Friday, June 12, 2020

Atlantic Council Promoting D-10 Alliance Alongside UK

It has recently been reported that the United Kingdom (UK) is lobbying aggressively to form an alliance of ten democracies with the goal of avoiding reliance on Chinese technology such as 5G.  The so-called "D-10" grouping would include the G-7 countries as well as Australia, India, and South Korea.

That idea has actually been promoted for years by US think tank Atlantic Council, which initiated a D-10 Strategy Forum in 2014.  The think tank coordinates annual D-10 meetings that are hosted by the foreign ministries of participating D-10 countries.  Last year's meeting was held in Berlin, and this year's meeting will be held virtually.

Separately, the Atlantic Council also convenes the D-10 Ambassadors Roundtable, which brings together Washington, DC-based ambassadors for a regular series of consultations on global challenges.

It is important to note that the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) gave more than $1 million to Atlantic Council in 2018, the latest year for which contribution data is available.

A spokesman for the think tank said that the grant from the UK is for its work on disinformation via its Digital Forensic Research Laboratory.  Atlantic Council also received $3,000 from the FCO in 2019 to support its work for the UK-hosted NATO policy planning talks.

Here is more from Foreign Policy:
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been actively considering the right idea: consolidating a new D-10 group of 10 leading democracies (the current G-7 members, plus South Korea, India, and Australia) for addressing both 5G mobile communications and vulnerable supply chains. While the idea behind a D-10 is not a novel one—a group organized by the Atlantic Council think tank in Washington has been promoting it for years with regular working-level meetings between officials—it has a new impetus amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Ash Jain, a Senior Fellow with the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, oversees the Atlantic Council's Democratic Order Initiative and D-10 Strategy Forum.

Atlantic Council notes that the D-10 construct has its origins in a US State Department policy planning staff initiative launched in 2008.