Maldives rejects US military presence

January 29, 2014

Last June, it was reported that the US and the Indian Ocean archipelago nation of Maldives were negotiating a Status of Forces Agreement that would have given the US a military foothold in the middle of strategic shipping lanes that connect the Persian Gulf with East Asia.

The new president of the Maldives has recently announced that his nation has discontinued these negotiations, in part due to pressure from regional power India.  Although India and the US are informally allied in the growing (but unclaimed and indistinct) anti-China coalition, India is intent on building regional dominance in the Indian Ocean.  As the US draws down its forces in the Persian Gulf region, India has the chance to become the de facto hegemon, at least of the Central and Western Indian Ocean.

international maritime route


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