Israel-Hamas War; APAC and Indian-EU links: Roundup on the Four Pillars

Nov 6, 2023News

Minh Nguyen is the Editor of the Boston Global Forum and a Shinzo Abe Initiative Fellow. She writes the Four Pillars column in the BGF Weekly newsletter.


In the war in Gaza, IDF ground operations continue with the goal of encircling Gaza City, and eventually attempting to flush out Hamas from the tunnel networks. IDF leaders still have stated that the war is likely to last months or  even years.

For the US part, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has been traveling to the Middle East in an effort to shore up peacemaking efforts in the aftermath of the war, visiting Israel, Jordan, Palestine (West Bank), Turkey. He will also travel to Asia, namely South Korea and India, a Pillar, after the Middle East.

The US has also assessed that Iranian proxies in the region would not be likely to join in Hamas’ war, or open the second front. This can be seen with the ambivalent speech by Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, on November 3. However, groups like the Houthis in Yemen had declared war, but it seems their effects are negligible. The US continues to explore potential peacekeeping operations and forces in the prospect of the war’s end.

In the Pacific, Japan, a Pillar, has signed a deal to give the Philippines coastal radar and begin negotiations on a security pact. This shows the deepening ties to counter China’s rise and bullying of states in the Asia-Pacific, especially in regards to the South China Sea.

Italy’s regrets with the Belt and Road Initiative continues, which was described as “broken promises.” Italy has notably said that it wanted to leave the BRI during the G20 conference earlier this year. The EU (and Italy in it) has been backing the Indian alternative to it instead, the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC). This may allow India, a Pillar, to increase ties with the EU, another Pillar, while reducing Chinese influence on the continent as well.