Quad needs ‘standing force’ in Indo-Pacific: ex-U.S. Navy chief

Ships from Quad members Japan and India sail in a formation with Australian and U.S. vessels during exercises in 2021. © U.S. Navy

Quad needs ‘standing force’ in Indo-Pacific: ex-U.S. Navy chief – Nikkei Asia

Gary Roughead, the former U.S. chief of naval operations, calls for four-nation group to rotate command

KENTARO IWAMOTO, Nikkei staff writer – October 21, 2022 15:19 JST Updated on October 21, 2022 16:23 JST

TOKYO — The Quad security grouping of the U.S., Japan, Australia and India should have a standing maritime force, the former U.S. chief of naval operations said on Friday, calling for stronger engagement in the Indo-Pacific region to counter China.

The Quad, formally the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, is widely seen as a buffer against Beijing’s growing economic and military influence. Unlike NATO, however, it is not a military alliance.

In a panel discussion at the 19th CSIS/Nikkei Symposium in Tokyo on Friday, retired Adm. Gary Roughead pointed out that the Indo-Pacific region is “really a maritime environment” stretching from the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea, arguing that a permanent presence would be beneficial.

“My belief is that to get the Quad moving, we should establish a standing Quad maritime force that’s in being all the time,” he said, suggesting that the command of that force “would rotate perhaps every six months among the countries.”

Roughead, who was in charge of naval operations from 2007 to 2011, said this would augment coast guards in the region and help countries protect their maritime resources, “which we know China approaches with a significant fishing fleet.”

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