Daily Memo: US Naval Drills in the Indian Ocean and Black Sea

And EU leaders are still haggling over coronavirus recovery funds.

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U.S.-Indian maritime exercises. The U.S. and Indian navies are expected to conduct joint exercises this week in the eastern part of the Indian Ocean Basin. The USS Nimitz carrier group reportedly moved into the waters en route to the Middle East after taking part in war games with the USS Theodore Roosevelt in the South China Sea last week. The planned exercise is relatively modest – just a “basic maritime drill” known as a passing exercise – but the timing and location are both significant. It comes less than a month after India conducted a similar drill with Japan, and amid widespread reports that Australia for the first time will join the India-led Malabar exercises in August, which also feature the U.S. and Japan. (The four countries together make up the so-called Quad.) As we’ve discussed, the Quad will coalesce around quiet moves by the four partners to deepen cooperation more than around any sort of grand shows of quadrilateral unity. It is also notable that the U.S.-India drill will take place around India’s strategically invaluable Andaman and Nicobar islands, near the mouth of the Strait of Malacca. If India is going to play a robust role in any coalition […]

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