Stability in the Indo-Pacific: An Australia-India-U.S Trilateral Perspective

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The Issue

This issue brief summarizes a track 1.5 dialogue that brought together Australian, Indian, and U.S. analysts and policymakers to discuss the respective countries’ views of changing regional security dynamics and the role for emerging technologies to impact—positively or negatively—strategic stability. The dialogue was held under the Chatham House Rule. Over two days of robust dialogue, participants identified growing strategic convergence on China’s increasingly aggressive behavior as a primary driver of concerns over regional stability. Discussion identified, however, that despite seeing China as a main driver of concern, the United States, Australia, and India are concerned about China’s action in different geographic areas. Participants noted growing areas of technology cooperation between them, though they also identified political, policy, and regulatory hurdles that continue to slow tech development, transfer, and equipment production. Participants noted that China’s expanded nuclear capability merits deeper thinking within and among each of the three capitals about the possibility that China could change its nuclear strategy or doctrine—and the potential implications of such a change.


In 2022, CSIS convened a track 1.5 dialogue of Australian, Indian, and U.S. experts to examine emerging threats and strategic stability in the Indian Ocean region. The discussion included analysts and former practitioners as well as several serving government officials from participating countries. The first session in June convened virtually. The second engagement convened in person in October. The engagements were held under the Chatham House Rule. Discussions revealed several specific areas of concern. Many but not all concerns focused on China. They included the following:

  • China’s conventional military modernization
  • China’s non-transparent conventional and nuclear force changes
  • China’s demonstrated willingness to use force—such as at India’s border with China—to assert its claims
  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

This report summarizes key discussions, findings, and recommendations stemming from the dialogues. Unless otherwise identified, all quotations used in this document were from dialogue participants. They are uncredited here to respect the dialogue ground rule for non-attribution under the Chatham House Rule.

Summary of Findings

Regional security dynamics are changing quickly. The most important observation from the discussion is that security dynamics in the Indo-Pacific (both the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean region) are changing quickly. The changes are in large part driven by China’s long-term investments in a more capable military, assertive diplomacy, and interdependent trade relationships. China’s unwillingness to participate in existing mechanisms to reduce risk of nuclear conflict or exchange, as well as its lack of interest in engaging in bilateral discussions on arms control, leave few meaningful opportunities for dialogue on conflict risk or conflict avoidance.

Close alignment of leaders. Growing concern about deteriorating regional stability and China’s role are driving close alignment among many regional leaders. Few have a closer alignment than the United States, Australia, India, and Japan. The four countries, collectively referred to as “the Quad,” have convened several times at the president and prime minister level over the past three years to build a positive agenda for peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region. Three Quad countries were represented in this dialogue. Aligned views among the leaders include concerns about China’s activities and approach, the international order, and China’s use of economic, diplomatic, or military power to force changes in the global system. However, close alignment is not driving sufficient bureaucratic change in the three countries. Achieving shared regional stability goals for the United States, Australia, and India will require carefully managing relationships among them, particularly given the differences between India’s approach to Russia compared with that of the United States and Australia.

Importance of industrial capacity. The fighting in Ukraine demonstrates the importance of industrial capacity to produce both “smart” and “dumb” weapons in great quantities to sustain a conflict between large militaries. This point is key for logistics and resupply efforts given the vast distances in the Indo-Pacific. Ukraine’s effective response to Russia’s invasion in early 2022, in contrast to its performance in the 2014 conflict, underscores the strategic importance of being prepared before a conflict begins, rather than waiting for the start of a conflict to initiate preparation.

Need for greater cooperation on technological development. Technology will be a necessary, but not a deciding, factor in future military confrontations. “No one technology, on its own, is likely to be a game changer.” Instead, technologies would be most impactful “in novel combination, or with novel concepts of operation.” Developing new technologies and quickly converting them to capabilities with partners will be an important determinant of future success. Relatedly, institutional capacity to be a “fast follower” will be a necessary competency, as no country will dominate the overall sphere of technology.

Concerns about nuclear weapons and deterrence. Russia threatened to use nuclear weapons, including battlefield nuclear weapons, in Ukraine. Russia’s threats were met with mixed response from the United States and France. The U.S. response, a clear articulation that nuclear weapons employment is unacceptable, contrasts with the statement by French president Macron, that France would not employ nuclear weapons in response to a nuclear attack against a non-ally. Discussion highlighted that, rather than reassuring a nuclear weapon state that it is not under nuclear threat, narrow responses like France’s may embolden leaders creating an opening where they judge nuclear employment to be worth the risk.

