The Future of Diego Garcia: Can America Maintain Its “Footprint of Freedom?”


The US naval facility at Diego Garcia has long been critical to American operations in the Indian Ocean, and its importance is only growing as Chinese naval power advances. But Diego Garcia’s status as a British possession is disputed by Mauritius, which is asserting its claims to the atoll with increasing determination. What should the United States do to ensure continued access to the facility when its current lease with the UK expires in 2036? How likely would Mauritius be to seek Chinese support if the US and UK stiff-arm Mauritian claims?

On Tuesday, July 28, the Center for the National Interest hosted a webinar to discuss these important questions. The proceedings were moderated by Center Vice President & Director of Studies George Beebe and featured a panel of leading experts on the subject matter:

· Ambassador Jagdish Dharamchand Koonjul is the representative of Mauritius to the United Nations.

· Dov Zakheim is a former US Under Secretary of Defense, a senior fellow at the Center for Naval Analysis, and a member of the board of directors of the Center for the National Interest.

· Mark Rosen is Senior Vice President and General Counsel at the Center for Naval Analysis, a retired US Navy captain, and an expert in maritime law and conflicting maritime claims.