Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Elements of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy

A Qualitative Primer on the Quad, AUKUS, and Partners in the Blue Pacific

With foreword by Joseph S. Nye, Jr

The Biden administration has both continued pre-existing strategic initiatives and created new ones in the Indo-Pacific region. It has sustained and reinvigorated the Quad, expanded strategic partnerships with ASEAN, unveiled new security pacts like AUKUS, and adopted an Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. Because of the novelty and the rapidity of change in these initiatives, understanding current developments and the most recent iteration of the administration’s myriad strategic frameworks has become challenging. The objective of this primer, therefore, is to offer analysts, generalist policymakers, and political leaders with an interest in the region an overview of the genesis, objectives, and achievements of three core components of the United States’s Indo-Pacific Strategy—as a resource and a tool to inform discussion, debate, and future analysis.

This primer provides a concise background of three major elements of the Biden administration’s Indo-Pacific Strategy: the Quad, a non-traditional multilateral grouping of India, Japan, Australia, and the U.S.; the AUKUS security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.; and the Partners in the Blue Pacific, a multilateral initiative aimed at promoting greater alignment with the Pacific Island nations.

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For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Arimoto, Mayu , Gabrielle Armstrong-Scott, Sophie Faaborg-Andersen, Nicholas Hanson, Chris Li and Joseph S. Nye. “Elements of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy.” Paper, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, May 2023.