New Delhi – Multiple countries were represented at a panel discussion here recently as part of the Raisina Dialogue, an annual multinational conference geared toward issues facing the global community.
Stressing the value of building communities, not about confrontation, Navy Adm. Philip S. Davidson, the commander of US Indo-Pacific Command said, “Most importantly, the capability set that I think must be displayed and put in the battle space is the alliances and partnerships that we are all capable of.”
“As we look back … it has been allies and partners that have come together in times of crisis, not to conquer others, but to liberate them. We have proved time and time again that a strategic partnership and set of alliances will triumph for the good of global stability,” Davidson added.
Davidson was joined by Navy Adm. Sunil Lanba, the chief of India’s naval staff; Navy Adm. Christophe Prazuck, the chief of France’s naval staff; Navy Adm. Katsutoshi Kawano, chief of Japan’s joint staff; and Army Gen. Angus J. Campbell, the chief of Australia’s defense staff, on the panel.
Recognition of the changing dynamics in the region led to the change in the name of the US regional command from US Pacific Command to US Indo-Pacific Command, Davidson told panel moderator Yalda Hakim.
The allies do work together, Davidson said, noting that the United States has worked with Japan, France, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom and others in the South China Sea to assert the rights of all nations to access these crucial sea lines of communication.
The ‘Quad Alliance’
The panelists were repeatedly asked about military aspects of the so-called “Quad Alliance.” An outgrowth of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, it features India, Japan, Australia and the United States. “The multilateral nature of alliances and partnerships enables much more combat power,” Davidson said. “The United States has a strategic partnership with India that advanced greatly last year.”
The United States is a treaty ally of Japan and Australia. There is no formal military partnership, the panelists said, and it is not an Indo-Pacific NATO. “It’s a growing relationship, which is robust,” Lanba said. “It will only grow as time goes by.” The Quad is “a burgeoning relationship rooted in some 25 years now,” Davidson added, “and we look forward to building it in the future.”
Some see the free and open Indo-Pacific strategy as a containment strategy for China. “It is advocacy for free nations in terms of security, values, political systems and the freedom to choose their own partners,” Davidson emphasized. (IAT/DOD)