India’s Evolving Maritime Strategy

India shifts its focus from ‘using’ to ‘securing’ maritime security in the Indo-Pacific.

India’s Evolving Maritime Strategy

By Darshana M. Baruah

On October 26, 2015, the Indian Navy released its latest maritime strategy, titled “Ensuring Secure Seas: Indian Maritime Security Strategy.” This edition is a revised and updated version of the previous outlined strategy “Freedom to Use the Seas: India’s Maritime Military Strategy,” published in 2007. The title itself is indicative of the changing tone of the Indian navy’s interests and intentions from the 2007 strategy. The previous strategy did not take into consideration the changing geopolitical environment and its strategic implications on India’s maritime interests. The 2015 maritime security strategy addresses this gap by complementing the evolving security dynamics in the Indian Ocean region and reflecting a bold Indian navy with a renewed outlook on India’s maritime security needs.

The security architecture in maritime Asia along with the rise of China is compelling India to define its strategic interests and review its maritime policy. The maritime security strategy precisely does the same. It carries a larger strategic angle than its predecessors and attempts to embody an Indian naval vision for the region.

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