🚨 My new paper for @LowyInstitute on India-Australia security relations. 🚨 lowyinstitute.org/publications/a…
This paper has been some years in the making, and benefited considerably from 4 visits to Australia between 2016 & 2019 (thanks to @PerthUSAsia @NSC_ANU @LowyInstitute) as well as informative interactions with both Australian and Indian defence officials. A few highlights below:
Strategic relations between India & Australia were modest between 1944 and 2000, due to:

1. Cold War (and 🇦🇺 🇵🇰 ties)
2. India's nuclear programme
3. Weak social links
4. Weak economic and trade relations
Beyond overcoming these four obstacles in the 1990s and 2000s, the new drivers of cooperation included:

1. China's rise and assertiveness
2. Concern about inadequate regional institutions
3. Concerns about U.S. capabilities and presence
The first phase of this new relationship (2000-2006) saw:

2000: Defence talks, PM Howard visit
2001: Foreign ministry + strategic dialogue
2003: Australian observers at Milan
2003-06: Port calls
2004-06: Service chiefs visits
2004: Tsunami cooperation
The second phase (2006-2014) saw:

2006: MoU on Defence Cooperation
2007: Agreement on classified information
2007: Quad dialogue
2007: Malabar 07-02
2009: Strategic partnership
2011: CECA talks start
2012: Civil nuclear talks
2013: AK Antony visit
2014: Australia at Milan
The third phase (2014-onwards) had:

2014: Security cooperation agreement
2015: 🇦🇺🇮🇳🇯🇵, coast guard talks, AUSINDEX, civil nuclear deal
2016: DRDO talks, White Shipping Agreement
2017: Quad, AUSINDEX, 2+2, 🇦🇺🇮🇳🇮🇩
2019: Ministerial Quad
2020: Ministerial 2+2, MLSA, cyber, 🇦🇺🇫🇷🇮🇳
Today, 🇮🇳🇦🇺 defence ties feature:

1. Strategic dialogues, coordination, and intelligence exchanges, including 3rd countries.
2. Military exercises involving all 3 services.
3. Mil-mil exchanges and training.
4. Defence technological cooperation.

All are still in early stages.
Challenges remain, including:

1. Aligning capabilities
2. Different priorities
3. Contrasting strategic circumstances

None of these are necessarily insurmountable, although they remain drags on the relationship.
Priorities ahead could include:

1. Institutionalising and prioritising consultations.
2. Improving interoperability.
3. Defence trade and tech (e.g. protected mobility vehicles, undersea sensors, radar, simulators, aircraft/sub components, etc.)
4. Broadening relations
Thanks to many people who provided inputs, encouragement, and assistance: @AlexKOliver @SamRoggeveen @mfullilove @arzandc @nidvarma @Rory_Medcalf @lgflake & Geoffrey Flugge. It draws on important work by @DavidBrewster6 @Rory_Medcalf, @amitabhmattoo, Priya Chacko, Meg Gurry, etc.
P.S. It tells you much about the spurt of activity in this period that I overlooked some significant exercises (AustraHind, Pitch Black, Kakadu, Black Carillon) and the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative.

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More from @d_jaishankar

28 Aug
With NHK + Kyodo confirming that Shinzo Abe is stepping down as Japan's prime minister, a thread on at least one aspect of his legacy: Japan's military normalization. A lot of the focus will be on his tenure (almost 9 years), the longest of any Japanese prime minister.
Also, how he loosened up Japanese politics. This thread by @observingjapan is wonderful.
But the revolution Abe brought about in Japan's role as a security actor is remarkable. Consider that when he first became prime minister in 2006, Japan did not have a Defence Ministry. In 2007, the Defence Agency (Boei-cho) was upgraded to a Defence Ministry (Boei-sho).
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15 Aug
Joe Biden's message on 🇮🇳 Independence Day. As president, “I’ll continue…standing with India" to confront challenges in its regions and "its borders". Hopes to work with India on two way trade, climate change, and have an honest conversation on all issues as close friends.
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Important read from Chinese scholar Yuan Peng of CICIR: "The world during and after the pandemic is like the world after WWI..But just like Britain in the post-WWI period, the [U.S.] still has enough power to prevent other countries from taking her place." readingthechinadream.com/yuan-peng-coro…
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21 Jun
A short THREAD on Indian opinions about China, based on two recent surveys I was involved in.

A lot of commentary still mentions Indian ambivalence about competition with China, but that's not necessarily reflected in recent opinion surveys.
A couple of points to begin.

One, survey data about foreign affairs in India is limited. Pew, Gallup, and several others (including embassies) do conduct polls, but due to the high cost and high rates of 'no opinion' answers, they're not as numerous as one might expect.
Two, when I post survey data on Twitter, an inevitable response is "how significant is a few hundred or few thousand person sample in a country of over a billion."

To preempt such responses, let me just say: quite significant.

Here's a good explainer: online.stat.psu.edu/stat100/lesson…
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14 Jun
A little off-brand thread this Sunday: 10 Lessons from reading all 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories.
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28 May
By popular demand, here is a thread of links to informative analyses about what is going on in the India-China border region.

Much of what follows should be seen as useful background or context, to be read with the caveats I outlined previously:

This interview with Shyam Saran, former Foreign Secretary and Chairman of the National Security Advisory Board. timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/chinese-… ImageImage
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