Maritime Security

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  • 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

    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

    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

    The Dragon has landed for the American Eagle

    Sino-US rivalry has been simmering for the past many years, as China has replaced Russia in the American scheme of things as its most potent adversary.

    October 13, 2010

    Jiaolong - An Underwater Dragon

    Once the Chinese achieve the capability of producing UUVs with deep depth capability, they could surround India by placing these submersibles at strategic places.

    September 16, 2010

    Maneesh Aggarwal asked: India has Andman & Nicobar and Lakshdweep, we can use them as our Naval and Airforce Strong base to guard India or break of String of Pearls

    S. S. Parmar replies: The 572 islands of the Andaman and Nicobar chain running in a north south direction of around 780 km long places this eastern most “Outpost” of India close to the South East Asian nations on Chinas’ radar scan.

    Although we have an integrated command based at Port Blair and a number of Naval, Air Force and Coast Guard bases, the assets (in this regards I refer to ships and aircraft) presently, are not sufficient to place the vast sea area and islands under surveillance. A number of the Islands are uninhabited and offer a safe haven for elements inimical to the security of India.

    As and when the required numbers of assets are available there would be the requirement of placing them at places that offer logistics support that would require the requisite infrastructure to be constructed. More importantly these places or bases would require to be in close proximity of navigable choke points so that the time required to reach the area would be the shortest.

    There are two points to be kept in mind. Firstly, aircraft given the speed and potent reach are always considered an omni present threat. The nations adjoining the area would question our intentions. We may reason and give the rationale of anti piracy and anti smuggling but it may not go down well with them. Secondly infrastructure to support these assets would require to be constructed. There would be a requirement to duplicate and maybe triplicate similar infrastructure given the extent of the Island chain. This would be a costly affair.