This chapter considers America’s strategic posture in the Indian Ocean. The discussion first reviews how this has changed over time and then considers what place the region now plays in the United States’ overall global strategy. The chapter then lists the interests Washington pursues in the Indian Ocean before it then examines three key strategic challenges America has faced recently in the region – piracy off Somalia, the War on Terror (especially in Afghanistan), and the increasing Chinese presence in the region – before it details Washington’s responses to these. How America expects to cooperate with two key ‘like-minded’ regional states, India and Australia, is also considered, along with a detailed discussion of America’s key regional base at Diego Garcia. The chapter finishes with a prediction that the region is only likely to become more important in the United States’ strategic calculations.
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