High sea: Indian Elephant versus Chinese Dragon

Discussion in 'Indian Navy' started by anuanoop0, Apr 12, 2012.

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    The last decade has been marked by the emergence of India and China as maritime powers. Will the growing naval capabilities of the two Asian giants lead to conflict or a rebalancing of power? Prokhor Tebin analyses India’s naval strategy and how New Delhi could be decisive to the security of the Asia-Pacific region.

    [​IMG]

    At the turn of the twenty-first century, the naval power of Asian countries, primarily India and China, started to grow amid the relative decline of the navies of the old maritime nations – the United States, United Kingdom, France and Russia. Rapid economic growth called for instruments to protect the national interests of the Asian giants in the world’s oceans while offering sufficient funds to promote these countries’ sea powers.

    Unlike China’s maritime ambitions, India’s aspiration to become a great maritime power has received far less attention. At the same time, the “Indian factor†could be decisive to the future of world politics, security and stability in the Asia-Pacific Region.

    India’s maritime thinking is largely based on the Anglo-Saxon tradition, the classical theories of Mahan and Corbett, as well as contemporary works by British and American experts and strategists. At the same time, during the past two decades, India’s naval thinking has been evolving and adapting to the peculiarities of the national security policy.

    Back in 1998, “A Maritime Military Strategy for India 1989–2014†became the first document of its kind in the history of the Indian Navy. In the early 2000s, it became obvious that its conceptual settings were already out-of-date and failed to correspond to the contemporary international climate and Indian policy. The Indian Maritime Doctrine, published in 2004, became a corpus of fundamental principles identifying the use of naval power to achieve national policy goals.

    The maritime doctrine became the basis for the new naval strategy, published in 2007. Unlike the previous strategy, spanning 25 years, the new one, “The Freedom to Use the Seas: India’s Maritime Military Strategyâ€, covers 15 years to come, which, its authors believe, will secure a balance between long and short-term objectives. If successfully implemented, the strategy will enable India to efficiently protect its national interests in the oceans and turn it into a great maritime power by 2022.

    Compared with the Chinese naval strategy, the Indian version is more of a post-Mahan concept, and a postmodernist one, says British naval expert Geoffrey Till. This is connected with the greater role of peacetime objectives, international cooperation, and collective and international security efforts in the new Indian strategy.

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