Issue Brief on “Is India a Geopolitical Force in the Indian Ocean Region?”

2072

India has been elevating its foothold in the Indian Ocean aimed at maritime force posturing for the past two decades.[1] The Indian Navy identifies the whole of the Indian Ocean geographically expanding from the eastern coast of Africa to the Andaman Sea near Malaysia as a priority region. The Indo-U.S. strategic partnership is aimed at boosting Indian military modernization to strengthen New Delhi’s influence in this region. India currently neither possesses the military might nor the willpower to counter China, especially for the U.S., due to its limited strength and overall capacities. Nevertheless, there seems to be optimism in Washington that India would be able to act as a ‘counter-weight’ to China once it achieves somewhat military parity with China. Many in Washington are aiming for this goal and are encouraging India’s potential for achieving this task. Until that time comes, New Delhi has been hedging its bet carefully, especially in the Indian Ocean Region.

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