GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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UAE defence diplomacy and the Indian Ocean region
Paper Proposal Text :
The term defence diplomacy has gained considerably currency in recent years, as more countries have formally focused on creating influence and enhancing security via military confidence and security building measures. Compared with the south east Asian region, the volume and diversity of defence diplomacy undertaken by Indian Ocean rim countries is small. However, this appears to be increasing as the major Indian Ocean littoral countries of India, Indonesia and Australia see the benefits of such activities. While not typically associated with defence diplomacy activities, the UAE has long utilized them to advance its national interest.

The paper starts with a definitional discussion of defence diplomacy. It then catalogues the UAE’s defence diplomacy activities. It shows that the UAE has had a long history of such activity despite having very limited military capabilities over most of its history. It also reveals that the UAE has undertaken a wide range of defence diplomacy activities, and in recent years, has increased the quantity and quality of these activities in the Indian Ocean region. The paper concludes with observations about the UAE’s defence diplomacy with particular reference to developments in the Indian Ocean region. This paper seeks to make a contribution to country study literature on defence diplomacy in the Indian Ocean, and to the UAE Government’s work towards operationalising soft power.