In addition, participants noted that China’s growing nuclear arsenal may cause it to reevaluate its current “no first use” nuclear policy. Changes to China’s nuclear doctrine could precipitate numerous defense decisions throughout the region regarding forces, posture, and investments driving toward a potential escalation spiral.


Over the two dialogue sessions in June (virtually) and October (in person), participants covered critical areas on a range of topics. This section attempts to summarize those rich discussions.

Alignment between Leaders

“Alignment between the leaders is closer than it has ever been.” Participants noted the importance of this alignment in pushing forward on key initiatives bilaterally, trilaterally, and within the Quad. The closeness of views has permeated several layers into government leaders, including ministers and their deputies. However, it has not reached the necessary “14 layers down” into the bureaucracies to convert high-level alignment to rapid execution of new initiatives. The quote describes the challenges that policymakers can face where shifts in policy—especially those that require changes in process or regulations—can sometimes be slow to occur. The result is that progress is slower than the expansive visions leaders have committed to.

Areas of Agreement

  • Leaders are aligned on the type of threat China poses: that it seeks to “become a regional, if not a global, hegemon” in ways that undermine the interests of the United States, Australia, and India.
  • All three participating countries view with concern China’s expansion and modernization of its conventional and nuclear forces. China’s willingness to use its forces to coerce or confront its neighbors heightens these worries. Though not unanimous, concerns were high regarding the risk of Chinese military activity to coerce Taiwan.
  • Senior leader alignment on the threat China poses has yet to galvanize action across the three countries’ governments. One participant put it succinctly, “Security is bringing us together, the hard edge of security. We need to couple that with cooperation on critical technology and the need to compete.”
  • India is taking a different diplomatic and strategic approach to Russia than the United States and Australia. India’s continued engagement with Russia for energy, in particular, remains a complicating factor in the relationship among the three countries. Dialogue highlighted that, so far, all three countries have successfully worked through differing approaches to the ongoing war in Ukraine, but noted that without careful management and consideration from all sides, this issue creates a risk of impeding ongoing cooperation among them.
Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. president Joe Biden, Japanese prime minister Kishida Fumio, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, and Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese arrive for their meeting during the Quad Leaders’ Summit at Kantei in Tokyo on May 24, 2022.

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Concerns about China

Participants began the discussion noting the degree to which their respective countries are concerned about China’s conventional military modernization, the modernization and expansion of China’s nuclear forces, and the lack of transparency surrounding them.

Areas of Agreement

  • China’s policies and actions—both civilian and military—are reshaping the security environment in the Indo-Pacific region. China is seen as pursuing disruptive efforts including its military modernization and employment; its aim to dominate all aspects of critical technologies; its nuclear modernization and expansion; and its willingness to use force to coerce neighbors on border issues.

    Individually, these changes could be seen as typical pursuits for a rising power. However, the compounding effect of China seeking all simultaneously was seen by participants as ominous for regional security. One participant observed, “China’s effort can only be assumed to be regional, if not global, hegemony.” Participants agreed that their countries would view such an outcome as counter to their interests.
  • Participants viewed China’s nuclear force expansion and modernization as detrimental to regional stability. “The absence of meaningful explanation or dialogue” about China’s expansion and modernization of its conventional and nuclear forces is worrisome and further detracts from stability in the region.
  • Participants noted the importance of preparing to deter—or succeed in—a conflict should China initiate one. This included developing adequate land, sea, and air forces; effective capabilities in space, cyber, and other emerging domains; and the necessary cooperative agreements and arrangements among the three countries and other like-minded states to achieve desired effects.

Areas of Difference

  • China poses a threat to current regional stability. However, the three countries do not always classify this threat the same—as one Indian participant noted, “The United States and Australia are focused on Taiwan, not watching closely India’s main concern: its northern border. The countries have different priorities.”

    Indian participants noted the dual nature of needing to defend its northern border and advance maritime capability to create sufficient defensive capability in the Indian Ocean, which is “India’s only maritime boundary.”
  • Australian participants’ greatest concerns focused on China’s economic and political coercion and interference within Australia. They expressed confidence that China’s coercive efforts against Australia have been successfully rebuffed and can serve as a model for other countries that might find themselves on the receiving end of a PRC coercion campaign. A secondary concern for Australian participants—though related to the primary defense concern—was a scenario where China used force against Taiwan.

