Report to Congress on AUKUS Pillar 2

May 22, 2024 9:02 AM

The following is the May 21, 2024, Congressional Research Service report, AUKUS Pillar 2 (Advanced Capabilities): Background and Issues for Congress.

From the report

AUKUS Pillar 2 refers to a suite of cooperative activities conducted by the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia to develop and field “advanced capabilities” under the AUKUS security partnership. To date, Pillar 2 activities have been coordinated among the three governments by a number of means, including topic-specific working groups. At least eight such groups are currently active: six address technological areas and two address functional areas. The current working groups are:

  • Undersea capabilities;
  • Quantum technologies;
  • Artificial intelligence and autonomy;
  • Advanced cyber;
  • Hypersonic and counter-hypersonic capabilities;
  • Electronic warfare;
  • Innovation; and
  • Information sharing.

The activities of these working groups are closely tied to the broader regional and global defense strategies of each of the participating governments, and have drawn considerable attention from some Members of Congress and other stakeholders. This report describes the origins, role, and implementation of AUKUS Pillar 2, and identifies and analyzes potential issues for congressional consideration. Particular issues Congress may face include:

  • Whether to modify the current laws, regulations, and policies that govern the export of U.S.-origin defense articles and services relevant to AUKUS Pillar 2 activities; and
  • How to resource and oversee the executive branch’s conduct of AUKUS Pillar 2 activities.

Download the document here.

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
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