India’s strategic community was agitated last week when the USS John Paul Jones carried out a freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) 130 nautical miles west of the Lakshadweep Islands. Indian observers reacted with shock and dismay at what some described as an unnecessary provocation by the U.S. Navy. The disquiet in Delhi was heightened by an unusual press release by the Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, that said the operation, which was carried out in India’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), “asserted navigational rights and freedoms… without requesting India’s prior consent”. (Read More)
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