• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • India Helps U.S. Join Asian Maritime Grouping

    Last week, India assisted the U.S. in securing dialogue-partner status in the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC), a 20-member grouping of littoral nations of the Indian Ocean.

    India and the U.S.—as well as other Indo-Pacific nations such as Australia, Japan, Singapore, and Malaysia—share an interest in maintaining free and open trade routes in the Indian Ocean region.

    While the grouping has so far done little in terms of concrete solutions for improving maritime security, it is still important for the U.S. to take an active part in dialogue on these issues. The rise of China and its economic, military, and diplomatic heft are increasingly felt in the region.

    The U.S. joined as the sixth dialogue partner along with China, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, and Egypt. Iran had objected to Washington’s taking part in the group, and thus India (the group’s current chair) stepped in to defend U.S. membership.

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid over the weekend to thank him for New Delhi’s behind-the-scenes diplomatic effort to help Washington secure a seat at the table, emphasizing the overall importance of U.S.–India relations. State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters that the U.S. was glad to be part of the group and noted the vital role these kinds of regional institutions play in addressing shared challenges.

    In a joint project published a year ago with scholars from the Lowy Institute for International Policy (Sydney, Australia) and the Observer Research Foundation (New Delhi, India), The Heritage Foundation advocated for greater trilateral coordination and cooperation between the U.S., India, and Australia, particularly in the maritime security domain.

    Arguing that such cooperation would help to maintain freedom of navigation in the entire Indo-Pacific region, the report called for the three countries to lead a discussion in possible new arrangements for shaping a rules-based maritime security order in the region.

    The report went on to suggest that such a code of conduct could be managed by a forum with conditions of entry based on capabilities, interests, willingness to contribute, and a demonstrated willingness to abide by the rules.

    U.S. membership within the IOR-ARC marks one small step to enhancing U.S. influence within the maritime security dialogue in this increasingly important region. Moving forward, the U.S. and India should find additional ways to work more closely with other like-minded nations to secure the Indian Ocean, particularly in light of a recent series of incidents of Chinese naval assertiveness in the South China Sea.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    One Response to India Helps U.S. Join Asian Maritime Grouping

    1. Don says:

      This is the time to have the biggest rally ever, lets do it at the polls. 43,000,000 strong all casting a vote for the Constitution and the American way. See you on Tuesday even if it takes hours make sure your vote counts. A strong turnout will take all doubt away and give us our answers tomorrow night.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.