US reinforces its focus on Indo-Pacific with Malabar-21, says GlobalData

Following the commencement of the four-day maritime exercise Malabar-21;

Sourabh Banik, Aerospace & Defense Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view on the countries that are participating:

“The annual exercise has traditionally focused around strengthening military ties among the US, Japan, Australia and India and is seen largely to counter China’s assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region. However, the events unfolding in Afghanistan, with the withdrawal of US forces and China making diplomatic gains there, will also play a major role this year. Apart from establishing synergies with partner countries during this year’s edition of Malabar maritime exercise, the US will also be looking to reposition itself as the dominant security provider in the region.

“As the US is shifting its focus away from Central Asia and the Middle East to Indo-Pacific, it is evident that the country will try to project its naval power to gain advantage over China and make up for the lost grounds. According to GlobalData, the US is likely to spend an impressive *US$268.9bn on procuring surface and sub-surface platforms over the next ten years to augment its maritime defense capabilities.

“China, despite recently ramping up its naval production, is anticipated to spend less than a *quarter of the US’s spending for procuring similar naval platforms between 2021 and 2031. As such, the US administration will also be looking to justify this spending to its taxpayers by gaining influence in the region through such joint military exercises.”

*Data taken from GlobalData’s reports: Global Naval Vessels and Surface Combatants Market to 2031 and Global Submarine Market to 2031

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