“The so-called Quad group of Indo-Pacific maritime democracies – Australia, India, Japan, and the United States – is a valuable grouping, although it is still under utilized in many ways. One of the most effective ways that these countries could work together to enhance maritime security in the Indo-Pacific would be through coordinating the work of their coast guard agencies.”
While India in particular, is adverse to committing to a military alliance, these nations share a commitment to a rules based international system.
Quadrilateral cooperation through the countries’ coast guards could provide an answer to this political problem. As principally law-enforcement agencies, coast guards can provide many practical benefits in building a stable and secure maritime domain, without the overtones of a military alliance.
Using ship-riders, this sort of cooperation could go beyond capacity building and uphold the norms of international behavior. It might lead to the kind of standing maritime security task force I advocated earlier. When coast guards are in conflict, having multiple coast guards on scene could insure that instead of a “he said, she said” situation, we could have a “he said, we say” situation that would show a united front against bullying.
Below is the press release quoted in full. Sorry, I have not read it yet, so no commentary. The US Coast Guard and coast guard organizations are mentioned a number of time.
Release No: NR-138-19
The Department of Defense’s Indo-Pacific Strategy Report was publicly released the morning of June 1, 2019, and can be accessed here, under “Publications” on Defense.gov.
The first Indo-Pacific Strategy Report released by the Department, the document is a comprehensive articulation of DoD’s role within a whole-of-government strategy for the Indo-Pacific region. As an implementation document, the report provides clarity on the U.S. National Defense Strategy as it applies to the region and highlights the role of allies and partners in implementing our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific.
The report details the Department’s enduring commitment to upholding a free and open Indo-Pacific. The execution of this vision is articulated in the context of preparedness, partnerships, and the promotion of a networked region.
Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan delivered key messages from the report during his plenary remarks at the 18th Asia Security Summit: the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.