India needs to shore up maritime security

Always room for improvement.

India needs to shore up maritime security

Manju Seth

India as the dominant naval power has an important role to play in ensuring maritime security. This has to be done to counter both traditional as well as non-traditional maritime security threats in the area.

The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) is a pan-Indian Ocean Economic grouping that brings together countries from three continents viz Africa, Asia and Australia, which in recent times has begun to look at maritime security issues in the Indian Ocean as a whole. However, the South and South-West Indian Ocean (SSWIO), comprising India’s extended neighbourhood, deserves special attention.

Terrorism in the seas

The primary maritime security challenges in the SSWIO include piracy at sea, narcotics and small arms/light weapons trafficking, people trafficking and, increasingly, maritime terrorism is becoming a distinct threat.  The multiple sources of insecurity in the SSWIO region affect the sea lines of communications (SLOCs), both for strategic and trading purposes.  From India’s point of view it is important to ensure that these SLOCs are kept free for navigation by our merchant ships and oil tankers as also our naval vessels.

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