Maritime Boundaries and Disputes on The Indian Ocean Region Essay

Maritime Boundaries and Disputes on The Indian Ocean Region Essay

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The Indian Ocean Region (IOR) is a complex environment, in which four continents border and many countries operate (Bhaskar & Kemp, 2011). Maritime security of the IOR is an extremely broad area of concern. It covers everything from terrorism, the physical security of ports and ships, right through to the security of energy resources into the future (Brewster, et al., 2013). The principal maritime security challenges of the IOR include maritime borders/ disputes, energy and mineral resources security, asymmetric threats and organised crime.

Maritime boundaries and disputes exist within the IOR. This can create conflict between states, when identifying what territory is rightfully theirs (Laipson, 2009). Major players of the region include the USA, China and India. Several choke points exist within the IOR and these present an open risk to users of these waterways (Herbert-Burns, 2012).

The IOR has a vast amount of energy and mineral resources and is a fishing hotspot, which is a staple food for the population of many countries (National Intelligence Council, 2012). Resource security is a major security challenge for countries in the region and has lead to disputes over maritime commerce and territory in the past.

Asymmetric threats and organised crime are two substantial security challenges ever present within the IOR. This includes terrorism, piracy, smuggling of illegal goods and human trafficking (Herbert-Burns, 2012). The occurrence of these security challenges is ongoing and is difficult to combat, considering the large region.

These issues presented, are the principal security challenges in the IOR in the 21st century. A multifaceted approach by all countries in the region will be the most suitable method for addressing ...


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...ected States and US Security Interests Out to 2020 and 2040. Washington, D.C.: The Stimson Center.
Nitschke, S. (2002). Two years after the USS 'Cole' attack: Maritime terrorism, counterterrorism, trends and measures. Naval Forces, Vol. 23 (No. 6), 12-13.
Pandya, A., Herbert-Burns, R., & Kobayashi, J. (2011). Maritime Commerce and Security: The Indian Ocean. Washington, D.C.: Stimson.
Potgieter, T. (2012). Maritime security in the Indian Ocean: strategic setting and features. Institute for Security Studies, No. 236, 1-24.
Roeschke, J. (2009). Eco-Terrorism and Piracy on the High Seas: Japanese Whaling and the Rights of Private Groups to Enforce International Conservation Law in Neutral Waters. Villanova Environmental Law Journal, Vol. 20 (No. 1), 99-138.
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