The quadrilateral security dialogue, or “Quad,” was reborn in 2017 to secure a “rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific.” Bringing together the US, Japan, India, and Australia, the Quad was initially intended as a mechanism for responding to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. However, it quickly became entangled in growing strategic competition across Asia and collapsed in 2008. Although the four countries still sometimes differ in their views of the region’s strategic trends, the Quad’s revival points to a greater alignment of interests this time around. Nonetheless, major challenges to the Quad’s viability remain. First, it is unclear whether the four powers will be able to maximise opportunities for cooperation while ensuring that wider geopolitical rivalries do not again overwhelm the grouping. Second, given that it has been revived to support this “Indo-Pacific” order, the Quad is constrained by the vagueness of the Indo-Pacific concept and the absence of Indonesia.
H. D. P. Envall