    Additionally, Australian participants highlighted a long-standing debate about Australia’s defense capability: whether it should be used solely to defend Australia’s borders or to protect its interests beyond Australia’s borders. The latter case creates a greater priority for long-range strike capability. In all cases, Australian participants noted that Australia would uphold its alliance commitment to the United States, but that the specifics of that support could range from access to bases in Australia for operations up to combined military operations in the Western Pacific or Indian Ocean.
  • U.S. participants were most concerned with a potential PRC action against Taiwan, primarily invasion, secondarily blockade, and thirdly the potential for a more forceful gray zone campaign to destabilize Taiwan. In each of those cases, U.S. participants noted the challenges the United States would face in making a prompt political decision, then converting that decision into appropriate diplomatic, economic, and military responses.
  • Participants engaged in an exchange about the implications of the China-India border standoffs. One U.S. participant said that Washington sees “China’s border clashes as a strategic success because it reoriented India away from its pursuit of becoming a regional maritime power.” This assessment seemed to surprise—and run counter to—Australian perceptions of the standoff as a defeat for China as it showed itself as an aggressor to the region. Indian participants added that Prime Minister Modi indicated the Indian Navy will have the resources it needs for modernization.

Other Key Takeaways

  • The three countries—and other like-minded countries such as Japan—can engage in different responses that meet national objectives while contributing to collective security. Potential examples of such activities include closer collaboration on military cooperation, exercises, logistics, and access; closer efforts on priority areas for research and development, and production; and identifying ways to adapt bureaucratic processes in ways that recognize that time is no longer an abundant resource.
  • India faces a combined maritime and land border challenge; Australia a political, economic, and distant security challenge; and the United States an economic competitor with a high likelihood of attempting to change the regional status quo and undermine fundamental U.S. interests using force.
  • One participant assessed that “China is in turmoil. Its economy and supply chains are under stress. Its employment system is not working. Its financial and construction sectors appear to be fragile, and people’s savings are at risk if the previous elements continue to show cracks.” If this assessment is correct, and to the extent China’s current fragility continues or grows, it could raise an opportunity for like-minded countries to allow China’s own political decisions to impede its further growth.
Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. president Joe Biden meets virtually with members of the Quad alliance of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on March 12, 2021.

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

Technology Is Necessary but Is Not a Solution by Itself

Areas of Agreement

  • Discussions touched several times on the importance of developing and utilizing technology effectively. This included, primarily, technology’s importance in economic competitiveness, and secondarily its importance for military purposes.
  • Participants described several overall trends in technology that impact almost every country (not just those in the dialogue):
  • The pace of technology development and innovation is outstripping governments’ ability to either understand or regulate technology.
  • Technology development is, in nearly all fields, led by the private sector.
  • Governments and militaries are inept at identifying private sector technology and incorporating it into their systems.
  • Governments’ inability to understand or anticipate technology also limits their capacity to develop international normative regimes that meaningfully impact the trajectory of technology development.
  • China may be an exception to these observations as its pursuit of civil-military fusion deliberately blurs the lines between private sector and military and may allow it to both pursue militarily relevant technology and incorporate it more quickly—though the last point is acknowledged as speculative.
  • Each country in the dialogue maintains its own roster of priority technology areas. Those lists overlap in several major areas: underwater technology, both crewed and uncrewed; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance technology; artificial intelligence; hypersonic weapons and hypersonic weapon defense; space, including defense of and reconstitution; and, over the longer term, directed energy and a range of quantum technologies. Many of these technological areas are militarily or commercially sensitive, making cooperation more complicated.
  • Participants seemed to agree that technology would be a necessary, but not determining, factor in future military confrontations. One participant noted, “No one technology, on its own, is likely to be a game changer.” Instead, technologies would be most impactful “in novel combination, or with novel concepts of operation.”
  • Even with expressed doubt about the limitation of specific technologies on the future of conflict, participants were keen to increase cooperation between the three countries on development of technology and capability. Implicit in this approach is that more technologically advanced economies would be more successful and by extension have a greater economic (and technological) base to support military development.
  • Concerns among participants on the needed urgency of modernization also led to discussion that “delivering at speed is what matters.” Successful technology cooperation, one expert suggested, should work on “components before systems, systems before capabilities.” Several comments emphasized the objective of starting small so countries could “work out patterns of cooperation” before attempting more complex endeavors.
  • Overclassification of information (as distinct from intelligence) limits faster progress on a range of technology and production efforts. Discussions noted that within the U.S. government, the default seems to be marking a document with a no foreign (or NOFORN) handling instruction. For those working within the government, it is the safest because it is the most restrictive. However, those restrictions greatly inhibit future cooperation as it is time consuming to change information from NOFORN to a releasable (“REL”) state.
  • Discussions also highlighted the value of not only being the first to a technology, but, in an increasingly competitive world, developing the institutional capability to be a “fast follower.” This entails learning from others’ successes and rapidly adopting—or surpassing—the original discoverer. One participant noted that the PLA is “focused on innovating and scaling as a fast follower,” implying its goal was to rapidly incorporate technology developed by others into its operations, rather than develop its own.

