Only six months into his tenure, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is breathing new life into the concept of Indo-Pacific security. Indeed, it is not too early to describe the key elements of an emerging “Modi Doctrine” focused on the vigorous pursuit of political influence through greater maritime power. Acutely aware that India’s development is best advanced across the sea lanes of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the prime minister is embarking on a course of intensified engagement with other regional maritime powers.
If the Modi Doctrine persists, then about a quarter century of “looking East” is truly set to be followed by a long-term period of “acting East.” Heightened security cooperation with Japan, Australia, and the United States are three prime indicators of the new doctrine. Strengthening existing security ties with Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and deepening cooperation with islands in the Pacific and the Indian Ocean are other factors underpinning this doctrine.
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