The Indian Ocean Region is one of the world’s most important arenas of geopolitical contest, but now global warming is forcing critical compromiseStrategic contestation has always been the history and destiny of the countries of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Three of the world’s seven critical bottlenecks for global oil supply lie in this region.
The Indian Ocean Region has always been alive with conflict from its touchpoints in the Gulf to the friction in South-and-Southeast Asia, in Yemen, and off the coast of Somalia, there is no dearth of flashpoints in the region. This has been the strategic playground of America and France, the Soviet Union, and of course India, after all, it is the Indian Ocean. The latest player in these waters, thereby having in a sense muddied them geo-strategically, is China.
But the Indian Ocean Region does more than worry about nuclear-tipped submarines and naval bases in its midst these days. It has a bigger concern — global warming. In August 2021, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said that the Indian Ocean was warming faster than other oceanic bodies in the world.