Islands have taken on a greater prominence when people talk about the risk of war, especially in Asia. In the Indo-Pacific, islands, reefs, and rocky outcroppings are increasingly an organizing principle for considering security issues.
While the traditional powers of the Indian Ocean continue to work together across the maritime domain to maintain a balance of power, the role of islands in shaping a new security architecture is often overlooked.
As countries in the Indo-Pacific continue to deepen maritime collaborations between friends, partners, and allies, the island territories in the region are well-positioned to offer tremendous support and strategic leverage to India and its partners.
While India perceives a growing Chinese presence as competition to its strategic and security role in the Indian Ocean Region, Beijing is determined to stake its claim and emerge as a key player in the region.
The recent developments around the Strait of Hormuz have once again highlighted the importance of maritime chokepoints and their connection to regional geopolitics.
Extending New Delhi’s network of maritime initiatives to Madagascar and Comoros would only strengthen India’s own outlined priorities and interests in the region.
The international order is undergoing a transformation as a result of rising geopolitical tensions among major powers, growing challenges to the liberal order, slowdown in the global economy, and rapid technological development.
India and Australia have shared interests in ensuring the peaceful development of an open, inclusive, and prosperous Indo-Pacific.
As Indian strategic analysts increasingly accept the need to counterbalance China’s growing military power and assertiveness, there is little consensus on how this can be realistically achieved.
As countries debate an emerging security architecture in the Indo-Pacific, a key area is missing from the discussion: the role of islands. Much as they did in the past, islands will come to play a critical role in shaping the new order in the Indian Ocean region.