India should prioritise a denial strategy in the Indian Ocean

Author name: 
Arzan Tarapore
The Interpreter

The stand-off with China in the Himalayas has raised a broader debate about India’s strategic outlook.

To break the border stand-off between India and China in the Himalayas, some Indian analysts have advocated going on the offensive against China in the Indian Ocean. But that would be vague, illogical and imprudent, with little chance of success and significant risk of blowback. Instead, India and its partners should prioritise a more effective denial strategy in the Indian Ocean, to deter and counter any potential future coercion there.

The National Security College (NSC), with the support of the Department of Defence, is leading a two-year research project on Australia’s Indo-Pacific strategy in the Indian Ocean. As a part of this project, this paper argues that India adopting a denial strategy in the Indian Ocean would offer it a realistic roadmap for building political influence and military power in the region. This paper first appeared on the Lowy Institute’s ‘The Interpreter’ on 9 February 2021.

Image: US Pacific Fleet/Flickr

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