Maritime Security

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  • Securing the Andaman and Nicobar Islands

    The Andaman and Nicobar islands are of immense strategic significance for India. The geographical configuration and the location of the island chain in the Bay of Bengal safeguards India's eastern seaboard as well the approaches to the Indian Ocean from the east. Its proximity to the Southeast Asian region enables India to forge friendly relations with its Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) neighbours. The physical isolation and remoteness of the archipelago, however, make it vulnerable to conventional and non-conventional threats.

    May 2011

    Piracy in Somalia: Addressing the Root Causes

    Rampant piracy off the Somalia coast has brought the strife-ridden country back into attention. Economic hardship, and a deep resentment and anger against foreign exploitation of Somalia's maritime resources, have inspired the pirates to declare themselves 'coast guards of Somalia'. However, the growing attacks by the pirates have had an adverse impact on global commercial shipping. The international community has responded to this predicament by massive naval deployments in the Gulf of Aden.

    May 2011

    A Founding Era for Combined Maritime Security?

    In a nutshell the article posits that American naval power, and thus the United States' ability to police the seas, will continue to decline, and that Washington is attempting to compensate by fashioning a new paradigm of multinational maritime security. With no likely candidate for a global navy in the offing the challenge is to create one or more multinational guarantors of free navigation. I attempt to gaze into the future, discerning the likely dynamics of this coalition-building project.

    May 2011

    Vikas Kalyani asked: Can you explain the initiatives taken by India towards enhancing her maritime interests?

    S. S. Parmar replies: Maritime interests of a nation are extensive and cover a vast ambit. They broadly include protection of national integrity ranging from military intervention, anti-terrorism and anti-piracy actions; economic growth through trade and commerce; exploitation of the sea resources under the nation’s jurisdiction and maintaining the ecological balance.

    India has been taking initiatives towards enhancing her maritime interests by engaging neighbours and other international players at various fora so as to ensure a stable regional security environment. These fora are at political, diplomatic and military levels. The main thrust is to work out common grounds to tackle maritime terrorism and piracy as well as ensuring freedom of navigation on the high seas especially in the Sea Lanes of Communications (SLOCs). The Indian Navy and Coast Guard are responsible for ensuring that the nation maintains the freedom to utilise the seas for its national purposes and therefore safeguard India’s National Interests at all times. Both of these services have ongoing plans to induct ships, aircraft and develop infrastructure to support this responsibility.

    Economic growth in the maritime arena is being enhanced by developing port infrastructure, rail and road connectivity and ship building capabilities. There is an equal impetus given towards harnessing the resources from the sea, mainly oil and gas. Fishing, however, remains a weak area and could be developed so as to put India in the top slot of fishing nations.

    Nidhi asked: What are conventional and non conventional threats to maritime security and how maritime security can be precisely defined?

    S. S. Parmar replies: Maritime Security is a subset of national security and therefore nations would view it in direct correlation to their national interests. Therefore, the definition could vary from nation to nation and a generic definition would be more appropriate. Maritime Security is a term that encompasses the aspects and issues arising from the oceans surrounding the nation that impinge on its national interests.

    The division of conventional and non-conventional threats again varies from nation to nation. Conventional threats traditionally would be the military threats faced by a nation from another nation that impinge on its sovereign integrity, trade, maritime area under its jurisdiction as per international law in which the various laws, both international and national, apply.

    Non-conventional threats would cover a host of other aspects. The major ones being terrorism, piracy, natural disasters, drug trafficking, smuggling, illegal immigrants, changes in the climate and ecology to name a few.

    Piracy: A Fresh Look is Essential

    A fresh look is required at the international level to deal with this scourge effectively. It is time for India to take the lead and push for a change in tack both regionally and in international fora.

    February 14, 2011

    Forging India’s Hard Power in the New Century

    The changing security environment calls for re-fashioning the use of hard power, which may have to be managed differently in the future.

    January 24, 2011

    Maritime Security: The Unlawful Dimension

    Maritime Security: The Unlawful Dimension
    • Publisher: Magnum Books Pvt Ltd
      2010

    Maritime security has increasingly been studied from the standpoint of the complexities of the ocean—where the ‘game’ has been played since ancient days. In recent years, however, the concept has undergone a sea change.

    • ISBN 81-87363-98-3 ,
    • Price: ₹. 1125/-
    • E-copy available
    2010

    A New Phase in India-Sri Lanka Relations

    The recent increase in top level Indian delegation visits to Colombo indicates that India has entered a new and more comprehensive phase of bilateral relations with Sri Lanka.

    January 03, 2011

    Need to secure the Lakshadweep Islands

    While India is augmenting the security of the Lakshadweep islands, implementation of the coastal security scheme on the ground has been slow.

    December 13, 2010

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