Russia Dives into the Indian Ocean

The most interesting aspect to the Russian navy’s latest announced exercises isn’t so much that they’re taking place, but where they’re taking place: the Indian Ocean. The strategic sea lanes that link Asia to Africa are already the object of an Indian and Chinese naval buildup, and the region was identified last summer by France’s defense white paper as a principal strategic concern.

As in other aspects of its conventional military capacity, Russia has a lot of ground to make up before it represents a credible naval power. But the fact that in reestablishing its global naval presence, they’ve chosen such a sensitive location for a war games exercise reflects a bit of provocative moxy.

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