Research Analyst Samuel Hickey wrote an op-ed in The Hill explaining how Congress can exercise oversight over the newly-formed AUKUS security pact and address proliferation concerns.
President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently announced the creation of a new security pact (AUKUS), and the first order of business is to give Australia access to sensitive nuclear technology for naval nuclear propulsion. Congress will have to review this particular part of the pact — and should carefully consider the implications of the request to transfer this technology to avoid harming the United States’ interests.
The agreement would make Australia the second country without nuclear weapons to obtain a nuclear-powered submarine. The United States has only shared nuclear propulsion technology with one other country — the United Kingdom — and that was back in 1958. Even back then, the deal required Congress to pass a slew of legislation to allow this transfer. Since then, policies against exporting nuclear military technology have stood unchallenged. Read more