What should India’s maritime strategy be?

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By Abhijit Singh*

An interesting debate has emerged in the pages of The Interpreter involving maritime strategy. Arzan Tarapore wrote an article last month arguing that India should prioritise a sea denialstrategy in the Indian Ocean aimed at “reinforcing defensive bulwarks “ that could dissuade China from “launching an attack, or, failing that, [be] thwarted from succeeding”. Two former admirals, James Goldrick and Sudarshan Y Shrikhande, subsequently offered a contrasting perspective, cautioning against making too much of sea denial or the related idea of sea control, as the concepts relate not to “dominion over an area of water for its own sake, but the ability to use or deny the use of the sea”. The key to effective maritime security, Goldrick and Shrikhande noted, is to combine instruments of maritime strategy in ways that maximise options for national governments, including the use of submarines in a sea control role.

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