The U.S. Navy Secretary, Kenneth Braithwaite, visited India on 17 Dec 2020. Will this year-end visit culminate in the reactivation of the First Fleet under the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command? The First Fleet, is likely to be an expeditionary fleet - one without a shore-based headquarters and assigned primary responsibility for the Indian Ocean and parts of Pacific Ocean bordering South Asia. Its reactivation will emphasise the strategic importance of this region. It will also relieve the burden of the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet headquartered in Japan, that is deployed for operations in this vast oceanic space.
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Australia's much-awaited inclusion at the Malabar Exercise-2020 reflects a hard reset in India's foreign policy that was traditionally accommodative to Chinese concerns on the militarisation of the Quad. In the backdrop of the on-going stand-off with China at the Ladakh border, the Indian Navy has maintained a high operational tempo and deployed the highest numbers of frontline assets during this edition of the Malabar Exercise. India must build on this strategic vision and work towards including France at the next edition of Malabar in 2021.
Taiwan’s increasing threat of takeover from China by possible amphibious assault reveals the urgent need for the island to strengthen its defences. The commencement of the construction phase of the Indigenous Defence Submarine programme, is a crucial step in Taiwan’s quest to build a credible deterrence to counter sustained Chinese diplomatic and economic intimidation and technology denial.
The global world order is witnessing a substantial shift. Part of the greater tussle for strategic and geopolitical dominance is the military rivalry between the U.S. and China. The two countries together now account for over one-half of the world’s defense spending.
On 21 October, Gateway House and the Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi jointly hosted a webcast with Ambassador (Lt. Gen.) Karl Eikenberry, Sinologist, Deputy Chairman, NATO Military Committee; former Director of the U.S.-Asia Security Initiative at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University on the Growing Sino-American Military Rivalry
The record of regional cooperation on rivers since India's independence in 1947 is one of several successes, with some contestations. In contrast to the past when governments strove to divide and share river waters, the endeavor has now shifted to thinking about comprehensive river basin development which makes the process even more complex. India’s policy on transboundary river governance must now also be aware of the increasing importance of Indo-Pacific in the global geopolitics.
Taiwan’s stellar response in containing the spread of the virus has been appreciated globally. Taipei is now in the spotlight, as it seeks global political equality and prepares its economy to become self-sufficient in everything from artificial intelligence to defence technology. Its changing global positioning has awakened its bilateral relationships, and India-Taiwan is one of them, with significant potential. In this episode of the Gateway House Weekly Webcast, Sameer Patil, Fellow, International Security Studies Programme, Gateway House is in conversation with Dr. I-Chung Lai, President, Prospect Foundation and Prof. M.D. Nalapat, Editorial Director, The Sunday Guardian and Vice-Chair of the Manipal Advanced Research Group to discuss Taiwan’s emerging global role.
The Quad, a grouping of Indo-Pacific democracies, is more relevant than ever. It must now operationalise not just the military exchanges but also formalise economic and technology partnerships that will undergird a meaningful new multilateral, provide it with resilience and appeal in the Indo-Pacific region. In this Webcast, co-hosted by Gateway House and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, the panelists discuss the need to reform Quad, which hosts the four leading global voices, in order for it to become the magnet that attracts like-minded nations, small and big cutting across continents and oceans to converge on the new world order realities.
The recent use of geospatial analyses by Indian social and mainstream media for near real-time defence and military intelligence in Ladakh has been made possible because of the lower cost of earth-observation satellite construction, and thereby, easy access to satellite imagery on the internet. While independent analysis is useful, the same intelligence can be also used against the interests of a sovereign nation by an adversary, especially border imagery. India must find innovative methods to reduce this vulnerability of commercial satellite imagery.
On 30th June, 2020 Gateway House in association with Konrad-Adeneur-Stiftung (KAS) co-hosted a webinar on Indo-Pacific: New Geo strategic reality.