The Quad: Destination Unknown

Joint Malabar Exercises in 2012, modified, - The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97) transit in formation with Indian navy ships during Exercise Malabar 2012. Carl Vinson, Bunker Hill, and Halsey are part of Carrier Strike Group 1, and are participating in the annual bilateral naval field training exercise with the Indian navy to advance multinational maritime relationships and mutual security issues. Unit: Navy Media Content Services DVIDS Tags: exercise; U.S. Navy; Bay of Bengal; Exercise Malabar 2012


The concept of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) did not emerge in a vacuum. The four democracies in the Indo-Pacific—India, United States, Australia, and Japan—were brought together during the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman Earthquake that devastated some of the counties in the region. Though the Quad did not come into being until 2007, the humanitarian relief efforts during the 2004 disaster demonstrated the impeccable coordination capacity of the partner-states. Nonetheless, forming in 2007, the dialogue fell apart shortly after due to several reasons including domestic developments in Australia and Japan. It was not until 2017 when the four democracies revived Quad 2.0, this time encouraged primarily by the United States. Despite these promising developments, doubts over the long-term sustainability of the dialogue persist. In fact, the participating states harbor major differences when it comes to addressing China’s rise as well as preserving the rule-based order in the region. This is particularly a problem with India and Australia.

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