India in the Indian Ocean: Growing Mismatch Between Ambitions and Capabilities
Given the rise of major economic powers in the Asia-Pacific that rely on energy imports to sustain their economic growth, the Indian Ocean region has assumed a new importance. Various powers are once again vying for the control of the waves in this part of the world. This article examines the emerging Indian approach towards the Indian Ocean in the context of India's rise as a major regional and global actor. It argues that though India has historically viewed the Indian Ocean region as one in which it would like to establish its own predominance, its limited material capabilities have constrained its options. With the expansion, however, of India's economic and military capabilities, the country's ambitions vis-à-vis this region are soaring once again. India is also trying its best to respond to the challenge that growing Chinese capabilities in the Indian Ocean are posing to the region and beyond. Yet, preponderance in the Indian Ocean region, though much desired by the Indian strategic elites, remains an unrealistic aspiration for India given the significant stakes that other major powers have in the region.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: June 1, 2009
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- Pacific Affairs is a peer-reviewed, independent, and interdisciplinary scholarly journal focusing on important current political, economic and social issues throughout Asia and the Pacific. Each issue contains approximately five new articles and 40-50 book reviews. Published continuously as a quarterly since 1928 under the same name, it is the oldest English-language journal with a focus on Asia and the Pacific. It enjoys an international reputation based on the high quality of articles, and its extensive book reviews section.
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