- India is prepared to expand the Malabar trilateral naval exercise involving India, the U.S. and Japan, to also include Australia.
- The inclusion of Australia in the Malabar exercise would be a major shift from the past for India’s Indo-Pacific plans.
- Despite regular requests from Australia in the last few years, India has resisted issuing the invitation to the Malabar exercise, ostensibly over concerns that it would give the appearance of a “quadrilateral military alliance” aimed at China.
- Quad is the informal strategic dialogue between India, the USA, Japan and Australia with a shared objective to ensure and support a free, open and prosperous” Indo-Pacific region.
About Malabar Exercise
- It is an annual trilateral naval exercise between the navies of India, Japan, and the USA which is held alternately in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
- It began as a bilateral naval exercise between India and the USA in 1992 and was expanded into a trilateral format with the inclusion of Japan in 2015.
- Other exercises between India and Australia are Pitch Black and AUSINDEX.