JOURNAL OF DEFENCE STUDIES

Addressing Maritime Challenges in the Indian Ocean Region: A Case for Synergising Naval Capacities towards Collective Benefits

Commander Kamlesh Kumar Agnihotri is a Research Fellow with the China Cell of the National Maritime Foundation, New Delhi.
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  • January 2016
    Volume: 
    10
    Issue: 
    1
    Focus

    The vastness and diversity of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and its littorals, and difference in the latters’ overall view of regional security, presents a broad spectrum of challenges therein. The maritime capacities of most littoral states are not strong enough to individually address these challenges. However, synergised response strategies, appropriately regulated by one or two collectively mandated apex bodies, would greatly help in managing regional maritime security. The existing maritime cooperative initiatives in IOR, like the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), have shown great promise and potential. Countries like India and Australia, major players in both these constructs, can possibly rally other IOR littorals into leveraging their maritime capacities under these pan-regional fora by mutual agreement. Concurrently, both initiatives could find congruence in their maritime security visions, so as to create a collaborative local environment for collective benefits without dependence on extra-regional players.

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