Basic Maritime Security and Defense
New Atlanticist by Ashish Kumar Sen. Transatlantic Security Initiative. Eurasia Center. United Nations General Assembly summits can be an opportunity for ice-breaking encounters between long and bitter adversaries.
For the US and Iran this year, however, it was another missed opportunity. IranSource by Barbara Slavin. The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and guided missile cruiser Normandy operate in the Arabian Sea conducting maritime security operations Reuters American efforts to build a maritime coalition in the Gulf to counter Iranian regime efforts to impede the free flow of shipping through the Strait of Hormuz have proven difficult and time consuming, but […]. IranSource by John Miller. New Atlanticist by Adm. The public sector work-culture has kept the efficiency and productivity of these shipyards at dismal levels.
Most warship building projects have been afflicted by huge time delays and embarrassing cost overruns.
The National Strategy for Maritime Security
These yards, under the tight control of the Department of Defence Production are not funded to undertake modernization or up-gradation. Nor are they encouraged to demonstrate commercial, financial or technical innovation, and they would all benefit from adoption of modern technical practices and human resource management methods. While some may consider this an acceptable piece of public-relations hyperbole, such statements actually cause grave harm because they lull us into complacency.
The truth of the matter is that the propulsion, weapons, sensors, electronics and many other systems that go into every warship, that we build indigenously, are either imported or assembled in India under licence. The last issue I want to mention, in passing, is that of seabed exploration. The seabed promises to yield vast resources of mineral wealth, embedded in poly-metallic nodules, which lie on the ocean floor.
If information about the presence of strategic rare-earth metals on the seabed is true, India needs to accelerate its own programmes so that it is not left too far behind. Against this, somewhat gloomy but realistic backdrop, let me now shift gears and provide a brief glimpse of the strategic challenges that we are likely to face in the foreseeable future, their maritime implications, and how well equipped we are going to be to deal with them.
Without entering into a detailed discussion about respective capabilities and intentions, it can be said that China and India, are going to make uneasy neighbours. For the two nuclear-armed nations to rise, almost simultaneously, without conflict will require either adroit diplomacy or a miracle; possibly both.
The all weather Sino-Pakistan alliance, with its strong anti-Indian slant, further complicates our security problems. The Kashmir and Sino-Indian border disputes, although far from the sea, could have maritime repercussions if India attempts to employ countervailing strategies in the Indian Ocean. The incidents also conveyed the warning that we need to be prepared for collusive action by both armies.
Within the Sino-Indian strategic equation, the maritime dimension is a relatively new factor. The rapid growth of both economies has led to increasing reliance on energy and raw materials, and transported by sea. This has focused sharp attention on the criticality, for both economies, of uninterrupted use of the sea- lanes for trade and energy transportation. The seas around us are rife with hazards and uncertainties; whether it is rampant piracy, maritime terrorism, and proliferation or inter-state tensions.
Maritime security operations
Natural disasters and the impact of climate change, too, present a severe threat to coastal nations and low-lying islands in our region. After its sterling performance during the tsunami, it will be the unstated expectation of our neighbours that the IN will promptly come to their assistance in times of natural calamity. The envisaged order of battle of about ships and submarines, and possibly aircraft assumes certain delivery rates from shipyards and aircraft factories; which they seem incapable of meeting.
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At the same time, our other major source, of hardware, the Russians, have brazenly reneged on costs as well as delivery schedules, in violation of solemn agreements. The failure to acquire even a reasonable level of self-reliance in major weapon systems in the past 66 years has made India the biggest importer of arms world-wide; and this must count as a failure of the DRDO and DPSUs. Crafting a viable and time-bound strategy which will persuade the DRDO to develop, reverse-engineer or import the technology for weapons and sensors for our indigenously built warships will constitute another major challenge for the IN.
Agreements exist with almost all IOR countries that permit IN ships, submarines and aircraft to avail of refueling and turn-around facilities at very short notice. Against this background, there is expectation that the IN could tilt the balance in the South Asian power-game. Asian countries which have brought holistic focus on their maritime sector have not only reaped tremendous economic benefits but also reinforced their maritime security. Our trade-dependent economic progress is undergirded by these essential components of maritime power, but a lack of strategic vision has resulted in failure to exploit the maritime sector; with adverse implications for maritime security.
Only such a synergy can ensure that we draw maximum advantage from the maritime sector - to benefit our economy and also to reinforce maritime security.
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All rights reserved. What shoreside fish processing and packing infrastructure does the region have? What maritime-related tourism infrastructure could be developed or improved? What recreational and luxury activities could be marketed? Africa has been particularly affected by maritime threats and challenges, in part because many nations were late in developing navies and coast guards. The ACSS says a successful maritime strategy must assess and prioritize threats and challenges.
These can be broken down into three groups:. Threats that can be measured and prioritized by the extent of property loss and opportunity costs.
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These threats include illegal fishing of all kinds; resource theft, such as oil bunkering; trafficking of humans, weapons, drugs, stolen goods and antiquities; piracy; money laundering; and insecurity of navigation routes. Threats to the health of the region, including climate change, coastal erosion and environmental degradation, which includes illegal dumping, toxic waste, pollution, and oil and chemical spills.
Institutional threats, including long-term poverty and regional poverty, high unemployment, food insecurity, political insecurity, conflicts, and corruption. Written by Africa Defense Forum and republished with permission. The original article can be found here. Email address:. Mon, Oct 7, Home Security Maritime Security Adding depth to maritime defense. Maritime Security. ISS: Gulf of Guinea must look east to solve its pirate problem.
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