This Info Flash provides a historical analysis of the progression of India-U.S. defence relations and its implication on the Indo-Pacific. Despite decades of apathy during the Cold War, there has been a rapid progression in India-U.S. defence cooperation amidst India’s emergence as a critical global governance actor. This is none more evident in the country’s membership and role in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), BRICS and its current G20 chairmanship (Panda, 2020). As such, one cannot overlook the saliency of India-U.S. defence relations, particularly in its implications on the Indo-Pacific region. Therefore, this Info Flash will briefly parse through the origins of India-U.S. defence relations and its dynamic progression since the post-Soviet era. This will provide the groundwork to assess the future of India-U.S. defence relations in the coming years.
The European Union (EU) has recently increased its focus on the Indo-Pacific region due to its commercial and military importance. The Joint Communication of the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, issued in September 2021, is significant proof of the EU’s interest in this part of the world and presents the EU strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. This cooperation, as illustrated by the Communication, takes various forms, including completing trade agreements or resuming trade negotiations with several states in the area (including Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines), reinforcing the EU’s support in fields such as the healthcare system and fisheries management, and enhancing naval deployment by EU Member States (MS) to protect sea lines of communication and freedom of navigation (European Commission & High Representative, 2021).
Following a heated geopolitical arena on the Indo-Pacific, the QUAD leaders - Australia, India, Japan and the US - marked the Indo-Pacific era, in which Washington and Beijing are the two key figures. The QUAD’s leaders convened on the 24th of September at the White House to strengthen their security ties in “free” Indo-Pacific and counterweight China’s emerging power. The Indo-Pacific rivalry sheds light on a new bipolar system between the US and China. On the one hand, Washington is establishing a counterbalance to China’s geo-economic growth through other security alliances in the Indo-Pacific region, such as the trilateral pact AUKUS between Australia, the UK and the US. On the other hand, China is increasing its geo-economic efforts of dominance through Belt and Road Initiative/BRI program to build its Silk Road, and not only.
During its meeting on 24th June 2014, the Council of the European Union (EU) adopted the document, proposed by the Greek Presidency, concerning the European Union Maritime Security Strategy (EUMSS), which lays out the framework for operations aimed at effectively facing the challenges related to maritime transport security. The EUMSS Action Plan was adopted on 16th December 2017 to safeguard the EU's interests and protect its member states (MS) and citizens. This plan addresses risks and threats in the global maritime domain, including organised and cross-border crime, threats to freedom of navigation, threats to biodiversity, unregulated fishing, or environmental degradation due to illegal or accidental discharges.