Home / Articles / The Quad, AUKUS, and I2U2 Formats: Major Lessons from Minilaterals
Over the past two decades, a trend has emerged where US partners and allies look outside of their bilateral relationship with the United States and pre-existing multilateral bodies to join ad-hoc networks. They are joining these networks to both obtain their own security goods and to provide regional public goods. Yet, these ad-hoc networks, or “minilaterals,” often include multiple US allies or shared partners of the United States. For example, the revived Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) includes Japan, India, Australia, and the United States, encompassing two separate US treaty alliances. Similarly, the tripartite pact AUKUS connects the US-UK transatlantic alliance relationship to the US-Australia alliance in the Indo-Pacific. The newest addition to this growing trend in minilateralism, the I2U2, which redefine the Middle East as West Asia by bringing together the United States, India, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), provides additional insight into the benefits of minilaterals as mechanisms for organizing interstate cooperation.