops over the years? We can just go down the line, maybe Patrick, you could address that first.

Patrick Cronin:
Well, the nuclear submarine propulsion is unique to right to this deal. We’ve only done this once before with the British in the 1950s, my brother-in-law was involved in that for decades and it’s a long term investment we’re making an Australia and that’s going to give Australia the ability to project power up north, where the threats are emanating. And right now China’s trying to hem in Australia. So it shadows every Navy ship from the Royal Australian Navy as Admiral Hammond made clear the other day. And it’s trying to make sure it controls cyber space and long range missiles. So giving that sovereign missile capability to Australia, I mean, helping them build their own indigenous capability and working with them, that is something that does transfer to other allies. So as Japan thinks about its counterstrike capabilities, and when you think about the maturity of the last decade or plus of the Japan, Australia, US security ties, that’s a possibility. You could involve others, maybe the Koreans, maybe some other European countries and maybe ultimately others in Southeast Asia, but that’s a big challenge right now.

Indonesia is a very politically sensitive issue on the cusp of wanting to be the leader of a nonaligned movement that is kind of trying to break out of the China-US rivalry. And Australia has to be extremely mindful of that. And China and Beijing and Moscow are both preying upon those political sensitivities in Jakarta. I do think that the technology side of this though is separate from the nuclear propulsion, is where we can grow these relations. And that’s where this does rhyme. That’s where you can bring in quad countries plus essentially for these things. If Australia builds a DARPA, then suddenly we can have the two-way flow between the United States in Australia that we have with the UK and we can grow that through the university system and through education, through government programs. So there are a lot of things we can do on the technology front. If you think about this as, again, this transfer of knowledge and buildup of each other’s knowledge of the fourth industrial revolution, that’s really where it’s the non-nuclear capabilities, even while we’re trying to help a non-nuclear state building nuclear submarine.

Bryan Clark:
Yeah. And I think looking at other countries, the model would be different. Obviously it’s not going to benefit from being in the Five Eyes construct and having the existing technology sharing relationships we have between Australia, the US and the UK. But if could look at the Republic of Korea, they’re looking for space capabilities, there could be opportunities to share technologies with them that relate to space. And then Japan obviously could benefit from unmanned technologies that the US has fielded and perfected. So I think there’s opportunities for technology sharing that you could think about AUKUS height of model being applied to other countries with just a different technology sharing arrangement, which will be more challenging because they don’t benefit from that Five Eyes construct.

One other thing I’ll mention though, is I think sometimes the people side of this gets lost and that there’s a huge knowledge sharing dimension to this in terms of operational knowledge. So it’s what we share between our existing militaries between the US, UK and Australia, is operational knowledge as well. We do, for example, in the submarine force our prospective commanding officers go up against Collins class submarines in their training and that’s part of our existing regimen. So there’s a lot of operational knowledge that get shared. And I think part of what AUKUS provides is a framework within which that operational sharing can be done alongside the technology. And that may be operational knowledge is something we could also be thinking about sharing with other countries.

Andrew Hastie:
I think we also have to be mindful that we don’t unsettle our Asian partners as well as we do this. One of the really important things is building the regional networks that have kept Australia in good stead for the last half century as well. And I think one of the costs of our approach to COVID was that a lot of those relationships atrophied with the lack of travel and the way we did business. So as we pursue AUKUS, we also have to pursue deeper and closer ties with neighbors like Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, countries that in my previous role as Assistant Defense Minister, I had planned to travel to as part of diplomacy, a diplomatic effort. And I was unable to, because of our COVID restrictions.

Peter Rough:
You mentioned earlier that you’ve been here for a few days, and I know you’ve had meetings with eminent members of Congress and you’re here with Senator Paterson. Can you tell us a little bit what you’re hearing about the Australian American alliance from the hill and from administration officials, maybe what Mike Gallagher is saying behind closed doors, but not at the podium?

