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India in need of updated naval strategy

August 11, 2011

Op Ed from the Asia Times that adds detail from our post yesterday.  We focused on the dangers to India’s eastern coast from the ongoing creep of Chinese naval power; Michael Kugelman’s op ed for the Times echoes that point, but expands on the strategic importance of India’s western approaches:

It is energy security, however, that most starkly illuminates the navy’s significance. With indigenous energy supplies unable to satisfy prodigious demand (the country is projected to become the world’s third-largest energy consumer by 2030), India has developed a severe addiction to overseas hydrocarbons. Today, two-thirds of India’s oil consumption originates abroad.

Most of these energy resources, along with the transit routes used to bring them home, are sea-based and situated in volatile regions. From offshore assets in the turbulent Persian Gulf to piracy-riven sea lanes off the coast of Somalia, India faces constant threats of energy supply shocks. Additionally, even as India strengthens its own offshore energy infrastructure (several thousand kilometers of pipeline have been laid to facilitate oil and gas flow from offshore platforms to onshore terminals), they remain vulnerable to attack by militants.

India has a large and impressive navy.  The convergence of interests in the Indian Ocean should compel the US to form a more active naval alliance with the world’s largest democracy.  India should be a linchpin in an alliance of the other great powers of Mackinder’s Outer Crescent – the US, Great Britain, Japan, Australia and India.

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2 comments

  1. […] soothe both sides rather than inflame them, it is certainly in the long term interest of the US to ally with a growing Indian maritime presence. LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", "other"); […]


  2. […] soothe both sides rather than inflame them, it is certainly in the long term interest of the US to ally with a growing Indian maritime presence. […]



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