Taming the IOR
Indian Ocean states can build maritime security through increased coast guard cooperation, David Brewster writes.
Can coast guards tame the ‘wild west’ of the Indian Ocean?
Addressing future maritime security challenges in the Indian Ocean will require much greater focus on cooperation with regional coast guards. This includes enhanced bilateral capacity building as well as sponsoring multilateral links among the region’s coast guard agencies.
The Indian Ocean is the ‘Wild West’ of oceans, one of the least governed spaces in the world. The ocean faces a host of security challenges, mostly involving non-state actors, including piracy; illegal fishing; the smuggling of drugs, people and arms; humanitarian and disaster relief; and search and rescue. But most Indian Ocean states lack sufficient capabilities to properly address maritime security problems in their own waters, let alone assist elsewhere.
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