In today’s episode we focus on strategic affairs and, in particular, on the quad alliance between India, the United States, Japan and Australia. The occasion for doing so is statements made by India’s Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat on Monday, September 3, where he said that the ‘Quad’ alliance among India, U.S., Japan, and Australia could be a mechanism to ensure ‘Freedom of Navigation’ in the Indian Ocean and surrounding regions. He said this would ensure that there is “no fear of any other nation singularly trying to dominate the oceans”.
These are, of course, not-so-subtle references to China. And General Rawat’s statement introduces the idea of introducing a militaristic aspect to the ‘Quad’. And that’s where things get interesting, because although the Quad forum goes back as far as 2006, the alliance has refrained from exhibiting a military purpose, largely because China has always viewed the alliance with suspicion. Indian thus far has also always been wary of joining any kind of military alliance that would be choosing sides between any of the world’s superpowers. On the other hand, though, could the unprecedented situation playing out in the LAC with China force a rethink?
Guest : Suhasini Haidar , Diplomatic Affairs Editor; Dinakar Peri , Defence Correspondent, The Hindu .
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