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La place des îles dans le théâtre stratégique de l’océan Indien

Abstract : In the Indian Ocean, the geopolitical and strategic situation has changed significantly since the beginning of the 21st century. In a context of growing competition between regional and external powers, the island states and territories are fully integrated into the strategic competition which primarily concerns the maritime domain. An inventory shows that the military presence is already relatively developed in the Indian Ocean islands and that there are sovereignty forces, forward-deployed forces and foreign operation forces. By analyzing the missions and activities of these military forces currently operating in the Indian Ocean, we were able to identify four major roles played by the islands, namely those of “service station”, “sentinel”, “unsinkable aircraft carrier” and “maritime gendarme”. Our analysis also shows that almost all the island states and territories of the Indian Ocean are directly involved, if not fully integrated, in the strategic deployment of the United States, India, China, France, Australia, the United Kingdom and the European Union (which are the main players now). However, the role of each other is still evolving, whether it be that of the medium and large powers engaged in the Indian Ocean, or of the small and large islands of the region. Regardless, the islands are now playing a primary role in a “great game” that firstly takes place at sea.
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 10, 2022 - 7:58:10 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, March 15, 2022 - 3:28:35 AM


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Christian Bouchard. La place des îles dans le théâtre stratégique de l’océan Indien. Carnets de Recherches de l'océan Indien, 2021, Mutations et transitions dans l'océan Indien, 7, pp.39-55. ⟨10.26171/carnets-oi_0703⟩. ⟨hal-03603611⟩



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