ASYMMETRIC MARITIME THREATS & CHALLENGES
Geopolitics|May 2024
VENUGOPAL MENON explains why and how it is imperative to counter asymmetric threats in the maritime domain in India's area of interest
VENUGOPAL MENON
ASYMMETRIC MARITIME THREATS & CHALLENGES

The last century was a transformative and transitional period in the history of contemporary warfare as new generation kinetic strike weapons took to the skies after the Second World War. Starting right from the first Gulf War in 1990 and ending with the Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria campaigns in the first two decades of the 21st century, and now as visible in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War, the world has witnessed the usage of game-changing aerial weapons which tipped the balance in the aggressor’s favour in the opening hours of the war. Such weapons play a very critical role not just in maintaining conventional deterrence, but also in executing tactical-level nuclear strikes over the enemy’s ground-based infantry battalions and armoured mobile formations in case of an escalation.

Recent incidents of drone & missile attacks and hijacking of ships by Houthis & pirates in the Red Sea have opened a Pandora’s box of asymmetric warfare at sea. The repercussions of such warfare are huge when it affects busy shipping lanes and choke points. Asymmetric warfare in the maritime domain is also an area of concern as far as India is concerned. With a long coastline of 7517 km, outlying islands on both the east and west coasts and offshore installations add complexity to the challenges. Further, a credible and powerful Navy warrants India to fulfil its role as a preferred security partner in the Indian Ocean region.

The Threat 

The nature of threats in the region by non-state actors can be broadly classified under various scenarios as indicated below: -

This story is from the May 2024 edition of Geopolitics.

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This story is from the May 2024 edition of Geopolitics.

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