India Steers the Quad: US Envoy Hails India’s Growing Leadership Role

by Dr. Jasneet Bedi

India has taken the “driver’s seat” within the Quad, a strategic partnership between the United States, Australia, Japan, and India, according to US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti. This statement signifies a potential shift in the dynamics of the Quad, highlighting India’s growing influence and strategic importance in the Indo-Pacific region.

Speaking at the Jaipur Literature Festival, Garcetti employed a car analogy to illustrate the roles of each member. He described India as the driver, the US as the passenger with the “corrective steering wheel,” Japan as the navigator, and Australia as the enthusiastic backseat passenger ensuring everyone’s comfort. This metaphor underscores India’s agency in shaping the Quad’s agenda and priorities.

Garcetti’s remarks come amidst India’s increasing assertiveness on the global stage. The country has played a pivotal role in various Quad initiatives, including maritime security cooperation, vaccine distribution, and infrastructure development. India’s economic and military capabilities are also on the rise, making it a natural leader in the region.

What are the implications of India’s growing leadership in the Quad?

  • Enhanced regional cooperation: India’s leadership could foster deeper collaboration on issues like maritime security, counter-terrorism, and economic development, benefiting the entire Indo-Pacific region.
  • Shifting power dynamics: India’s rise could lead to a more multipolar Asia, with regional powers playing a more prominent role in shaping the international order.
  • Challenges and opportunities: India’s leadership also comes with challenges, such as managing competing interests within the Quad and navigating complex geopolitical situations.

What are the key areas where India can potentially lead the Quad?

  • Maritime security: India’s strong navy and strategic location make it well-positioned to lead initiatives in the Indo-Pacific, ensuring freedom of navigation and countering piracy.
  • Infrastructure development: India’s ambitious infrastructure projects like the Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative can benefit from Quad collaboration, promoting regional connectivity and economic growth.
  • Climate change: India’s leadership in renewable energy and sustainable development can guide the Quad’s efforts in tackling climate challenges in the region.
Dr. Jasneet Bedi

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