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Ocean horizons: Strengthening maritime security in Indo-Pacific island states

By Anthony Bergin, David Brewster and Aakriti Bachhawat

The report examines how Pacific island countries (PICs) and Indian Ocean island states (IO island states) are managing and prioritising their maritime security challenges. These islands, which we call the ‘Indo-Pacific island states’, face an intricate offshore tapestry.

In particular, this report suggests that most of the maritime threats and risks facing the Indo-Pacific island states are increasing. That’s in part because of the general lack of effective maritime security identified in this report.

The report describes the current geopolitical environment of the Indo-Pacific island states and how we should understand maritime security in the context of island states. It examines the core maritime security concerns of the PICs and IO island states and considers points of commonality and divergence in island state perspectives on maritime security and major-power competition. The report provides key recommendations for Indo-Pacific island states and for countries, such as Australia and its partners, that wish to more effectively engage with the island states on maritime security.