Andrew Hastie:
Look, I think it’s very strong. I’ve I’ve been to DC quite a few times since I was first elected in 2015 and it feels very strong. We had a great meeting yesterday with a number of Congressmen of both sides of the House, and it’s good. I’m coming away confident that we can do this, regardless of who’s in government, who has the House, who has the Senate, there is uniform support for AUKUS and the alliance. And I think we can be encouraged by that.

Peter Rough:
And to reverse that through the flip side, what’s the view of American Canberra? Is it as positive as we would hope? Are there worries about America withdrawing from the world retrenchment? Or how do you perceive the United States in Australia?

Andrew Hastie:
Yeah. I think looking at the US, I am concerned that domestic concerns consume energy that would otherwise be spent having a positive force in the Indo-Pacific region, which is why my speech addressed that. Sure, we have internal challenges ourselves, which are seen in the UK and other leadership change. We went through several of our own over the last decade and there is an absolute cost to that, a strategic cost because it distracts you from the main game. So from a Canberra perspective, yeah, I want the US to lead. I want it out there in the world as a positive force for good.

Peter Rough:
Are there places you can see the relationship going beyond AUKUS? I know the alliance sometimes is now, I don’t want to say overshadowed, but it’s certainly dominated by discussion of AUKUS, so there are other initiatives maybe you’re picking up in Washington or that are being considered in Australia that might go beyond that perhaps in the economic front, that would be worthwhile?

Andrew Hastie:
Lots of economic opportunity, I think rare earths, investing in processing in Australia, particularly in Western Australia, there’s a hyper concentration of rare earth processing in China. We’re also transitioning under the current government to 82% renewables by 2030. Now I won’t make a comment on my own views on that, but the reality is that the vast majority of solar and wind is made in China. And so just as Europe is becoming more dependent on gas, the last thing we want to do by 2030 is become dependent upon Chinese renewables and therefore vulnerable to coercion. So again, the US is at a space where you can invest in renewable energy to be exported around the world as well.

Peter Rough:
The solar panels are made in China, but the sun shines in Australia, right?

Andrew Hastie:
Indeed.

Peter Rough:
I think we’d like to open up to questions from the audience as well. So if you want to alert me that you’d like to ask a question, please do so. I know the first question is going to go to my colleague Zineb. And if you could just introduce yourself, I think a microphone is making its way to you before you ask a question.

Zineb Riboua:
Thank you. My name is Zineb, I’m a Research Associate and Program Manager at the Center for the Middle East at the Hudson. I was wondering if you could talk to us more about Australia, because I’ve read recently that Australia isn’t just interested in the maritime domain through AUKUS, but it’s also interested in space domain and that it created recently the… Its own force. So I was wondering why now, why it is important. And if you could just explain more. Thank you.

Andrew Hastie:
Sure. So we did start a space command and we want to be a very reliable partner to the US given there’s a number of assets in Australia, one of which you’d be well familiar, Pine Gap in Alice Springs in Central Australia. And it’s a difficult conversation to have given the sophistication, the compartments and all the rest of it. But suffice to say, we want to continue to be a good partner and we’re going to turn over to some of our American friends here because one thing I always say to my staff is you can’t outthink the think-tankers.

Peter Rough:
Well, we’ve got space force, right?

Bryan Clark:
That’s right. So Australia has a very strong space capability and the US has a lot of shared relationships with Australia when it comes to both space and communications capabilities. So a lot of our communication… We have communications stations that are down in Australia that service the Southern hemisphere and that we rely on in the Ind-Pacific. So I think both for… Mostly for monitoring and some for launch, but mostly for monitoring of on-orbit space assets, the US and Australia already share capabilities that are resident in Australia. I think there’s already us space force people that are in Australia serving today. So it’s certainly an area where could be… There’s going to be more integration and probably won’t hear very much about it publicly as a result of the AUKUS agreement, but that’s certainly an area of technology sharing that already exists.

