Maritime security in the Indian Ocean region: compelling and convergent agendas
The Indian Ocean region (lOR) is fast becoming a major area of global political and security interest. The region's political and security context is quickly changing due mainly to expanding and competing Chinese and Indian spheres of influence along with relatively declining United States power. Traditional security concerns like maintenance of the freedom of maritime navigation and unfettered access to and transport of vital energy supplies are increasing in importance in the Indian Ocean. In addition, non-traditional security threats emanating from the impacts of climate change and the effects of population and industrial growth are presenting major resource management and environmental, human andfood security challenges. These security challenges largely converge in the maritime domain. It is imperative that lOR-wide maritime security cooperation be progressed. Regional and extra-regional nation-states have interests to protect and capacities to contribute to lOR security. Arrangements need to be devised to accommodate the involvement of both. In this ariicle it is argued that greater attention needs to be given to Indian Ocean maritime security and the development of lOR maritime security regimes need to be pursued as a matter of urgency.