Countries with large navies, such as the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, and India have to a certain extent shifted their maritime strategies with those evolving changes. Similarly, smaller island countries such as Seychelles, Mauritius, and Madagascar have been compelled to reorient their maritime engagements because they are directly affected.
While the U.S. Navy has deployed a task force to counter piracy in the Gulf of Aden, task forces from the EU and naval ships of other countries also have been deployed in the region. This, for some, clearly indicates the magnitude of the problem as well as the fact that the U.S. Navy’s global engagement is diminishing. With such a realigning maritime power structure, it is imperative that Seychelles acts decisively with the support of its partner countries. Toward that end, we have identified key maritime issues, including capacity-building, asset management, and training in partnership with our closest allies.
With the epicenter of the new world order shifting to Asia—in particular toward India and China—the need of the hour for Seychelles is to look to the East, and not the West. The Seychelles Coast Guard, with assistance of its partner navies, has thus strived to tackle emerging maritime threats, in particular piracy. Successful apprehension of pirates on more than two occasions, and continuous safeguarding of our exclusive economic zone, have demonstrated the importance of resolute and effective action. The coming decade will be characterized by mutual cooperation and maritime partnerships based on effective asset- and knowledge-sharing with other navies to counter emerging naval threats.