PARAGRAPH,WORDS AND MEANINGS

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TOPIC – Three is companyThe U.S. has joined with the U.K. and Australia to announce a new trilateral security partnership, the AUKUS, that aims to ensure that there will be enduring freedom and openness in the Indo Pacific region, particularly to “address both the current strategic environment in the region and how it may evolve”, according to President Joe Biden. Two dimensions are significant: first, that it complements several pre-existing similar arrangements for the region, including the Five Eyes intelligence cooperation initiative, ASEAN and the Quad, the last including India; and second, that it proposes to transfer technology to build a fleet of nuclear powered submarines for Australia within 18 months. Australia has ratified the nuclear NPT and has vowed to abide by its tenets, notwithstanding the highly sensitive technology transfer implied in the latest proposal. Mr. Biden went to lengths to assure the world that AUKUS was “not talking about nuclear armed submarines. These are conventionally armed submarines that are powered by nuclear reactors. This technology is proven.” Australia will become only the second nation, after the U.K. that the U.S. has ever shared its nuclear submarine technology with. The announcement of the partnership led to a minor kerfuffle with New Zealand, who’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that under her country’s 1984 nuclear free zone policy, Australia’s nuclear powered submarines would not be allowed into the former’s territorial waters. It also appeared to upset the political leadership in France, with whom Australia had struck a deal — now cancelled — for $90 billion worth of conventional submarines. The broader strategic question that the creation of AUKUS begs relates to the unstated challenge that the group poses to the regional hegemonic ambitions of China, particularly regarding how far the U.S., the U.K. and Australia, along with other regional powers, will go, to preserve a free and open Indo Pacific, including the South China Sea. Will the operationalisation of this security partnership lead to closer coordination among the nations concerned in terms of joint military presence, war games and more in the region, signaling a new, “latticed” posture to Beijing? After all, undersea capabilities including the ability to patrol may be vital to deterring Chinese military coercion in the region. Although no explicit mention was made of China in any of the AUKUS announcements, it is clear, as one official later said to media, that the transfer of nuclear propulsion technology to an ally in this context was intended to “send a message of reassurance to countries in Asia”. Whether or not the purpose of AUKUS is to contain China’s aggressive territorial ambitions, the imperatives of the Indo Pacific would be better served by broadening strategic cooperation initiatives of this sort to include other powers that are deeply invested in the region, including India, Japan, and South Korea.

MEANINGS AND WORDS

Enduring (adjective) – Lasting over a period of time

Synonyms – Imperishable, perennial, undying, constant, ageless

Antonyms – Antiquated, outmoded, obsolete, repudiating, eluding

 

Fleet (noun) – A group of ships sailing together, engaged in the same activity, or under the same ownership

Synonyms – Acrobatic, nimble, agile, lissome, spry

Antonyms – Dawdling, laggard, sluggish, plodding, tardy

 

Ratified (verb) – To approve and sanction formally

Synonyms – Corroborate, affirm, recognize, countersign, endorse

Antonyms – Revoke, contradict, disagree, invalidate, renounce

 

Vowed (verb) – Solemnly promise to do a specified thing

Synonyms – Asseverate, depose, pledge, plight, engage

Antonyms – Breached, denied, disavow, misused, break

 

Abide (verb) – Be unable to tolerate (someone or something)

Synonyms – Countenance, tolerate, hack, bear

Antonyms –Flout, reject, fade, disappear

 

Kerfuffle (noun) – A commotion or fuss, especially one caused by conflicting views

Synonyms – Splash, disruption, commotion, chaos, convulsion

Antonyms – Tranquility, peacefulness, frigidity, calmness, order

 

Hegemonic (adjective) – Ruling or dominant in a political or social context

Synonyms –Ascendancy, primacy, sway, authority, predomination

Antonyms –Subjugation, conquest, inferiority, vanquishing, subduing

 

Deterring (verb) – Prevent the occurrence of

Synonyms –Dishearten, frighten, dissuade, daunt, intimidate

Antonyms –Intercept, halt, obstruct, obviate, impede

 

Coercion (noun) – The practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats

Synonyms –Compulsion, constraint, intimidation, oppression

Antonyms –Persuasion, consent, permission, convincing, approval

 

Explicit (adjective) – Stated clearly and in detail, leaving no room for confusion or doubt

Synonyms –Blunt, precise, unambiguous, unequivocal, emphatic

Antonyms –Obscure, cryptic, inferred, implicit, vague

 

Propulsion (noun) – The action of driving or pushing forwards

Synonyms –Actuation, surge, impetus, thrust, impulse

Antonyms –Impotence, relaxation, lethargy, idleness, ease