October 1, 2008AfricadefenceForeign AffairsIndiamaritime strategymilitarynavySecurity

Don’t rule out military options

The navy shouldn’t have its hands tied in the fight against pirates

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

That the Indian government is finalising’ a strategy against piracy in the high seas is good news, although that a special strategy is being contemplated suggests an absence of an effective, comprehensive maritime strategy. Pirates, after all, have been around for almost as long as there have been ships, and tackling them should actually be old hat.

So while we await what the government will finalise, we know that it has already ruled out some options. According to Defence Ministry A K Antony as a policy, the government would not carry out hot pursuit of pirates, as it had wider implications.” Mr Antony’s statement ruling out one option or the other is not prudent, not timely and wholly unnecessary. Not least when negotiations are in progress to secure the release of Indian crew held hostage by Somali pirates.

What Mr Antony should have said is that all options are on the table.” Ideally the finalised strategy’ should say so too. But now pirates, terrorists and Indian naval commanders know that the Indian Navy’s hands are tied behind its back.

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