Lately, the Navies of the Quad (Quadrilateral Framework) Nations (India, the United States, Japan, and Australia) have participated in the 25th edition of the Malabar Exercise, which began off the coast of Guam in the Pacific Ocean.
Guam is a US island territory in the North Pacific Ocean, which is much closer to China in the East than to the US mainland in the West making it an ideal US military strategic outpost for Indo-Pacific operations.
Indian Naval Ships Shivalik and Kamorta also arrived at Yokosuka, Japan on November 2 to participate in the IFR and Exercise Malabar – 2022.
What is Malabar Exercise?
Malabar Exercise started in 1992 as a bilateral naval exercise between the navies of India and the US. Japan joined the Malabar exercise in 2015. Then it turned into a trilateral exercise.
Two more editions of the exercise were carried out in 1995 and 1996, after which there was a break until 2002 in the aftermath of India’s nuclear tests. From 2002 onward, the exercise has been conducted every year.
Japan and Australia first participated in 2007, and since 2014, India, the US and Japan have participated in the exercise every year. India, US, Australia and Japan are also part of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD).
In 2020 Australia joined the Malabar Exercise on India’s request in order to contain China in the Indo-Pacific region. For the first time in over a decade, Malabar 2020 saw the participation of all four Quad members.
The motive of Quad is to support a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific and remain committed to a rules-based international order.
Significance of Malabar Exercise
- Improve Strategic Partnership:
Such complex exercises have further enhanced synergy and mutual understanding among the four navies in undertaking joint maritime security operations and will go a long way in further strengthening their already close strategic partnership.
- Sustainable Indo-Pacific Coalition:
A major step towards building a sustainable Indo-Pacific coalition thereby addressing the massive strategic imbalance generated by an economically and militarily powerful China. There is a consensus, among many major liberal democracies, that China threatens the international system, liberal societies and a rules-based regime.
- Peace through Sea:
It is not a coincidence that as India-US ties improved in the mid-2000s, China was better behaved. It is only with economic strength and partnerships such as the one that will be manifested in the Malabar exercise that India can broaden its options with China.
- The road to peace in the mountains may lie through the sea.
- Other Exercises with Quad Countries:
- India- Japan: JIMEX (naval exercise), SHINYUU Maitri (air force exercise), and Dharma Guardian (military exercise).
- India-US: Yudha Abhyas (Army), Vajra Prahar (Military), Spitting Cobra, SANGAM, RED FLAG, COPE INDIA.
- India-Australia: AUSINDEX (Maritime), AUSTRA HIND, Pitch Black
- Passage Exercises (PASSEX).