(Edited from original executive summary)
In order to fully develop the argument for both the enlargement of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for
Regional Cooperation (IORARC) agenda to incorporate an array of non-traditional security issues, and the incorporation of a new Indo-Pacific concept into higher order security thinking, this Report is divided into three major sections.
The first section considers the changing security dynamics of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). This section begins by arguing for the need to consider security as a multidimensional concept in the 21st century. The report suggests that policy-makers need to incorporate a broader and more interdependent concept of security than the traditional military concept in order to maximise long-term regional security. Thus, concepts of human security, economic and resources security, maritime security and environmental security are interrelated and critically important to 21st century state and regional stability. This section of the report also evaluates the narratives surrounding proponents of different regional security structures. It finds that a new concept of maritime regionalism can be applied to a range of non-traditional security concerns in the Indian Ocean. Furthermore, while there is need for a new regional maritime security regime, the old exclusive Indo-Pacific security concept will not likely guarantee long-term regional stability.
The second major section of the report provides a detailed description and analysis of the various components of the multidimensional security concept as they apply to all Indian Ocean states. It is concluded that, within the IOR, while there has been a significant increase in military expenditure among some states, and while important inter-state conflicts still remain, in reality, most conflicts actually occur within rather than between states. As a result, at the Indian Ocean regional level, greater policy attention needs to be given to aspects of human security, economic and resources security, maritime security and environmental security.
The third major section of the report considers the roles of India and Australia in Indo-Pacific security. This section of the report focuses on the development of the Australia-India strategic relationship and how this can be enhanced to the benefit of both states in the context of shifts in the balance of power between the Indian and Pacific oceans and the implications of the emergence of an Indo-Pacific strategic region. It is argued that there is considerable scope for increased bilateral cooperation between India and Australia both within the IOR and beyond. It is suggested that, given the current configuration of IOR-ARC, both India and Australia can take the lead in increasing regional awareness and cooperation among Indian Ocean rim states. Furthermore, both India and Australia can be active participants in the provision of maritime security through the entire Indo-Pacific littoral. In short, both India and Australia can take the lead in facilitating the development of security agendas for both the Indian Ocean and the Indo-Pacific security systems.