Radhey Tambi, CAPS
In one of his recent addresses, the Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, commented that the air capability needs to be strengthened not only on the land borders but also in the maritime domain due to the increasing forays of China in the region. The Indo-Pacific region has emerged as the playground of strategies in the current geopolitical flux. The four factors that will determine any country’s influence and dominance include Diplomacy, Information Dominance, Military Might and Economic Prowess (DIME). New Delhi forms the heart of the region, and hence its role in ensuring that the region remains outside the influence of any one country remains important. Having a dominance in the Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) is the key to ensuring that the Indian Ocean region (IOR) remains a ground of convergence for all the players. And in this regard, the role is not limited to the aviation branch of the Navy, but rather strong air power acts as a force multiplier to achieve an effective and efficient MDA. In this regard, the Air Force must concentrate on and exploit the role of island states to enhance and refurbish the security of the region.