Maritime security in the Indian Ocean strategic setting

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THE INDIAN OCEAN STRATEGIC barrels representing about 43 per cent of international. CONTEXT AND EMINENCE exports 3, The Indian Ocean is vast Its western border is continental Indian Ocean ports handle about 30 per cent of global. Africa to a longitude of 20 E where it stretches south trade and half of the word s container traffic traverses. from Cape Agulhas its northern border is continental the ocean However the Indian Ocean has some of the. Asia from Suez to the Malay Peninsula in the east it world s most important choke points notably the Straits. incorporates Singapore the Indonesian archipelago of Hormuz Malacca and the Bab el Mandeb As these. Australia to longitude 147 E and Tasmania while in choke points are strategically important for global trade. the south it stretches to latitude 60 S as determined and energy flow a number of extra regional states maintain. per the Antarctic Treaty of 1959 a naval presence in the Indian Ocean. Various criteria could be used to designate states The Indian Ocean seaboard of sub Saharan Africa. as Indian Ocean states In this paper the term applies has historically not been given high strategic international. to 51 coastal and landlocked states namely 26 Indian priority However as competition for scarce resources. Ocean Rim IOR states five Red Sea states four intensifies and China and India in particular become major. Persian Gulf states Saudi Arabia France Britain and role players in Africa major Western powers are showing. 13 landlocked states Many of these states are former increasing interest in the region. colonies The landlocked states included as Indian Ocean Significantly international interest in the whole Indian. states are dependent upon the Indian Ocean for trade and Ocean region is on the rise The reasons for this include. communications but with the exception of Afghanistan security concerns about instability that characterises. they exclude the central Asian states This delimitation and destabilises the region the region s vital role in oil. covers an area of 101 6 million km2 split between an production and its importance for energy shipments. ocean area of 68 56 km2 and a land area of 33 05 km2 the wealth of resources and raw materials in the region. With a total population of 2 6 billion the region represents involvement of extra regional powers in a number of. 39 per cent of the global population and consists of a vast conflicts and the rise of new regional powers and their. and diverse political cultural and economic kaleidoscope 1 ability to project their power. The Indian Ocean is an area of conflict Some conflicts. are internal and remain localised but other local and INDIAN OCEAN MARITIME SECURITY. regional conflicts are of global significance and are prone CHARACTERISTICS AND THREATS. to foreign political and military interference According During the Cold War the newly independent Indian. to a recent analysis of global conflicts by the Heidelberg Ocean states of Asia and Africa became subject to the. Institute for International Conflict Research altogether competition between the superpowers The resultant. 42 per cent of world conflicts can be associated with security balance in the region dissipated when the. Indian Ocean countries 2 The list is extensive but Cold War came to an end The post Cold War era saw. notable conflict areas are Israel and Palestine Iraq the region becoming less stable with much rivalry. Sudan Afghanistan Somalia Sri Lanka and Pakistan competition suspicion and turmoil. Though the causes of these conflicts vary many can be Moreover the maritime security environment in the. associated with weak or failed states significant levels Indian Ocean also underwent transformation Because. of poverty poorly developed institutions the absence of of weak government structures and a limited capacity. democracy corruption competition for scarce resources to control maritime domains all types of illicit activities. interference by foreign powers the global war on terror began to flourish in many parts of the Indian Ocean. and what can be termed turbulence in the Islamic As a result the region s maritime security challenges. world The urgent need for both human and sustainable are now considerable and are affected by key variables. economic development and for improved security such as militarisation within the region the involvement. cooperation within the Indian Ocean region is obvious of major and extra regional powers and non traditional. The region is rich in energy resources and minerals security threats. such as gold tin uranium cobalt nickel aluminium, and cadmium and also contains abundant fishing Military aspects. resources Oil and gas traversing the Indian Ocean is Because of these factors it is perhaps understandable. of great importance to the global economy Roughly that considerable recent international attention has focused. 55 per cent of known oil reserves and 40 per cent of on the maritime security abilities of state regional and. gas reserves are in the Indian Ocean region The Gulf multinational role players in the Indian Ocean An analysis. and Arab states produce around 21 per cent of the of the complex maritime security system has led Don Berlin. world s oil with daily crude exports of up to 17 262 million to identify a number of principal trends 4 The first is the. 2 MARITIME SECURITY IN THE INDIAN OCEAN STRATEGIC SETTING AND FEATURES. efforts of the United States US and to some extent its essentially a maritime operation that was dependent on. international partners India Australia Singapore Japan the long maritime reach of the US. France the United Kingdom UK and Canada to maintain The Indian Navy is undergoing substantial expansion. and expand their authority in the Indian Ocean and achieve with 40 ships and submarines including two nuclear. key strategic objectives These include attempts to hinder submarines and two aircraft carriers on order Its target. or limit the power and influence of countries such as China is to have a 165 ship fleet by 2022 consisting of surface. Iran and Russia to protect secure access to energy sources combatants submarines and three aircraft carrier groups. and to counter terrorism and other security threats with a total of 400 MiG 29K aircraft and helicopters. The second trend is the endeavour by countries such As some Indian observers are keen to point out with. as China and perhaps even Iran Pakistan and to some two aircraft carriers in operation by 2012 the balance. extent Russia to strengthen their positions in the Indian of power in the Indian Ocean will tilt decisively in India s. Ocean and increase their ability to counter the potential favour 7 However it has been emphasised that India. threats that may be posed by the US aligned states seeks cooperation with IOR states and will aim to. The third trend is the activities of the littoral Indian Ocean improve stability in the region. states which are concerned with national or regional. maritime security in relation to specific rivals within their. own sub regions as attested to by the many maritime. boundary disputes and jurisdictional claims in the region. Another trend is indicated by the efforts of IOR states. With the assistance of, to manage the large variety of transnational and non both regional and extra. traditional threats they face including environmental. challenges fishing infringements smuggling and,regional coalition powers. trafficking piracy and the security of offshore installations the US has consolidated its. Since the Indian Ocean is an area of much geostrategic. rivalry between the largest IOR states considerable. naval grip on the region, militarisation has taken place Two of the top military.
