- India believes that an expanded Malabar presents the emergence of a structured maritime coalition in the Indo-Pacific, amounting to a growing defence maritime architecture with reference to China.
- Malabar exercises evolved from being routine drills in the Western Indian Ocean to a multi-faceted series of exercises held in the “Indo-Pacific”. The shift in geographic posturing was a signal to China.
- Synchronicity among political leaders of Quad countries continued to face challenges primarily the obstacles to Indo-Australian strategic cooperation seemed “insurmountable”.
- Quad countries have held drills in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) only and not collectively in the Western Pacific Ocean yet.
- The second edition of Malabar-2007 and the recent exercise are a long shot away from the basic synergy in the IOR.
- Though Malabar-2020 is touted as Quad’s revival and a show-of-force against China, the actual determinant is the support from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which has become wary of the United States-China rivalry and would prefer a change in existing American policies toward the region.