October 16, 2008AfricaForeign AffairsIndian Navymaritime securitySecuritySomalia

Off to Somalia

The Navy is off, with helicopters & marine commandos

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

It is nice to know that they listened.

But the details are confusing. In the Times of India, Rajat Pandit reports that the INS Tabar, a Talwar-class guided missile frigate, is already in the Gulf of Aden and a new ship (INS Ganga?)will be sent to replace it. The new ship will have helicopters and a detachment of marine commandos, suggesting that it is equipped for the job. But the absence of an accompanying tanker might indicate the duration of the mission is short, or cooperation with other navies in the region.

Mr Pandit’s report then says that the government gave permission for formal anti-piracy patrols” yesterday. So what was INS Tabar doing there before that?

Finally, Mr Pandit shouldn’t get too caught up with interpreting what international law says about entering Somalian waters. Jus cogens provides a prima facie case and the UN Security Council Resolution 1816 and the Somalian president have provided legal cover. What matters is whether India has the resolve, and whether other powers will object. The first is now settled. The second was not an issue in this case.

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