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QUAD – What India Makes of It!

Monik OZA
Tue, 26 Oct 2021   |  Reading Time: 3 minutes

It was the Tsunami of 2004 that brought the Asia Pacific countries together to counter the aftermath; and the horrifying devastation that our times could have even seen as a natural disaster. This paved the way for alliance & leadership that operates homogenously to combat disasters & ensure regional security, and thus the emergence of QUAD was formed with Japan, Australia, India & USA.

The first informal meeting in Manila 2007 was aimed to define objective plans with its member countries, with
clear parallels drawn to ensure maritime security. The same was voiced by Japanese PM Shinzo Abe in his speech at the Indian Parliament in Aug 2007.

Having said this; and through 2011-2013 there were enough exchanges on the articulation of QUAD objectives which has symbolic relevance & linkages of this informal grouping of like-minded democracies in the region back then, and in 2019 the US formalized all of these articulation with a document as “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” the word Indo-Pacific was a strategic gain for India as until then it was only used by the Indian apex political leadership. Till this point, QUAD had gathered enough steam about its objectives & gained traction internationally, China was wary on the developments that had countries from its backyard in QUAD.

The nuclear deal between USA-Iran in 2015, and the follow through ambitions of Iran created an environment of threat & insecurity to the US & its immediate allies in the neighbourhood, this was the stop point for QUAD, where US decided to sanction Iran & sought China’s support at the UNGA on the same. This brings us up to analyse from the US perspective what could have been their considerations in charting QUAD framework:
1. Asia is poised to be the next power centre, with progressive economy & capacity building, political stability, security & knowledgeable well talented young population. These ingredients are the key pointers that can shape up the next super-power which the US is wary about and wants to position itself as the centre pillar of all the democracies by way of inclusivity and likeminded countries in the region.
2. The learning from Libya, Iraq, Syria & the latest Afghanistan has made US realize that it needs to take new approach to the modern conflicts, threats that the world democracies would/will be facing, and in the context of QUAD it is the SUPPLY CHAIN that could act as a deterrent to China’s economy, and hence the strategic waters of Indo-Pacific find its relevance & importance where India, Japan are the first to see the adversary due to its geographic locations.
3. The US would prefer to orchestrate the QUAD alliance with its support in investments, capacity building, upgrading maritime systems & military arsenals etc., besides embracing democratic values to Taiwan, Hongkong, Myanmar, Philippines, and other regional countries that creates people choices and voices. This has a wider impact and has the potential to create revolutionary movement which China is allergic & has been its weakness.

India on the other hand may have to position itself very delicately, because the consideration as stated above from the US standpoint in an indication of the following:
1. India may view QUAD to repurpose its objectives as a regional observatory on the adversary actions, posturing security in the maritime waters, India & Japan may play a wider role & military exercise in recent times is a message in this direction. In the process India may gain access to advanced surveillance technology its means & methods from the US.
2. India may push for UNSC permanent seat, where structural reforms are top pitched for a while now, the current US administration is considering it as an opportunity to position its key partners from the region at the global level that will strength the alliance creditworthy in the hope of sustainability.
3. As far as the QUAD objectives are concerned, it is security dialogue, and may not invite for direct confrontation with the adversary, this favours India & Japan interests which could otherwise lead to the economic losses for its people. India should be able to better position itself to resolve border disputes in Uttarakhand, Galwan, Arunachal, Sikkim, Nagaland under the pretext of QUAD & gain international support at the UN, similarly Japan may do the same for Senkaku islands.

Conclusion:
The very first in-person official meeting of the QUAD has pronounced the objective plans very clearly; member countries of QUAD seem to have secured its gains that are intrinsic to its country interests, at the same time US has positioned itself in the Indo-Pacific as a Big Daddy of democracies to orchestrate the new warfare method that is soci0-economical in nature that may/may not have blood on its hands, but will surely have a deeper control in the Indo-Pacific region.


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POST COMMENTS (1)

Kalidan Singh

Jan 27, 2022
Beware of our friends. It was not that long ago that these so called Quad partners were supporting Pakistan in every way possible. Just because China is bothering them (and definitely us), the bigger powers would love to fight China to the last Indian soldier. Of course we should participate, but we are a nation with a deep history of foreigners walking in and we falling all over themselves to serve them. We rush to align ourselves with foreigners, so we can act out our cruelty over our own brothers and sisters, Nothing in this regard has changed, and hence I am very cautious about this arrangement.

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