Australia’s stance on Diego Garcia dispute is increasingly untenable

Author name: 
Dr David Brewster
Publisher: 
The Interpreter
Year: 
2019
Month: 
December
Abstract: 

A window is fast closing to resolve Mauritian claims to the Chagos archipelago and secure a crucial US base.

By Dr David Brewster

The US base on the island of Diego Garcia, in the middle of the Indian Ocean, is among the most important US military facilities in the world, and is the foundation stone of the US presence in the Indian Ocean region. It’s been a vital element in Australia’s strategic position in the region for almost 50 years. But the dispute over ownership of the island is now creating serious uncertainties over the continued long-term US military presence. Australia’s position on the controversy is becoming increasingly untenable and now needs to be reviewed.

The National Security College, with the support of the Department of Defence, is leading a two-year research project on operationalising Australia’s Indo-Pacific strategy in the Indian Ocean. In this latest article in a series of publications, Dr David Brewster explores why Australia can no longer ignore this problem.

This publication originally appeared in The Interpreter.

Publication file: 
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