AUKUS puts the stamp on three overriding geopolitical verities in the emerging regional and global order.

First, it signifies the firming belief by the leading Anglosphere democracies that China as a formidable comprehensive national power has displaced a severely diminished Russia as the principal strategic competitor. Second, it acknowledges that the strategic rivalry has pivoted from the North Atlantic to the Indo-Pacific. Third, nuclear propulsion for the navy will signify the greatest projection of Australian military power into the Indo-Pacific region. The ramifications of these developments will reverberate for decades.

AUKUS is both an acknowledgment of and a concession to the loss of U.S. strategic primacy. Under the George W. Bush administration, the U.S. policy goal was to prevent any power from being able to dominate its own region. That is now well and truly history.