Areas of Difference

  • Indian participants emphasized the importance of technology transfers to India so it can increase its domestic military capability production while simultaneously modernizing its military. Indian participants emphasized that India believed technology transfer should happen with minimal preconditions.
  • Australian participants emphasized a range of concerns regarding tech cooperation—and the restrictions on it—that inhibit Australia’s national efforts to remain interoperable with U.S. forces while satisfying its defense matériel requirements. Such issues include Australia’s efforts to acquire or build production facilities for precision-guided munitions.
  • Both Indian and Australian participants pointed out the difficulties in working through U.S. regulatory processes, such as the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations. Even successful processes can require an 18-month review. Cooperating “at speed” will necessitate faster processes, possibly based on a “presumption of approval rather than a presumption of denial.”
  • An area of marked difference was an exchange about continued Indian reliance on advanced Russian equipment, such as its S-400 missile system, and U.S. and Australian concerns that those systems could pose a security risk to U.S. or Australian systems. Discussion considered two specific concerns: first, that sensitive technical information would be exposed through system interaction (sensors or communications data), and second, that Russian contractors operating Russian systems near U.S.- or Australian-originated equipment could collect intelligence that would diminish the U.S. or Australian advantage. Indian participants recalled India’s successful history of maintaining security of foreign-acquired systems and doubted U.S. or Australian concerns would be realized.

Implications of Technology Discussion

  • Discussion focused on the importance of developing and adopting technology rapidly to deter and prevail in future conflict. Current development capabilities in the United States, Australia, and India fall short of this goal.
  • Concerns about the plausibility of tech transfer, as well as risks that efforts will be cut short due to export restrictions applied partway through the effort, limit more robust cooperation on technology development among the three countries. These issues will have to be mitigated, if not resolved, to begin cooperating at the pace and scale necessary to achieve leaders’ goals.
  • U.S. participants voiced concerns that requests for technology transfers often originate from partner governments to the United States. The U.S. government, however, “cannot direct companies to share their technology or set up business.” Additionally, one U.S. participant shared their frustration that even when the United States fast-tracks approval for capabilities requested by India, India sometimes chooses another bidder for the capability, creating questions within the United States as to whether the effort to fast-track a decision is worthwhile given other competing global priorities.
Photo: Money Sharma/AFP/Getty Images

Lloyd Austin, U.S. secretary of defense, and Rajnath Singh, India’s defense minister, during a joint news conference at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi, India, on Saturday, March 20, 2021.

Photo: Money Sharma/AFP/Getty Images

Great Power Conflict Will Require Greater Industrial Capacity


  • The war in Ukraine demonstrates that militaries in future wars will need to draw on significant stocks of precision-guided munitions. Close fighting will require enormous quantities of traditional munitions, including artillery and small arms ammunition.
  • Against this assessment, U.S. and Australian participants noted that their countries lacked adequate production facilities to create “magazine depth” as well as insufficient industrial capacity to ramp up production of those capabilities once a conflict began.
  • According to one comment early in the discussions, future war will be a “massive expenditure of munitions, production, and resupply” based on current industrial manufacturing capacity. “We just don’t have that [capacity].” Efforts to address that manufacturing shortfall are beginning in the United States and Australia, but do not seem to be happening at sufficient scope or pace to meet potential conflict timelines.
  • Recent unclassified wargaming by CSIS suggests that the United States could run out of precision munitions in the first week or two of a major conflict. One participant suggested that in certain stocks, the United States might “run out in less than a week.”
  • India’s assessment was mixed, claiming it retained substantial capacity to produce “basic” equipment such as ammunition and tanks. Indian participants noted India’s limitation in production such as precision-guided munitions or advanced air capabilities.
  • Participants agreed that their countries’ governments continue to engage in exercises of peacetime bureaucratic complacency regarding technology control, technology transfer, and company-to-company partnerships. Yet, the time to reverse those trends is now if they are to meet expected future needs.
  • The United States, Australia, and India are working to expand domestic production of such munitions and include efforts to create surge capacity. However, “precision-guided munitions take 18 months, in some cases, to produce.” The consequence is that waiting for the onset of conflict to activate contingency production makes those plans too late.
  • Creating additional standing production is both expensive and potentially provocative. Thus, efforts to deter through developing (and demonstrating) sufficient production capacity to meet a current or future threat will require risk acceptance.

