NEW DELHI: N. Sathiya Moorthy, Distinguished Fellow and Head of the Chennai Initiative at the Observer Research Foundation tells StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi, India sees the 5th NSA-level Colombo Security Conclave (CSC) meeting hosted by the Maldives with Sri Lanka, India, Mauritius, Bangladesh and the Seychelles as a “standalone affair” that can “at best be loosely called India’s ‘Quad'”. From a “purely minimalist Indian perspective”, he points to the U.S. Diego Garcia military base coupled with the CSC dealing with security from Mauritius to Bangladesh which “means there is no scope or space for an outsider to enter this fortress.”
For context watch the complete discussion here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnO1GOgYvGI&t=9s)
Mr Moorthy, give us your holistic perspective on the CSC- from Mauritius, Seychelles in the western Indian Ocean region, the Maldives, the Laccadives, India’s huge coastline, the Andaman Nicobar Command (Sri Lanka) and then Bangladesh. and says
We have got so much area to secure and enough capacity and capability to secure them. If you take the southern Indian Ocean, there is territory and interests that need to be covered, secured, and that is happening already. Take for instance beyond this conclave, there is the U.S. military in Diego Garcia island. It’s an extra-regional power. So, it’s not on for it to help us or interfere with us. And there may be differences of opinion between nations when it comes to either individual nations involved or the conclave per se involving the U.S. to the preference of China or some other nation. All those are very complicated issues. But from a purely minimalist Indian perspective, the presence of U.S. military in Diego Garcia coupled with this conclave’s (dealing with) security from Mauritius, Seychelles to Bangladesh means that there is no scope or space for an outsider to enter this fortress. (China you’re saying) And there is a collaborator, participant, support state from these parts, which is what this conclave ensures- it won’t be for outsiders. That includes the U.S.