Context: The Quad countries (India, the U.S., Australia and Japan) will carry out the next edition of the Malabar naval exercise from August 26 to 29 off the coast of Guam. 

What we can see in the exercise

  • Indian stealth frigate INS Shivalik and anti-submarine warfare corvette INS Kadmatt arrived in Guam, an island territory of the U.S. in the Western Pacific, on Saturday to take part in the exercise.
  • The Malabar-21 will witness high-tempo exercises among destroyers, frigates, corvettes, submarines, helicopters and long-range maritime patrol aircraft of the participating navies.

Implication of the exercise.

  • The exercise is taking place in the midst of growing convergence of interests in the maritime domain as well as military cooperation among the Quad nations in the face of China’s increasing assertiveness.
  • Though the exercise is not part of the framework of cooperation under Quad, it is seen as a reflection of the increasing partnership among the four countries.
  • China has been suspicious about the purpose of the exercise as it feels that the annual war game is an effort to contain its influence in the Indo-Pacific.
  • There are mounting global concerns over China’s growing military muscle-flexing in the Indo-Pacific region.

Related facts

Quadrilateral Security Dialogue/QUAD:

  • It is a four-nation alliance with India, USA, Japan and Australia as its member states.
  • It was established in 2007.
  • It is not a military alliance.
  • Recently the Prime Minister of India attended the first summit of the leaders of the quadrilateral security dialogue or quad that was hosted by the USA in a virtual mode.
    • The focus of the summit was on pressing crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and emerging technologies. 
    • All the leaders in the summit took the pledge of;
      • Promoting a free, open, rules-based order, rooted in international law to advance security and prosperity. 
      • Counter threats to both in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.