Improving Policy Responses to Piracy in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Region: What Role for India?

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  • July 2010

    The participation of the Indian navy in anti-piracy operations off the Somali coast is perceived by many as a manifestation of India's apparent willingness to take on a larger role on the global stage. This article explores the possibility for India to play a more important role in solving the Somali piracy crisis. While recognising the limits and short-term impact of the military response, the author argues for the continuation of intervention by foreign navies in the region, the necessity for international consensus on how to deal with the pirates and the implementation of a land-based military response aimed at destroying the pirates' networks. The latter would have for their main objective not to eliminate the threat posed by Somali pirates but to lower its impact. Nevertheless, the author warns against the potential consequences of using military raids and air strikes to counter piracy. In that context, and as a major proponent of the principles of non-intervention and respect of state sovereignty, the greatest challenge India will have to face will be a political one.