Shaping Security in India's Maritime East: Role of Andaman & Nicobar

Cdr Gurpreet S. Khurana was Research Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi.
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  • January 2006

    Complex and amorphous threats confront India’s security environment in its maritime East. India has very high stakes in the Bay of Bengal and its adjoining seas. The confluence of vital sea lines makes this region one of great strategic relevance to other powers as well. This translates into both challenges and opportunities for India. The Andaman & Nicobar archipelago had long been perceived as India’s key vulnerability due to its remote location and a history of some of its islands ‘slipping away’ from the Indian dominion. Such wariness may be unfounded in the present times. Appropriate measures have been taken to strengthen its defence. The island chain can now play a greater role towards securing India’s vital interests in the East beyond merely protecting itself. To achieve this, India needs to adopt a two-fold approach – first, augment its intrinsic capabilities, and second, actively engage its maritime neighbours.

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