The world economic crisis has had an impact on virtually everyone. Proceedings asked the commanders of the world's navies: The global economic downturn is obviously affecting the United States and its Navy. How is it affecting your navy's maritime strategy, operation, and force structure?
Rear Admiral Jacques Jean Louis Zara—Malagasy Navy
The Malagasy Navy is very small and may be classed as a symbolic navy with very limited missions, tasks, and duties. At the moment, the navy is unsuited for both regional or international duties. It is focused on continuing its usual national missions, which are becoming very difficult to achieve because of the lack of means. Madagascar is still a developing nation and the Malagasy government is restricted in its capacity to provide the Malagasy Navy with an adequate budget.
That is the main reason why we have no formal maritime policy, maritime strategy, or naval planning. The Malagasy Navy is mainly concerned with law enforcement in its surrounding seas. We have but one very small naval base with no naval schools or training centers. The Malagasy Navy is not able to purchase ships and has very limited means, equipment, and naval weapons, and does not participate in any regional or international operations, or perform large logistic operations.
The impact of the global economic downturn is not directly visible on a small navy such as ours. In its everyday life, the Malagasy Navy strives to operate its one tug boat and six 44-foot motor lifeboats (received from the U.S. Coast Guard and donated by the United States in 2003), but that is not always possible.
Although the global economic downturn is undoubtedly affecting the ability of the Malagasy state in its effort to improve the nation's general situation, its will to develop the country and to complete as much as possible its obligations as far as the navy is concerned has to be viewed in perspective. There are no lasting and important naval activities to be done that could be seen as being affected by the global economic situation. All we can feel in general is that the Malagasy Navy appears almost the same as before the global economic downturn.
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