November 21, 2017
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Strong alliance
Malabar naval exercise The Manmohan Singh government has presented it as a fait accompli for the next Indian government to go ahead with the decision of inviting Japan in the revived multilateral Malabar naval exercise, a decision of far reaching strategic significance. If the coming Indian leadership shows guts, the trilateral Malabar may prove to be a game changer in India’s maritime military engagement.   On the sea bed of the trilateral maritime exercise the three nations can build a foundation of deeper maritime alliance to jointly protect each other’s maritime security interests and ensure the free movements of the military and trade cargo over the Indo-Pacific region. During the visit of the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to New Delhi the Indian government gave the go ahead for transforming the Malabar bilateral exercise into a trilateral one. Abe’s visit was on the eve of the Indian Republic Day celebration parade, which he attended as the Chief Guest, an annual honor India bestows on the Heads of States whom India considers worth wooing. The decision to again invite Japan to join the Malabar exercise was taken after long years of strategic hedging among the Indian leadership, which probably was propelled by the continued Chinese intransigence on the Sino Indian borders.    In fact it was Manmohan government which had developed cold feet in 2007 to drop Japan and Australia from future maritime engagements
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