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Defenders of the Quad: Austin arrives in India with new China playbook

Two militaries explore new areas of cooperation on Indo-Pacific security

Indian and American army soldiers mark the conclusion of the Yudh Abhyas exercise on Feb. 21 in India. The two-week exercise builds on "the enduring Indian-U.S. partnership" so as to improve "interoperability between the two nations, in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific," the American side says. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command)

NEW YORK -- Just as his E-4B aircraft, a militarized version of the Boeing 747, started to descend toward Hawaii on the first leg of his first international trip as secretary of defense over the weekend, Lloyd Austin repeated a phrase he has employed since his confirmation hearing.

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