spenders in the world in 2008 were Saudi Arabia and. India The armed forces of five states in the Indian Ocean. region exceed 400 000 men India 1 200 000 Pakistan Maritime security in the Indian Ocean is characterised. 610 000 Iran 440 000 Burma 439 000 and Egypt by a considerable extra regional naval presence Although. 423 000 and the military expenditure of ten states is the focus is obviously trade and energy security many. above three per cent of GDP Oman 10 7 Saudi Arabia countries are also providing assistance to the maritime. 9 3 Burundi 4 9 Sudan 4 4 Singapore 4 1 security forces of IOR states The scourge of piracy and. Djibouti 4 1 Kuwait 3 9 Brunei 3 6 Bahrain 3 4 and non traditional maritime threats has furthermore led to. Pakistan 3 1 5 Although military observers will be quick to multilateral exercises and maritime security interaction. point out that the size of an armed force is not necessarily In the light of turbulence in much of the region ensuring. an indication of an efficient competent and well equipped good order at sea poses a daunting challenge to existing. force many Indian Ocean states are certainly placing maritime security forces In fact many coastal navies. much emphasis on their military preparedness focus on policing roles and the security of littorals. Since the Cold War the US strategic umbrella in the With the possible exception of the states mentioned in. Indian Ocean has widened Besides its base on Diego Berlin s first two categories above a considerable number. Garcia the US Navy also uses bases in littoral states of IOR states specifically those situated in Africa lack the. such as Bahrain Kuwait Oman Qatar and Saudi Arabia resources and budgets necessary to properly enforce their. Following the US anti terrorism campaign in the wake maritime sovereignty In many instances their navies or. of 9 11 the whole Indian Ocean region came under coastguards cannot even be considered to be token. US military surveillance while the US Navy was able navies The dilemma is that sovereignty must be exercised. to translate its commanding position at sea into military to be recognised In the absence of this a double jeopardy. interventions With the assistance of both regional and situation arises as it is not possible to police and control. extra regional coalition powers the US has consolidated the maritime domain effectively and maritime domain. its naval grip on the region 6 In fact the employment of awareness is low illicit activities of all types flourish. highly advanced naval forces such as carrier battle groups preventing these countries from exploiting their own. with their surveillance support and logistical capabilities ocean resources properly and drawing full benefit from. made the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan possible This was the potential revenue this might bring. THEAN POTGIETER PAPER 236 AUGUST 2012 3, An African Union AU Protocol signed in 2003 important oil and gas routes traverse the Indian Ocean. envisaged the creation of an Africa Standby Force ASF Because of the ocean s strategic importance and the. consisting of five regional brigades The ASF was to be a fact that the free flow of traffic can easily be interfered. last resort when diplomatic efforts have failed and would with many extra regional forces operate in its waters. take the form of a peace mission focussing on military and Keeping the SLOCs open are vital to the global economy. civil support post conflict disarmament demobilisation Furthermore the volatile security situation and the. and humanitarian assistance 8 The ASF had to be tensions in the Persian Gulf have stimulated foreign military. operational by 2010 but its planning lacked maritime intervention the Iran Iraq War in the 1980s the Iraq Kuwait. focus In 2010 the AU introduced a draft African Integrated War in the early 1990s the Iraq War in 2003 and the war. Maritime Strategy AIMS The strategy end state is defined in Afghanistan are recent examples while piracy the. as being c ollaborative concerted cooperative coherent asymmetrical threat and the flow of vital energy resources. and trust building multi layered efforts to build blocks of have recently caused much anxiety and the deployment. maritime sector activities in concert with improving elements of many navies. of maritime governance results in enhanced maritime Oil and gas are central to the economic growth and. conditions leading to reduced losses and increased development of the contemporary world Energy security. benefits These increased benefits positively contribute to is crucial to sustain industrial and economic progress and. environmental and socio economic development as well to meet the growing energy demands of both developed. as increased national regional and continental stability 9 and developing states Since the First World War oil has. It implies improved cooperation between AU member also become the most strategic resource for the conduct. states in the maritime security environment and a collective of wars and after the Second World War the US seems to. responsibility for the protection and sound management have placed increasing emphasis on securing or possibly. of the maritime domain even controlling the oil resources of the Persian Gulf. The AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Ramtane As recent history has shown concern about attacks by. Lamamra also announced in 2011 that the AU planned states and asymmetrical attacks on energy resources. to have a naval component as part of the ASF We intend and shipping is a very real issue. to give the African Force a naval component in order that The Iran Iraq War from 1980 to 1988 the longest. the territorial seas are protected as well as the exclusive conventional war of the 20th century is mostly remembered. economic zone he said Apart from the fight against for its severity and cost in human and economic terms. national alliances are changing the scene But current global realities have introduced maritime security problems as non state actors are influencing security in the area directly and fundamentally This is a serious development since the rich Indian Ocean maritime trade which includes much of the world s energy trade is crucial to the global economy It seems that many of the lessons of

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