Patrick Cronin:
I’d simply make the point that Australia’s a rising power. I mean, you have to look at Australia as a top 10 country in the world in this century and it needs comprehensive power. And it’s recognized some of the shortfalls, including in space in missiles and it’s starting to address these issues. And the United States as a key ally is going to be helping every step of the way. And we’re not going to be the only ally helping, it’ll be working with other like-minded countries around the world. So it’s a trend that’s been long in the works actually yet, it’s interesting because the missing nuclear industry in Australia, this is a gap that is now being built up almost from scratch and they’re making steady progress in sort of the work they’re doing.

Peter Rough:
Yes ma’am.

Jen Hanley:
Hi, thanks. It’s great to see you all. Jen Hanley with L3Harris Technologies. Understanding that AUKUS is a long term strategy, it seems to me that operationalization of it is actually really going to hinge on internal bureaucratic structures, especially within the United States, harmonization of export policies, labor policies, IP sharing agreements and frameworks. We’ve seen past administrations invest time and effort and Congress… I think that Congressman Gallagher may have had to depart, but invest in things like the creation of the national technology industrial base and expansion of it, but not really see things mature to fruition. And this is really a question for you, Bryan and Patrick, do we see the Biden administration really making the investments that they need to within the agencies to make this work? Or what suggestions would you have for them to see that we can actually do what we say we’re going to do given the lofty aspirations here?

Bryan Clark:
Right. So I’ll say-

Peter Rough:
You’re also welcome to criticize our bureaucracy.

Bryan Clark:
So I’ll say first of all, the anchoring of AUKUS in the nuclear submarine allowed that to be the Vanguard force, if you will, which made it a little bit easier because there’s already existing legislation that allows you to share that technology with an ally, which we’ve done with the UK and taking that and extending it to Australia is a fairly straightforward matter. The challenge will come in other technologies. So unmanned technology we’ve shared with Australia and there’s been some examples of that, so the Ghost Bat Program, which is part of Loyal Wingman is sort of been again, another pioneer in that area to sort of work through the different technology control regimes that surround that. But I think it’s going to… It that’s ends up being a very much a tactical grinding effort to get a program. That’s going to be the Vanguard that’s going to test out, are we going to be able to share this technology with another country, with Australia?
And then just go through that with each of these technology areas. So we’ve done that now with the nuclear technology that’s being shared in AUKUS. I think Loyal Wingman has been forging that path when it comes to unmanned aerial vehicles. And now we’re going to have to see about doing that in undersea vehicles as well. But I think it seems like we’re making progress there. And it’s the result of having specific programs that can act as the pioneer along those lines, but it kind of shows the difficulty of doing those other countries. If we didn’t have such a concerted effort to do that with Australia, we would not be breaking through all these barriers.

Jen Hanley:
And if I can, it seems to me that because we have to keep doing test projects to figure out how to manipulate the bureaucracy, to make it work. That at some point the conversation needs to pivot to, is the framework we’re using the correct one or there things that we need to do, permanent changes, to really operationalize the type of partnership we need for success?

Bryan Clark:
Right. Which is why I think the idea of working through this in the AUKUS model might allow us to get a framework that could be applied to other countries, but you have to work through a bunch of case studies if you will, which is what we’re doing right now.

Jen Hanley:*
Thank you.

Andrew Hastie:
And perhaps at a parliamentary level or a congressional level, we need to come up with select committees for AUKUS where the enabling legislation for all these things to happen is acted upon and there’s an unblinking eye looking at this problem. And I don’t think we’re there yet.

Bryan Clark:
Right.

Peter Rough:
Mike Doran.

Mike Doran:
Thanks. Mike Doran from Hudson. Can I ask you about… All of you, but first Andrew Hastie, could I ask you about the Solomon Islands? I saw that recently they turned away an American ship, they’re building ports there that could very easily be turned into Naval ports for the Chinese Navy. It doesn’t seem to me that, and I could be wrong, I’d like to hear if I am, that AUKUS is going to be an answer to that problem and that if that problem proliferates around the region, we’re going to have a really huge strategic problem. And I’d like to know how we can address that in the short term. Thanks.

