The Indian Ocean will become the “heart” of Australian strategic planning, said Defense Minister Stephen Smith at the Asia-Pacific Chiefs of Defence Force Conference in Sydney yesterday. Smith also met Indian defense officials, proclaiming that India and Australia will jointly lead the development of a maritime security architecture in the Indian Ocean.
Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is visiting India this week. He and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agreed to resume civil nuclear and trade cooperation and to boost diplomatic ties in what Harper called a “turn of the page.” Canada and India have a history of diplomatic mishaps, the most prominent being India’s use of Canadian civil nuclear technology to make a nuclear bomb back in 1974. Harper said that’s all in the past now.
Both Canada and Australia have good reason to want to boost trade and security ties with India. They share parliamentary and judicial systems, historical ties to Britain and the Commonwealth, and, for India and Australia, concern for the security of an extremely important body of water.
This is a promising development from an American standpoint. Deeper ties between India and the English-speaking world are a good thing: They will aid everything from maintain safety in the Indian Ocean to sending Indian students to Australian and Canadian universities, and vice versa. And it’s also good to see Canada and Australia sharing Washington’s view that the Pacific and Indian Oceans are strategically and economically vital to the world.
The Asian Game of Thrones goes on, and the Anglosphere is closing ranks.