Changing Nuclear Norms


  • China’s nuclear force is a growing concern as it expands and modernizes. China is pursuing new warheads and delivery systems absent an articulation of what changes in its security environment are driving such significant investment, and without dialogue with regional states about their concerns.
  • One participant noted that China is “shifting from a small to a medium nuclear power.” Further, its expanded and more capable nuclear force may lead China to, at a minimum, assess a shift in its nuclear “no first use” policy. It could, for example, move to a “launch on warning or launch on attack posture.” While that could be “undertaken as an operational shift without a rhetorical change,” either could be destabilizing to the region and precipitate several defense posture shifts from neighboring states concerned that China may threaten them with such weapons.
  • “Deterrence is being tested, as Russia stares defeat in the face. Will it use nuclear weapons?” Participants agreed that Russia’s threats to use nuclear weapons, including tactical nuclear weapons, in Ukraine undermined a clear standard against their use.
  • Ongoing development of dual-capable missiles and tactical nuclear weapons increases the risk that targeted states must respond more rapidly in a crisis, raising the risk of unintentional nuclear escalation or exchange.
  • These ongoing changes in nuclear force development and discussion of how those forces might be employed suggests “there is an emerging nuclear world order.” However, it is not clear if the emerging order is based on similar principles of transparency or mutual vulnerability as the currently prevailing nuclear order is.

Implications of Nuclear Norms Discussion

  • The discussion surfaced two additional concerns. First, few mechanisms currently exist for engaging in meaningful dialogue on risk reduction from nuclear weapons. Cold War (or post–Cold War) mechanisms are eroding or have lapsed, and none include China. As one participant summarized, “future arms control efforts are only possible with China at the table,” but it is not clear what would bring China to the table.
  • Second, retaliatory deterrence is losing credibility. This is based on a combination of at least two factors: one, that national publics are not prepared for the potential of nuclear exchange, and two, that at least one nuclear weapons state has stated it would not use nuclear weapons in response to nuclear weapons used by a third country. These two positions, as judged by discussion participants, may actually “raise the likelihood that such weapons will be used” if the risk of retaliation is not credible.

Key Findings and Recommendations

This section presents findings and recommendations focused on the United States and its government, unless otherwise specified.

Finding: The high degree of alignment between leaders in all three countries represents an important opening for progress. Close leader alignment is driving adoption of a wider range of high-priority issues between the countries, including through the Quad. Topics include diplomacy, commerce, defense, development, and research and development. Capitalizing on the current window of alignment will require prioritization both within and among these areas to deliver near-term demonstrable wins. Expectations are high in each system for such deliveries.

However, at present, alignment is not translating into sufficient outcomes from the three countries’ governments. Achieving those outcomes will require transformations from each bureaucracy, though the needed level of change to redirect effectively may prove too uncomfortable, delaying progress and contributing to the belief that cooperation is too difficult.

  • Recommendation: Leaders at every level in government agencies should prioritize the internal focus necessary to ensure that old habits of internal operation and customary approaches to regulatory procedures no longer inhibit necessary progress to meet the challenge all three countries are facing. This may require explicit instruction to their organizations, updates to regulations (or their interpretation) with clear milestones for delivery, or establishing additional review and approval protocols based on different criteria than the existing processes.
  • Recommendation: Within the United States, to ensure necessary senior-level attention, the National Security Council should convene an Intergovernmental Policy Committee (IPC) process to task and monitor progress on one key initiative from each responsible department. To ensure focus, the president should ask for a progress report at least monthly during his one-on-one meetings with the secretary of state, secretary of commerce, and secretary of defense. The most pressing areas of focus are on reducing delays in cooperation caused by export controls and document classification.

