Australia begins to step it up in the northeast Indian Ocean

Author name: 
Dr David Brewster
The Interpreter

Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives are keen in engage and will help plug a gap in Australia’s Indo Pacific strategy.

Australia’s focus on building the India relationship has led to the relative neglect of other important Indian Ocean states. This has left a hole in its Indo Pacific strategy.

Last month, Foreign Minister Marise Payne announced a raft of new Australian initiatives in the northeast Indian Ocean as a move towards Australia’s enhanced engagement in that region. It may not yet be an “Indian Ocean Step-up”, but at least it’s a move in the right direction.

The National Security College (NSC), with the support of the Department of Defence, is leading a multi-year research project on Australia’s Indo-Pacific strategy in the Indian Ocean. As a part of this project, this paper analyses Australia’s newly announced initiatives to increase engagement in the northeast Indian Ocean. This paper first appeared in the Lowy Institute’s ‘The Interpreter’ on 2 March 2022.

Image: CPL Robert Whitmore/Australia Defence Image Library

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Updated:  21 May 2022/Responsible Officer:  Head of College, National Security College/Page Contact:  Web administrator