US’ new security strategy on Indo-Pacific: Flaws, gaps

CTN News


Even a cursory appraisal of the National Security Strategy (NSS) would reveal that American policymakers are currently too obsessed with the “China threat.” There is hardly any topic in the 48-page document where they have forgotten to directly or indirectly refer to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) – as they now prefer to call China in the official documentation. “Free and open Indo-Pacific” is the new mantra of the Biden administration, and it has been assigned a separate chapter in the NSS document as a key plank of America’s global strategic outlook.

Indubitably, this long stretch of area, starting from the East China Sea including the Indian Ocean and extending up to the islands in the vicinity of Australia, has acquired inordinate strategic significance for global power brokers in recently. “The Indo-Pacific fuels much of the world’s economic growth and will be the epicenter of 21st-century geopolitics. And we will affirm freedom of the seas and build shared regional support for open access to South China Sea – a throughway for nearly two-thirds of global maritime trade and a quarter of all global trade. A free and open Indo-Pacific can only be achieved if we build collective capacity,” is how the NSS has described the significance of this region.

Not surprisingly, in this region, the United States considers China as the main rival, which is aggressively busy in extending influence here. The NSS divides the region into two distinct parts on the basis of geographical demarcation: Firstly, the area comprising the East China Sea and the South China Sea up to the Indian Ocean, and secondly, numerous Pacific island states around Australia. In both parts of the Indo-Pacific, security issues vary in nature. However, China is the only common factor that has been categorized as the key challenger to American interests there.

Owing to these geographical compulsions, two parallel tussles between Beijing and Washington…

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