Challenges ahead for Colombo Security Conclave, Indian Ocean Quad
The National Security Advisors-level meeting of the Colombo Security Conclave (CSC) was held in the first week of March in Mal મા, the capital of the Maldives. The conference saw Mauritius join the group, which includes India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives as members and Bangladesh and Seychelles as observers. T.He called for the institutionalization of CSC, which “911 of the region, ”Identifying the five pillars for future cooperation. The Conclave focused on maritime security and safety, terrorism and radicalization, cyber security and humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
The Delhi-administered sub-regional system is seen as a strategic outreach to the Indian Ocean states to develop cooperative mechanisms against shared strategic and security threats. However, structural asymmetry, lack of local politics and strategic coordination among the member countries will create obstacles for India to sustain the longevity of the minority.
India has important strategic interests in the Indian Ocean region. As a resident force with vast operational experience, the Indian Navy still has restrictions on its ability to represent itself as an influential force in the region. Recently some senior officers of the Indian Navy Admitted These are critical deficiencies that require immediate policy attention. India’s cautious approach to its maritime backyard has prompted its aspirations to become a dominant power in the region and to counter China’s intentions to establish a naval presence in the Indian Ocean.
Speculation about the development of A. Potential fleet The recent passage of Chinese warships from India’s exclusive economic zones near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Indian Ocean by the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) worries policymakers in New Delhi. Since 2014, the Narendra Modi government’s Neighborhood First policy has made India’s efforts to connect its South Asian neighbors, but they are different. Shock. Moreover, India’s anti-China stance in the region has been rejected by other South Asian states as they welcome Chinese economic aid and infrastructure projects funded by China.
For India, innovation of CSC is required for multiple reasons. First, the CSC complements its Indo-Pacific strategy for the wider region. Second, the CSC is a platform for India to promote its neighborhood diplomacy and act as a net security provider in the region. Third, it will provide indirect and cost-effective ways to strengthen cross-naval collaboration between CSC members. Traditional Security collaboration.
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Despite India’s optimism, for other members, the CSC is primarily a platform to hedge their claim in the midst of increasingly great power competition. For small coastal states, the most important utility of the forum is the provision of avenues for territorial integrity among the navies and a cooperative approach against non-traditional security threats such as climate change and terrorism.
Some states see the CSC as a platform to maximize their security interests without taking sides in the broader “India-China” security equation and the politics of quadrilateral security dialogue (quad). Countries like Sri Lanka see the CSC as a regional forum that excludes extra-regional giants.
However, despite the formalization of the forum, which is headquartered in Colombo, Sri Lanka, challenges remain. The first challenge is the issue of power asymmetry. India is well positioned in the region with its geographical advantages and excellent naval capabilities. But the CSC faces a similarly unilateral “power distribution problem” that has led to the inaction of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Compared to the other members of the CSC, India’s capabilities are huge and the South Asian countries were afraid of India’s discovery. Regional hegemony The CSC is likely to be replicated by SAARC.
Another challenge is the domestic politics of the non-Indian states of the CSC. During the presidency of Abdulla Yameen in the Maldives (2013-18), the quiet nature of the three countries’ NSA meetings underscores the role of local politics in the smooth functioning of the group. Yami downgraded bilateral relations with New Delhi during his tenure, which was also reflected in the multilateral initiatives. The growing popular support for Yamin’s “Outside India” campaign on the deployment of Indian troops in the Maldives will be crucial for the CSC in the coming years.
Similarly, the current President of Seychelles, Wavell Ramkalawan, strongly objected to India’s outreach to develop military facilities on Dharana Island and made it clear that Seychelles would follow the same policy as India and China.
In addition, CSC member states will strongly oppose the enhancement of the forum in the traditional security lens so as not to fall into the India-China strategic competition.
Third, developing consensus within the CSC will be an important challenge as the group comes up with diverse and competitive interests. China’s economic presence to varying degrees across Sri Lanka, Maldives and other CSC states will be a factor influencing the behavior of these countries in the group. There is also a strong case that Beijing will intervene in small island states through economic and political maneuvering if New Delhi tries to turn the CSC into an anti-China coalition.
India is an active partner in multilateral mechanisms in the Indian Ocean region. The CSC has made significant progress in establishing cooperation between the coastal states on maritime security and safety. India took significant steps in 2020 to revive the mechanism and actively facilitate the institutionalization of the organization. However, given the current developments, the full institutional CSC will focus primarily on non-traditional security risks.
Although India will make limited progress in pursuing its strategic objectives, the sustainability of the group will depend on India’s position in the group, the local politics of the member countries and, most importantly, the strategic integration of the member countries. India-China competition.