Australia's Cocos Islands and Christmas Island are remote islands with potentially great significance for Australia's strategic role in the eastern Indian Ocean region and the wider Indo-Pacific. This paper explores the growing militarization of islands throughout the Indian Ocean in the context of growing strategic competition in the region. It then considers the strategic value of Australia's Indian Ocean territories and makes recommendations about the further development of defense infrastructure to potentially support Australian air operations in Southeast Asia and the eastern Indian Ocean. Upgraded facilities on both Cocos and Christmas would provide Australia with valuable leverage in its relationships with regional defense partners and the United States.
|Journal||Journal of the Indian Ocean Region|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|