Whither the Quad?
There was a flurry of activity this past week surrounding the Quad — a grouping of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States that began back in 2005 as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue. It would be safe to say that the Quad’s history has been fitful: After the 2005 meetings to coordinate tsunami relief, the grouping flagged for a few years. Japan tried to revive it in 2007, but it petered out again; the Trump administration revived it again in 2017, with uneven results.
The Biden administration stepped things up a notch — several notches, actually. The first head of state summit was virtually convened Friday, producing a joint vaccine initiative among other agreements. There was also a rare Washington Post op-edjointly ascribed to President Biden, Prime Ministers Narendra Modi, Scott Morrison and Yoshihide Suga. Following up on the summit, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin are traveling together to Northeast Asia and also co-authoring Post op-eds about the Quad.