Andrew Hastie:
Well, James and I have been participating in the international parliamentary alliance on China over the last couple of days, and we’ve had 30 nations represented, a very diverse mix of parties. And we had some friends from the Pacific of Fijian representative who said yesterday, “Effectively Australia and New Zealand, you deserted us and China moved in.” And I think that’s the challenge for us is to reengage, not just the Solomons, but all our Pacific partners, their sovereign nations, treat them with the respect, reach out and work with them. And I think that’s the first thing that we need to do. And there has been neglect and I was actually taken aback with the comment that it was well made and well received. So that’s the first thing we need to do. And then secondly, to offset some of those challenges, the previous government announced enhanced basing in Australia for US Naval assets, US air assets. And so potentially we’re going to see a greater circulation of the US military through our shores, which is of course a good thing for us all.

Peter Rough:
How dramatic of a setback is the Solomon Islands issue? I mean, it gets a one New York times coverage in the US, but from afar, it’s hard to judge. How serious do you think this is?

Andrew Hastie:
Yeah, I think it’s very serious and it’s a very sensitive issue and I’m just mindful of our relationships there suffice to say, we’ve got a lot of work to do, and we need the US alongside us. A lot of blood and treasure from the United States was shared in the Pacific war, particularly in those islands. And so, you can’t walk away from it, we can’t walk away from it and we’ve got to treat people as partners. People are very sensitive to the way they’ve been treated by great powers over the last a hundred years. And that requires new thinking and a real sensitivity, which requires sophistication, not just from our diplomats, but also our political leaders.

Peter Rough:
Go ahead.

Patrick Cronin:
Yep. Peter, I mean the real concern about the Solomon Islands is China’s intentions. It’s an indicator of how aggressive China’s willing to be, to press its advantage and undermine Australian sort of initiatives, even before they’re hatched or come to fruition, including AUKUS. If you didn’t have the Sogavare Government being corrupt and being able to be co-opted by China, you’d have others. And yet right now, this week in fact, in Hawaii tomorrow, Australia, the United States taking a leadership role in mobilizing the Pacific Island Forum Nations. You’ll remember back a few weeks ago when Foreign Minister Wang Yi went through and did his tour of the region, he was trying to solidify a multilateral security pack.

He failed in that. He failed. That took diplomacy. That took a lot of things that are not AUKUS, that are all about working the sort of the back rooms and the discussions and Penny Wong and other Australian leaders get full marks for pressing quickly into that space and kind of stopping this from being worse. But it’s an indicator. This is the beginning of a long term Chinese press against our allies and partners all the way to Australia and the Solomons may or may not be with China in five years. But right now it is definitely an indicator of the threat that China poses all the way down to Australia.

Peter Rough:
And our Australian colleague, John Lee’s done a lot of work on elite capture. That might be a typical case study for it.

Andrew Hastie:
And if I could add, the geography is critical because we might have a strategic alliance with the United States, but this is what World War II was about. That geography could have cleaved us operationally from the United States. And so yes, those Pacific Islands, they’re partners, but also it’s critical geography, just the same way the artificial reefs or artificial islands that were built on the reefs and out holes in the South China sea have changed the game, deep water ports, servicing the POAn could be a real problem for us.

Bryan Clark:
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it gives them a way to maintain presence in an area that they previously had not had as much operations in. So you’re going to see a lot more POA operations out of what we would call out of area by taking advantage of the Solomons and other port. And it changes the narrative, it changes the perception around the south Pacific Islands of what China’s place is and that they’re now a player.

Peter Rough:
Our colleague from the Finnish Embassy, I think is next in line.

Mari Etelapaa:
Thank you so much. Very interesting. I’m fascinated by the fact that the China example is sometimes the situation in the Indo-Pacific is sometimes seen in parallel with what’s happening in Europe, Ukraine. I don’t pretend that to be a parallel situation, but some people obviously compare and draw conclusions. I’d be interested to hear what kind of conclusions have you drawn from that situation in Australia in terms of the Indo-Pacific region.

