Indian Ocean Region

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  • Indian Ocean Maritime Security Cooperation Needs Coherent Indian Leadership

    Maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) is a central issue for regional and extra-regional actors. Traditional and non-traditional security challenges largely converge at sea as they impact economic, environmental, energy, human, food and national security. As the major regional power and an emerging Asian great power, India’s willingness and capacity to provide strategic leadership is critical to engendering a cooperative spirit of shared destiny. India’s growing naval capabilities indicate a strong commitment to maritime security.

    July 2014

    Troubled Waters: Exploring the Emerging Dynamics between Navies and Private Security Companies in Anti-piracy Operations

    The return of piracy to the Indian Ocean in modern times has culminated in the resurgence of the private violence industry in the maritime domain. For the first time in modern history, the private military security industry will work alongside traditional navies on the field. The dynamics between the two major security actors in the anti-piracy operations make for an interesting study. This article argues that there exists much potential for fruitful engagement between the two actors: PMSCs and navies.

    April 2014

    Exploring Risks and Vulnerabilities: An Alternate Approach to Maritime Security Cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region

    Maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) has become a central consideration. Shared risks and common vulnerabilities for state and non-state actors, generated by traditional and non-traditional security challenges, converge to a significant extent at sea. Risk-based approaches offer the potential for regional and extra-regional actors to engage in a constructive and non-confrontational dialogue that can assist collective security cooperation.

    April 2014

    Ramesh Reddy asked: What does it exactly mean when it is said ‘India is a net security provider in the Indian Ocean,’ and what are the factors responsible for the same?

    Sarabjeet Singh Parmar replies: The broad meaning that one can discern from various statements made about India being a ‘net security provider’ in the Indian Ocean is about India ensuring a stable, secure and peaceful environment in the region. The main aspects that are viewed as responsible for this can be construed as follows:

    • India’s predominant central geographic position in the region, especially overlooking the SLOCs that pass through the region.
    • India’s military capacity and capability that has a distinct reach in the region due to its geographic position.
    • India’s friendly relations and defence cooperation with most of the IOR nations.
    • India’s relatively strong economy and market capacity.
    • India’s non-hegemonic stance and its will and ability to provide assistance when requested.

    Posted on April 07, 2014

    New Perspective for Oceanographic Studies in the Indian Ocean Region

    India’s location in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) compels it to play a larger strategic role in the region. The growing energy needs of China—with the Gulf continuing to be its most preferred source—further causes the Chinese merchant fleet to transit the IOR. To ensure uninterrupted supply of energy resource, the Chinese have started to increase their presence in the region and this has, in turn, encouraged the Americans to also deploy their marine assets in the region.

    January 2014

    Maritime Security in the Indian Ocean: An Indian Perspective

    For a maritime nation like India, its conception of maritime security of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and, specifically, its approach to maritime security has a long historical legacy. The modern Indian Navy has its origins in the colonial period. But it is the post-colonial period spanning independence and then the imperatives of the Cold War, and later to the interim phase in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union to the present day strategic partnerships—all of which have contributed to moulding the Indian perspective of maritime security.

    January 2014

    Rounak Singh Asked: Is Deep Sea Mining by China a reason for its assertiveness in South China Sea and Indian Ocean?

    Sarabjeet Singh Parmar replies: China has been allotted contracts for exploration only in two areas by the International Seabed Authority (ISA) for a period of 15 years, and therefore, it cannot form the basis of Chinese assertiveness:

    • In the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone (Pacific Ocean) till May 21, 2016, for exploration for polymetallic nodules.
    • In the South West Indian Ocean Ridge till November 17, 2026, for exploration for polymetallic sulphides.

    The assertiveness shown by China in the South China Sea is due to its sovereignty claims on the islands of the Paracel and Spratly group. In the Indian Ocean, China could be viewed as expanding its maritime footprint and presence rather than being assertive.

    India’s ‘deep-sea mining’ capability gets a fillip

    India’s acquisition of a deep-sea exploration ship ‘SamudraRatnakar’ is a noteworthy development. ‘Deep-sea mining’ has now been officially recognised as a future frontier of scientific research, a notion first outlined by a National Security Council paper in 2012.

    November 01, 2013

    Maritime Security in the Indian Ocean: A Changing Kaleidoscope

    The Indian Ocean Region (IOR), though considered an important maritime region, has not yet been accorded the due importance of a geo-strategic entity. One attributable reason is the ‘sandwiching’ of the IOR between two ‘hotspots’—the South China sea and the Persian Gulf that divert the attention of nations from this area. While there are commonalities like ‘Freedom of Navigation’, the divergences—caused by varying strategic interests even while addressing common security issues such as piracy—have resulted in a sectoral view of the maritime security paradigm in the IOR.

    October 2013

    Effective Underwater Weapon Systems and the Indian Ocean Region

    The Indian Ocean Region (IOR) has profound strategic relevance not only for the nations in the region but also for other countries.1 The bulk of the world’s merchant fleets transit through one of the busiest sea lanes in the world, via the Malacca Straits. Also, the presence of major petroleum exports originating from the Gulf, encourage the major powers of the world to have a strategic presence in the IOR.

    July 2013