29 March 2014
Today, naval representatives and warships from 18 different nations are converging in the southern part of the South China Sea known as Natuna.
Adopting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) as its main theme, Exercise Komodo highlights the growing role of the Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL) in international naval diplomacy. But held amid lingering tensions arising from territorial disputes in the South China Sea, what can we gauge from it?
Certainly, Exercise Komodo carries mixed messages. At first glance, the exercise attempts to display Indonesia’s growing role in naval diplomacy. Bringing in naval representatives from 18 countries is no easy task. Much less is the choice of timing and location in the South China Sea, where tensions remain high following incidents among the claimants.
… The writer is an associate research fellow with the Maritime Security Program at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
IDSS / RSIS / Print
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