Andrew Hastie:
The conclusions from Ukraine’s experience?

Mari Etelapaa:
Yes, current situation, the Russian attack and Ukraine war.

Andrew Hastie:
Well, we’re one of the… We are the biggest non-NATO contributor to Ukraine, and we understand that preserving Ukrainian sovereignty is critical because it sends a message to anyone else who would seek to undermine sovereignty of countries in the Indo-Pacific region. So very recently I was in London and the Taiwanese made the same point. They’re really invested in what happens in Ukraine because they think about themselves. So as I said, we need to return to sort of timeless truths that have served us well, geography matters, human nature still matters, power matters, and we have to be able to defend ourselves. We have to stand for who we are as people, we have to stand strong, which means we invest in hard power uplifting our defense capability, but we must stand together, which is why it’s so important that US provides that leadership with like-minded democratic states.

Peter Rough:
The gentleman in the front.

Mark Kenny:
Thank you. And thank you, John and Peter for putting this together and inviting industry to this event. Mark Kenny, L3Harris. To shift gears much like the question that was just asked by our Finnish friend, when you look at the past year, year and a half, and I’m talking more about the withdrawal from Afghanistan, recently at the SOCOM change of command, where many of your contemporaries were there, which is usually a very high spirited event, there was somewhat a cloud hanging over, because it was the one year anniversary of the IS-KP bombing at Karzai’s International Airport where the US lost 11 Marines, 1 Corpsman and 1 soft soldier. And discussion was of obviously lost comrades, expended treasure and the humiliating withdrawal. What is your personal perspective? And again, I thank you for your continuous service, especially in theater, your personal view of that and within the nation of Australia on the willingness of the US to hang in there, especially in light of the article you referred to by Mr. White, that said, “Maybe the best bet is not on the US.” So could you address that please? Thank you.

Andrew Hastie:
Sure. Well, as an Afghan veteran myself, having lost friends and seeing how much blood and treasure was spent in Afghanistan, it was very hard to watch all the gains over the last 20 years be lost in the space of a month or so. But I think the… So personally, tough, but the strategic point was, yes, it made people think twice about not just US resolve, but the resolve of the West. And the thing that autocratic states like China and Russia have, is resolve. And it’s being tested obviously in Ukraine now for the Russians, but certainly it was an important moment and that’s partly informed my speech. We want to see America leading with confidence because it stiffens everyone else who’s thinking, “Oh, who should we bet with for our future?” And I think it should be the US, not the people’s Republic of China.

Mark Kenny:
Do you think it emboldened Putin and Ukraine and potentially embolden Xi for a future move on Taiwan?

Andrew Hastie:
Look, it’s hard to divine what motivates them, but certainly it was a massive setback for all of us and I would therefore say most likely.

Mark Kenny:
Thank you.

Peter Rough:
I’ve noticed that in… I go to Europe a lot and talking to the Europeans, one of the biggest factors in what is at the very least a gradual turn, if not an outright shift in thinking about China has been the role of Australia. And I say that because oftentimes when Americans warn about the dangers of Xi or the Chinese Communist Party, some eyes in Europe glaze over and they think here come to the Americans again with their hawkish drum beat. But the experience of, I think, European militaries and the Indo-Pacific docking in Australia, visiting Australia and hearing from our Australian friends, the pressure they’ve come under, whether it be united front activities in Australia, or the list of demands that the Chinese openly made to your media on basic matters of domestic governance. “If you don’t switch on these, then there’ll be held to pay on trade.”

Obvious, clear customs aggression against your goods and a variety of other sort of transgressions, one asked to say, does Australia think of itself at all as a translator or of sort the American mindset to the Europeans, or as almost a sort of connective tissue between American strategic thought and the Europeans? Do you have that experience at all or is that taking it a step maybe too far?

