India's Defense Diplomacy in the Persian Gulf

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Professor of Political Geography, Department of Geography, Kharzmi University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Lorestan, Khoramabad, Iran



In recent decades, India has become one of the emerging powers or rising powers in the international system. Because of India's rapid economic growth and the country's ever-increasing need for energy the Persian Gulf—as one of the top energy resource-rich regions in the world—have become attractive for the Indian politicians. The expansion of India's strategic interests in the Persian Gulf region (PGR), combined with the need to ensure the country's energy security has led New Delhi to explore the opportunity and possibility of military and security presence in the PGR. In recent years, India has consequently entered into a "strategic partnership" with several Persian Gulf countries and has started extensive defense-security cooperation with these states. The objectives of the present study are as follows: a) to explain the dimensions and components of India's defense diplomacy in the Persian Gulf region; and b) to examine the policy instruments which are used by India to secure its national interests and to protect its national security based on defense diplomacy.
In the research hypothesis, it is assumed that there is a significant relationship between India's defense diplomacy in the Persian Gulf and its national security. India has explored the opportunities of defense cooperation with PG states in various fields, including cooperation in military training, joint military exercises and provision of resources, research and development (R& D), production and marketing of defense equipment in the PG countries in order to prevent the encirclement of India by China or Pakistan. The Indian policymakers want to expand their country’s relations with the US as the major provider of foreign aid for safeguarding national security interests of New Delhi. The theoretical framework of Anton de Plessis’s theory of military diplomacy is used. This political scientist defines this military type of diplomacy broadly as "the use of military personnel, including service dependents, to support conflict prevention and resolution”. Among a wide range of activities, military diplomacy includes providing foreign aid for the purpose of developing liable democratic armed forces. Du Plessis also provided a broader definition of military diplomacy as "the use of armed forces in operations other than war, relying on their expertise and trained discipline to achieve national and foreign goals abroad."
For hypothesis testing, one-way analysis of variance (F test) has been used. The research findings show that the relationship between India's defense diplomacy in the Persian Gulf and its national security is significant at the confidence level of 0.99. Moreover, Pearson's correlation coefficient was used to estimate the strength and direction of the relationship between India's defense diplomacy in the Persian Gulf and the its national security. The Pearson correlation coefficient between two variables indicates that the intensity of the relationship between them is moderate and its direction is positive. In other words, India's defense diplomacy in the Persian Gulf moderately plays a role in protecting Indian national security.


Main Subjects

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