16 May 2024

From QUAD to Squad: Informal Alliances in the Indo-Pacific - OPINION

Dr.Akshat Dwivedi

In a move that underscores the growing significance of strategic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin announced a quadrilateral group called the “Squad,” which includes the United States, Australia, Japan, and the Philippines. As per the Global Times report, during the Shangri-La security dialogue, the first meeting of Squad defence chiefs took place in June 2023 in Singapore. Additionally, in April 2024, the four nations carried out cooperative marine patrols inside the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines – a significant development in light of ongoing hostilities between China and the Philippines.

The formation of the Squad comes at a time of heightened tensions and evolving security dynamics in the Indo-Pacific. China’s increasingly aggressive activities and territorial disputes are raising anxiety among neighbouring nations. The alliance brings together a wide range of resources and capabilities with the participation of the United States, Japan, Australia, and the Philippines. Important regional participants Australia and Japan both provide substantial naval and defence resources. Meanwhile, the Philippines’ strategic significance stems from its geographic location and marine capabilities, despite its relatively weaker military might.

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