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Tuesday October 15, 2019

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Dealing With Omni - Directional Threats

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The entire environment on the globe has changed drastically in the past few years and most changes have happened in and around the oceans and the mountains. As a matter of fact, these two elements of the entire geography are the most important for mankind right from the beginning of civilisation, thus, playing a vital role directly and indirectly. As we all know that the oceans exist because of the mountains in an irrefutable geophysical cycle that affects mankind in every way.

Unfortunately, both these elements have been exploited to the point of disruption by mankind and all are facing the consequences with a paradox like the floods in the Sahara desert and the ghastly reality of fires in the jungles of California and heatwaves in the heart of Europe.

Global warming, much as US President Donald Trump would want to deny its existence, is taking its toll in many ways including rapid melting of glaciers in the mountains and the rise in ocean levels threatening island-nations and coastal habitats even as geopolitics, instigated upheavals leading to mass migrations, and natural disasters have contributed to an all-pervasive flux. In the midst of all, there is the long-held belief among nations with a predeliction for political expansionism that control of the ocean spaces and denial of the use of the same makes for global domination. Hence, the growth of navies with capabilities of projecting power on the surface, in the air and under water.

The Indian Navy, the sphere of influence of which extends from the chokepoints on the western Arabian Sea to the troubled waters of the Pacific Ocean, too is aspiring for “bluewater” capabilities to be able to project sea control in the Indian national interest, and sea denial to navies inimical to our world view. The pre-eminence of the Indian Navy in maritime matters is the result of the devastating attack on Mumbai by terrorists using the sea route on 26 November 2008.

While compiling these lines, we are remembering the ten-year-old Mumbai attack on Hotel Taj which happened due to the laxity in the security setup to the emerging threat from the seaward side. I would also like to share with you, dear reader, that the initiative to launch the DSA in October 2009 was triggered by all the shortcomings in our security network. Unfortunately, the situation is still the same. Though some serious efforts have been taken by the current government but they are inadequate as compared to the enormity of the threats to our national security. So, it has become very important that we remain ‘Alert’ on the threats from any direction, be it the seas or even the mountains.

On the occasion of the Indian Navy Day, I wish all success to every soldier in whites!

Happy reading!

Jai Hind!

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