Andrew Hastie:
No. We have had a massive pivot over the last five years. And I’d say it started with James threatening to cross the floor to scuttle the China extradition treaty in 2017. I was in the room where he put that to the foreign minister, which didn’t go too well at the time, but look, it shot the extradition treaty down. And then after that, we passed the espionage and foreign interference laws, which was about safeguarding the integrity of our democracy. So modernizing espionage foreign interference laws to counter some of the more opaque practices that were being deployed in our country. We introduced to Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme, which was a bit like the farer laws that you have here. We made the decision on 5G, banning Huawei from 5G. We introduced the Foreign Relations Act, which meant that the federal government could override state local governments who enter into BRI strategic arrangements as the Victorian government did.

So we’ve got a really strong record and Europeans are very, very interested in how we did it. And of course, there’s our record in standing strong when we came under very, very forceful economic pressure, they know our politics very well. So they targeted our beef producers, our barley producers, our wheat producers, our wine produces, and we still stood strong. And then we were issued a list of 14 demands. Every demand was something contrary to who we are as a people and our values, shutting down free speech for example, having no free press, giving way to Huawei for our 5G. So in many respects, we’re quite proud of our record. We’ve got more to do. We’re not perfect of course, but in terms of recovering our sovereignty and building our resilience going forward, we are a good case study for European partners.

Peter Rough:
And how should the United States think about Europe in the region? As a force multiplier? As a strategic asset? Should they be focused more on their own near abroad in the Mediterranean, since there are limited resources in play, rather than sailing out in Indo-Pacific, not that would deter the French, they consider themselves an Indo-Pacific power, of course, but with major holdings there. But how does Washington think about this? How should we think about it in the context of the US-Australian alliance, Bryan?

Bryan Clark:
Clearly European countries feel that they have interest in the Asia Pacific or Indo-Pacific, and France in particular has a lot of holdings there, but Germany also feels like they’ve got a strong tie to countries that are out there. Other countries in Europe, routinely operate in the region, but their interests are broader than that. And Patrick can obviously talk to that more economic and diplomatic interests in the region. So they have to be involved. And I think the technology sharing arrangement that kind of AUKUS starts is the beginning of a framework for a larger relationship that European countries can come in on.
And that’s why I think expanding that AUKUS model to other countries might allow other European countries to be able to get integrated into the Asia Pacific in a more, I guess, operational and material way than just in terms of diplomatic or economic contributions, but particularly there’s countries in Europe that have strong capabilities in other technology areas like computing and Germany can do more work there. And clearly France is a lot of work that they do in space that could be very beneficial to countries like the Republic of Korea. So I think there’s a lot of other sharing that could happen in that technology and operational knowhow sense that could come from expanding the AUKUS model to other countries.

Patrick Cronin:
I mean, the enormous transfer of wealth and power and knowhow to Asia Pacific over the last half century has made it a global set of actors in the region. And Europe has belatedly woken up to that in some ways. So it’s a good thing that Europe has rediscovered the fact that they have trading interests and technology interests and information interests and values interest intersecting in the Indo-Pacific. So to see the Indo-Pacific leading democracies, embrace the NATO new strategic concept is critical. And we obviously want Europe to be able to take the lead in making sure that Europe is secure against the Russian threat for instance. And yet they also have a critical role to play in shaping the rules, in building training technology, making professional military forces, exercising in helping to keep the peace, whether it’s across the Taiwan strait or anywhere in the Indo-Pacific. And I think they have above average role to play, even though they’re relatively, still mostly focused on the European theater.

Peter Rough:
Well, Bryan, Patrick, thanks so much for joining us today. Andrew Hastie, thanks for being our star guest. As I mentioned earlier for those of you who want to learn more about both Patrick and Bryan’s work, please visit hudson.org. And if you want to learn more about Andrew Hastie, as it happens, he’s going to be at hudson.org as well, because he’ll be our next featured guest on America’s fastest growing podcast, Counterbalance with Mike Doran, nipping on the heels of the Obama Springsteen podcast. So thanks very much and we look forward to seeing you at hudson.org for future events.

Patrick Cronin:
All right.

Andrew Hastie:
Thanks, Peter.

Peter Rough:
Thanks so much.

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