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Security & Defence PLuS Hosts Under Secretary Jenkins and Academic Experts for AUKUS Panel Discussion and Briefing Book Release

9 May, 2024

This week, we organised an online event for the release of the third edition of the Security & Defence PLuS AUKUS Briefing Book. We were honoured to host Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, the US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, and academic experts: Professor John Blaxland and Alessio Patalano for an AUKUS panel discussion to mark the occasion. 

The purpose of the AUKUS Briefing Book is to provide the greater national security community and the public with a resource to better understand the AUKUS partnership and its many initiatives and lines of effort. The AUKUS Briefing Book is available in an interactive online format and a downloadable PDF. This latest edition has been updated to reflect developments from mid-December 2023 through mid-April 2024. 

The briefing book is organised and presented to serve both novices and experienced scholar-practitioners. For the individual who is unfamiliar with the AUKUS partnership, the executive summary and other initial sections contain the most basic, essential, and important information and analysis. For the more experienced scholar or national security practitioner, later chapters serve as a comprehensive resource containing links to official primary source documents, foundational texts, and various critical analyses and related research. 

The online event, held on May 7, 2024, featured an introduction and overview of the recently updated AUKUS Briefing Book from Security & Defence PLuS Executive Director, Dr Ian Langford. This was followed by opening comments from Under Secretary Jenkins who spoke of the scale and ambition of AUKUS and remarked upon the progress that has been made over the past two and a half years. Ambassador Jenkins emphasised the importance of continuous government engagement from all three AUKUS members, as well as the ongoing need for legislative reform essential to the realisation of AUKUS and its respective Pillars.

During the panel discussion, Under Secretary Jenkins underlined the critical role of academia and universities in the AUKUS ecosystem before Professor Patalano highlighted trends in the broader research and higher education sector resulting from AUKUS. Professors Blaxland and Patalano delved into the strategic implications of AUKUS, particularly in the context of maritime security and submarine operations. Blaxland outlined the transformative potential of AUKUS in revitalising strategic partnerships between like-minded countries and enhancing deterrence against emerging threats. The panellists also touched on cooperation with close and trusted partners on AUKUS Pillar II advanced capability projects, focusing on Japan.

We thank the panellists for their insights and the audience for their interest and engagement in the discussion. If you missed the discussion, you can watch the recording below. 


  • Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security
  • Professor John Blaxland, Director of the Australian National University North America Liaison Office and Professor of International Security and Intelligence Studies in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre (SDSC)
  • Professor Alessio Patalano, Professor of War & Strategy in East Asia, King’s College London
  • Brig (R’td) Dr Ian Langford, Executive Director, Security & Defence PLuS (Moderator)

The third edition of the AUKUS Briefing Book was edited by collaborators from all three of our PLuS partner universities. Thorin Wright, Noelle Troutman, and Cana Kim from Arizona State University; Sarah Tzinieris from King’s College London; David Lee from the University of New South Wales; and Nicole Magney from the Security & Defence PLuS staff contributed to the second edition, published in January 2024. We also thank Jan K. Gleiman and Jada Fraser for their work on the inaugural edition of the AUKUS Briefing Book published in 2022.

As the AUKUS partnership grows and matures, we expect to update the briefing book regularly. If you have a recommendation or constructive criticism to help us improve the next version of the AUKUS Briefing Book, or take issue with the accuracy of any content, please email us at [email protected].