ramana wrote:Excuse me but what does Australia bring to the table? So far they have been UK, US, and China poodles in that order. And under three masters have always been an attack dog on India.
Shouldn't forget their recording INS Mysore sonar signature on its return journey.
Parts of the post may be OT here but needed for an overall understanding.
Australia is being propped up by the US & Japan for entirely different reasons, even as India is warming up to Australia. In the 90s, Australia used to be incensed at the greatly expanding IN and began to aggressively shadow our assets in open seas. As the relationship improves, these may be behind us. We have been quite circumspect with Australia but the confidence building measures with Oz along with the push by Japan and the US may have allowed us to give the nod.
If we look at how these relationships have evolved (India-US-Japan-Australia) step-by-step in the last decade, the Quad would not be surprising at all. I have tried to piece together such a history from what I have been following.
In the case of the US, it is worthwhile to look at how the 'Pivot to Asia' evolved.
During the subsequent East Asia Summit (EAS) meet after the mid-November, 2012 Bali ASEAN meet, the US President Barack Obama opined that this summit must be the ‘premier arena . . . to work together on a wide range of issues: maritime security or nonproliferation
’. This was the first time that the US participated in the EAS. Of the 18 nations represented at the East Asia Summit, only the leaders of Cambodia and Myanmar did not raise the issue of maritime security. Just a day earlier, President Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard had announced increased cooperation between the US and Australian defence forces with the proposed deployment of US marines at Darwin
. This was described as “the presence that’s necessary to maintain the security architecture of the region”
. Obama also said “I am making it clear that the United States is stepping up its commitment to the entire Asia-Pacific”. As Australia began to realize the increasing significance of India, it formally requested the US to consider Indo-Pacific as as the replacement paradigm for the Asia-Pacific during the annual Strategic Review meeting with the US as part of Ausmin. Speaking in the Australian Parliament, President Obama said, “. . . in our welcome of India as it “looks east” and plays a larger role as an Asian power.” In January 2012, President Barack Obama unveiled a new US strategic plan for the decade articulating new US defence and security architecture. He said, “We will of necessity rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region”, a reference which has been interpreted as the US “pivot towards Asia”. In September 2012, it was announced that a US Marine Corps forward headquarters on Palawan Island, in the western Philippines had been setup. In c. 2015, the US was discussing with the Malaysian government for access to its naval base in Sabah which is situated in northern Borneo. In August 2016, India and the US signed the logistics pact, LEMOA. In the meanwhile, the 25-year deployment programme between the US & Australia was proceeding
as the US stationed 1250 Marines at Darwin. It has also deployed Ospreys, Cobras & Hueys in Darwin, apart from F-22s, F/A-18s in nearby northern Australian base and possibly F-35s soon. When the 10-year Indo-US Defence Framework Agreement was renewed in June, 2015 by Ash Carter, US Dy. Secretary of Defense, it specifically included new partners, Japan & Australia for military exercises.
During his visit to India in March 2016, Admiral Harry Harris, U.S. Pacific Commander, suggested considering expanding the trilateral Op. Malabar into a quadrilateral one by including the Australian Navy. In fact, the US has been at it for a very long time. Soon after the tsunami of 2004, the US suggested a five-nation axis consisting of the US, Japan, South Korea (RoK), Australia and India. The joint communiqué at the end of the c. 2011 annual US-Australia strategic review meeting called Ausmin , called for, “deeper strategic ties between Australia, the US and India, welcomed India's engagement in East Asia and called for greater co-operation with India in providing for maritime security.”
The simultaneous development of India-Australia relationship is also to be noted. The two countries had signed earlier the Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation concluded in 2006, and the Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation issued during the former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s visit to India in 2009. Earlier, Australia, which has 40% of world’s uranium, had decided in October 2011 to establish nuclear trade with India including exporting Uranium. India and Australia, realizing that they have to come closer in critical strategic issues, held their first talks on civilian nuclear partnership in March, 2013, a meeting that was not only concerned with bilateral nuclear matters but wide-ranging including global non-proliferation possibly leading to membership in the Australia Group. In her visit to New Delhi in November 2013, the Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, announced Australia’s decision to support India’s membership in NSG. During a historic visit to Australia in June 2013, the Indian Defence Minister, A.K.Antony and his Australian counterpart issued a joint statement stating that a bilateral maritime exercise between the two navies will be held in 2015. India and Australia had participated together in multilateral maritime exercises in Malabar in 2007 and in Milan in 2012. Both sides acknowledged that maritime security and freedom of navigation in accordance with principles of international law were critical for the growth and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions. The Indian Navy was invited to the October, 2013 International Fleet Review (IFR) held in Sydney. In c. 2013, Australia released a Country Strategy Document on India which identified the Indian Navy as possessing the most potential for a close maritime partnership. In March 2013, India and Australia, under the aegis of the Australia-India Institute (AII), launched a taskforce in Canberra “to discuss, debate and report on policy directions that both may consider for the future enhancement of regional security”. The taskforce’s report has also examined the issues related to sea lanes of communication (SLOC) security along the long Indo-Pacific littoral, with particular focus on Indian and Australian perspective on SLOC security between the Red Sea and South China sea and to consider the roles of India and Australia in Indo-Pacific security, including discussion of Indian and Australian perspectives on their (and each other’s) future roles in Indo-Pacific security. In September 2014, during his state visit to India, the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott signed the civil nuclear cooperation agreement with Modi. Australia reversed its policy of not signing any deal with non-NPT countries, just for India because of what Abbott called India’s “model behavior”. During the hugely successful visit by the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to Canberra in November 2014 (the first Indian PM to do so in 28 years), India and Australia also signed a Framework for Security Cooperation Agreement. The two countries also host an annual Defence Policy Talks and a 1.5 Track Defence Strategic Dialogue. In the trilateral dialogue involving India, Japan and Australia held in New Delhi in June 2015, maritime security, including freedom of navigation in the South China Sea and trilateral maritime cooperation in the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean were primarily discussed. Unnamed Indian defence sources claimed that India, Japan and Australia had decided to deepen their ties in all sectors, especially in the field of maritime security. It was also said that “Discussion on a possible trilateral naval exercise was held but no decision has been taken”. In September, 2015 the Indian and Australian navies conducted the first joint exercise, AUSINDEX, off Vishakapatnam. For the March 2016 Army Exercise in Pune, named Field Training Exercise (FTX-2016) involving the 10 member ASEAN states, India invited Australia. During the Australian PM Turnbull’s visit to India in March 2017, several important military-related agreements were signed. It was decided to hold bilateral naval exercises AUSINDEX starting from c. 2018, while a bilateral exercise of the Special Forces would be held in the later half of c. 2017. It was also decided to hold the first bilateral army exercise in c. 2018.
So, we do see the spiked American interests in Australia and the slowly maturing India-Australia relationship culminating in the Quad. The push had also come from Japan, as we see below.
As far back as c.2007, the then Japanese Prime Minister, Abe had told a joint Indian Parlaiment his vision of a “broader Asia” constituting the Pacific and Indian Ocean countries— Japan, India, Australia, and the United States—that share the common values of democracy, freedom, and respect for basic human rights. The Japan-Australia ties have progressed steadily and Japan even offered its Soryu-class submarines to Australia two years back. There have also been several joint military exercises. Japan & Australia have a 'special strategic partnership' as well. Japan & Australia are also collaborating on a few defence-related projects. Indeed, it was the Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono who pushed for the Quad. I have posted more on this in the China Neutering thread
. Japan also wants to diminish an overwhelming influence China wields in Oz.