Reader response: Indian Ocean region vital to Australian security
5 Nov 2012|

Strategist reader Linsday Dorman, an associate at Future Directions International, has submitted this comment:

I enjoyed the report by Peter Jennings of 1 November. However, I note that he stresses ‘that our primary focus should come back to the Asia- Pacific’. Does he have an eastern states blind spot, the Indian Ocean and South Asia, where we have two susceptible nuclear-armed nation states as well as an unstable MENA? We are part of the whole world, not some narrow-minded Pacific scenario.

To which Peter Jennings has responded:

Thanks to Lindsay Dorman for his comment. I hope I don’t have an ‘eastern states blind spot’, but when I think about areas where the ADF is most likely to deploy in the next few years, I tend to think that our so-called ‘Inner arc’ to our North and North East may well produce occasions requiring stabilisation tasks, or HADR responses. In the Indian Ocean we will most likely see a continuation of the border protection role. I would also expect an increase in activities designed to show an ADF ‘presence’ in the oil and gas fields of the North West Shelf. We may also see further exercising and training cooperation with Indian Ocean and South Asian countries and further west to the UAE. Australia will probably remain committed to a range of maritime operations in the Gulf region. (I won’t speculate here about the Iran situation and possible international responses.)