Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and U.K. will help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines as part of a historic trilateral security partnership announced Wednesday afternoon by the leaders of the three countries.

Why it matters: The partnership, known as AUKUS, is a major strategic pact that will bind the U.S. and U.K. to Australia's security for generations — and a warning to China as the Biden administration continues to lay the groundwork for countering Beijing in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.

  • The U.S. has only ever shared nuclear propulsion technology with one country — the U.K., through a 1958 agreement viewed as a cornerstone of the "special relationship" between the nations.

Details: AUKUS will establish new channels of information-sharing and joint efforts to develop advanced technologies, including in the arenas of cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, quantum computing and undersea capabilities.

  • Teams from all three maritime democracies will work for 18 months to identify the best way to deliver nuclear submarine capabilities to Australia — which it previously sought via a troubled $90 billion deal with France that will likely now be scrapped.

Driving the news: "Our nations and our brave fighting forces have stood shoulder to shoulder for literally more than 100 years, through the trench-fighting in World War I, the island-hopping in World War II, during the frigid winters in Korea and the scorching heat in the Persian Gulf," President Biden said at a press conference Wednesday, flanked remotely by U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

  • "Today we take another historic step to deepen and formalize cooperation among all three of our nations. Because we all recognize the imperative of ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific over the long term," he continued.
  • "We need to be able to address both the current strategic environment in the region, and how it may evolve. Because the future of each of our nations, and indeed the world, depends on a free and open Indo-Pacific enduring and flourishing in the decades ahead."

Between the lines: Officials said on a briefing call that nuclear propulsion technology will allow Australia to deploy "quieter" and "much more capable" submarines for longer periods of time, allowing the allied countries to work jointly to "sustain and improve deterrence across the Indo-Pacific."

  • "This technology is extremely sensitive," one official said, describing the initiative as an "exception" to U.S. policy on nuclear technology-sharing that is unlikely to be repeated elsewhere.
  • The official stressed that Australia does not seek nuclear weapons and that all three countries are committed to non-proliferation.

The big picture: Missing from the announcement was any mention of China, whose military activities in the South China Sea are viewed by the U.S. as a top security threat.

  • "I do want to just underscore very clearly this partnership is not aimed or about any one country," an official said. "It's about advancing our strategic interests, upholding the international rules-based order, and promoting peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific."
  • But China is highly unlikely to see it that way, and may view the partnership as confirmation "that their aggressive naval platform-building campaign has been not only needed, but should be further advanced," said Chris Johnson, a former top CIA China analyst now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Go deeper

22 hours ago - Technology

U.S. to lead global initiative to limit surveillance by authoritarian regimes

President Biden speaks while visiting the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland on Dec. 2. Photo: Oliver Contreras/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Biden administration on Thursday announced a global initiative aimed to prevent authoritarian governments from using technology for surveillance and human rights abuses, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Many authoritarian governments rely on imported technology to implement state surveillance networks.

Dec 2, 2021 - World

Israel pushes U.S. to end Iran talks over "nuclear blackmail"

Naftali Bennett with Joe Biden in August. Photo: Sarahbeth Maney/The New York Times via Getty

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told Secretary of State Tony Blinken in a phone call on Thursday that the Biden administration should end the nuclear negotiations with Iran in Vienna, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Why it matters: Up to now, the Israeli government opposed a return to the 2015 nuclear agreement. Now, Israel is opposing talking to Iran at all.

22 hours ago - World

U.S. and EU signal "converging" views on China

President Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Photo: Jeff J Mitchell - Pool/Getty Images

The U.S. and the European Union are adopting "increasingly convergent" views on the threat posed by the Chinese government, according to senior Biden administration officials, deepening a trend that could tilt the scales in an era of great power competition.

Why it matters: European leaders were initially wary of President Biden's campaign to rally a coalition of U.S. allies to challenge China, hoping to duck a confrontation between the bloc's two largest trading partners. But the winds in Europe seem to be shifting, in part due to Beijing's growing belligerence.