Strategic Insights: April 2012

The latest issue of Strategic Insights deals with a number of key maritime security issues. The mix of non-state and state conflicts is a key element of the evolving strategic challenge.

In the first article, recent activities of Al Qaeda are the subject of attention.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) grabbed the headlines recently with an apparent plot to target Western shipping in the Mediterranean, bringing to mind the ter­rorist attacks against the LIMBURG in 2002 off the coast of Yemen and the M STAR in 2011 in the Persian Gulf.

The article looks at the background and tactics of AQIM and looks at the wider context.

The next two articles look at state-to-state tensions affecting global security.

The next article looks at the disputed maritime boundaries in the Aegean. As well as national pride, national wealth is at stake with hydrocar­bons a lucrative source of revenue. Relations between Greece and Turkey include a history of disagreement and the current contretemps, with Cyprus in the middle as well, has wider regional repercussions.

The third article looks at the dispute in North East Asia between China and Japan.

The nature of the dispute and its consequences are the focus of attention in the article.

The final article looks at the evolution of drug trafficking in West Africa. Drug trafficking is often seen as a non-traditional security threat outside of the realm of state-to-state diplomacy. But in the case of West Africa drug trafficking has undermined the ability of regional governments to uniformly enforce maritime and port se­curity frameworks.

The region vulnerable to ex­ploitation by criminal networks and considers the wider implications for maritime security in the area on a case-by-case basis.

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