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Approaches to Indo-Pacific: India and US


In important ways, New Delhi and Washington see eye to eye on regional security, but there are also crucial differences


The US Department of Defense (DOD) released its first ever Indo-Pacific Strategy Report (IPSR) in the first week of June. The report outlines Washington’s approach in dealing with various stakeholders in the Indo-Pacific region. It identifies China as one of the most important challenges to the US, noting that great-power competition has returned and threatens the stability of the Indo-Pacific region. The report emphasizes the need for alliances and partnerships to maintain peace and security in this region.

The IPSR identifies India as an important partner of the US. It takes a cue from a speech in 2017 by Rex Tillerson, then the US secretary of state, in which he identified India’s role in United States’ vision of a “free and open Indo-Pacific” (FOIP). India too believes in the principles of FOIP. There are a few parallels in the two countries’ visions for the Indo-Pacific region.


Convergences


Both the US and India stand for a free, open and stable Indo-Pacific region. US President Donald Trump, in a speech at the APEC summit in 2017, announced that the US was committed to a safe, secure, prosperous and free Indo-Pacific region. The US believes in a rule-based order, where sovereignty for all nations is respected, disputes are resolved peacefully and international rules and norms are followed.






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