Finding: China’s unexplained nuclear modernization and expansion, Russia’s threats to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine and recent decay in the arms control and monitoring regimes raise the prospect that nuclear threat (and the prospect of use) is being normalized. Further, nuclear weapons states expressing unwillingness to use nuclear weapons in response to nuclear weapons employment lowers the potential consequence of engaging in threats as well as employment for coercive purposes. To reduce the risk of nuclear threat or employment, responsible states must reestablish norms around nuclear weapons, including both offensive and defense employment, as well as the taboo against threatening their use.

  • Recommendation: Reinvigorate public awareness and debate within each of the three countries’ publics—especially in the United States and India—about when, where, and why the state might choose to use nuclear weapons. In the United States, this effort is best led from the White House. The Department of Defense can play a role by articulating current and planned concepts of operation for nuclear force employment, including in defense or in extended deterrence, in speeches and testimony by the secretary of defense and other senior Defense Department leaders.
  • Recommendation: Develop new channels for dialogue, including with China and with Russia, about respective views of nuclear weapons. These may lead to arms control or limitation discussions, but the current lack of meaningful dialogue on the issue creates greater risk of miscalculation or inadvertent nuclear escalation. New dialogue mechanisms will likely need to find ways to include nuclear weapons states that are not members of the UN Security Council to be effective. India and Pakistan should be included, and dialogue mechanisms should include methods to incorporate other plausible or expected nuclear states should such circumstances arise.

Finding: Limitations on technology transfer, information sharing, and other key elements of capability development severely impede the ability to collaboratively develop, produce, or employ new technologies or capabilities with U.S. allies and partners.

  • Recommendation: The Department of Defense, the Department of State, and the Department of Commerce should engage with the business community and one another to better understand the current sticking points delaying a positive response and quickly identify ways to improve the system. The Department of Defense can lead either by driving the process alone or by leveraging an outside organization. The second course may lead to more credible results as contractors will likely be reluctant to directly criticize their customer.
  • Recommendation: Regarding information and intelligence sharing, raise the bar for classifying U.S. documents no foreign (also known as NOFORN) so that it is not the default classification. Identify categories of information that should, as default, be releasable (REL) to specific partners based on criteria such as sensitivity of the topic and confidence in the other country’s information security practices, the cost-benefit of the information shared, and the outcome sought. The Departments of State and Defense should review the impacts of requiring non-delegable three-star-level approval to apply a NOFORN handling instruction on non-intelligence products.

Finding: Technology advances are necessary but not sufficient for fielding effective and modernized capabilities. Doing so requires incorporating emerging technologies with operational concepts, operator abilities and training, institutional support, and the overall capability system. Achieving this on a national basis is difficult. Implementation on a bilateral or multinational basis will be even more difficult. Incorporating emerging technologies and concepts that rely less on “bespoke capabilities, but provide effective, lower-cost options” will be necessary in future capability development. Success will require new forms of engagement internal to each of the three countries’ own processes and acceptance of higher risk tolerance for engaging earlier with allies and partners.

  • Recommendation: The Department of Defense, especially the military services, should increase the use of prototyping throughout the development process. Further, it should ensure prototype developers have steady interaction with operators on how, where, and why they would use such a prototype.
  • Recommendation: Ensure that new research efforts, systems design, prototyping, and experimentation include (when appropriate) allies and partners, to leverage a diverse range of experience and perspectives, and to ensure rapid convertibility of technologies to capabilities that can be used by a wide range of key U.S. partners.

Finding: Australia, India, and the United States remain focused on shared threats, yet have limited mechanisms to coordinate and exchange information in real time for crisis management or response. Such mechanisms will be most effective when developed, exercised, and refined before a crisis starts.

  • Recommendation: Hold a series of tabletop exercises at the track 1.5 or track 2 level that present crisis scenarios and push participants to identify potential gaps in their countries’ capabilities, access, or information that they may need to reach out to partners to secure, or that partners may need to reach out to them for assistance.

John Schaus is a senior fellow with the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C

This project was sponsored by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

The project leading to this brief would not have been possible without the assistance of several CSIS colleagues. Carolina Ramos was instrumental in starting this effort. Christine Brazeau and Elizabeth Pipes each contributed in large ways to bring the effort to fruition. The workshop in Canberra would not have been possible without great commitment and partnership from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, in particular Olivia Nelson and executive director Justin Bassi. I am also grateful for the deep partnership from colleagues in India, most notably Ambassador H.K. Singh and Brig. Arun Sahgal (ret.) of the Delhi Policy Group for their efforts to ensure the workshops advanced understanding between the three countries.

John Schaus

John Schaus

Former Senior Fellow, International Security Program