Australia must expedite cyber and AI technology sharing arrangements with the United States and United Kingdom to address the immediate threat of cyber-enabled grey zone warfare.
The technology sharing arrangements unveiled under the new AUKUS alliance were welcomed by many across Australia’s national security apparatus. Indeed, Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s confirmation that Australia would pursue the local construction of nuclear-powered submarines strengthened the nation’s growing role in maintaining a rules-based order in the face of an increasingly volatile Indo-Pacific, and opened the door to developing cutting-edge cyber and AI technologies tapping into the collective commercial-military capabilities of Australia, the UK and the US.
However, while the strategic deterrence capabilities of an Australian fleet of nuclear-powered submarines would discourage threat actors from taking overt action in the Indo-Pacific (once constructed in over a decade’s time), Australia must take more immediate and short-term capability improvements against the threat that Australians already face – information warfare in the grey zone.
While potentially an overused terminology, the threats are substantial.