Drop in Somali Piracy But Rise in Gulf of Guinea

The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre released a brief at the end of October providing worldwide piracy statistics for the year. The report showed substantive decreases in Somali piracy as international efforts–including those from India among other nations–helped curb maritime attacks.

The report comes on top of a recent talk with US Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Andrew Shapiro. His remarks at the Atlantic Council suggest that India may be at greater risk due to the Pirates’ increased use of motherships, something the press has been reporting for some time.

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The Coming Indo-Japan Security Alliance

There’s been much speculation around PM Singh’s visit to Japan between 15-18NOV12. The Times of India on 05NOV12 mirrored a piece from the Asahi Shimbun speaking of a closer security alliance between the two indicating that Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Indian Navy will hold joint exercises in the Indian Ocean as well as around Japan. (India and Japan only recently  conducted their first bilateral naval exercise in June 2012.) This outcome will reportedly be part of a new bilateral forum on security matters to be announced during the visit.

According to the AS piece, the aim as we’ve often heard before is to counter China’s rising military capabilities in the region. Although that may be so, this move wasn’t hard to foresee as the US recently concluded the trilateral forum between India and Japan during a time when the issues over the Senkakus have been brought into the spotlight.

Like many have speculated, the US may be helping push Japan and India closer together in the hopes India and the US will develop a better relationship despite (what India may see as) diverging national interests.

PLA Lieutenant-General Ren Haiquin Speech at Aussie Army Conference

James Brown on the Lowy Institute’s blog posted visiting PLA Lieutenant-General Ren Haiquin’s speech to the Australian Chief of Army’s annual conference at Melbourne’s Crown Casino. Lieutenant General Ren warned against Cold War notions of Containment having this to say:

Due to historical as well as realistic reasons, current security situation in Asia is not very satisfying and there are still factors destabilizing and uncertain…Asia is now in a transition towards a new type of security order, and external countries involvement complicate the process. Some countries pursue strategies such as “rebalance the Asia-Pacific” and “Looking East” and are increasing their strategic investment.

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Sensex gains 100 pts after Obama reelection; USTR looks for BIT

The Economic Times reports on 07NOV12 the SENSEX surging nearly 100 points after media analysts projected President Barak Obama’s re-election. According to a TNN report, “A win for Obama is a positive for the capital market as that would ensure flow of FII money into India,” so says Arun Kejriwal, director of KRIS, an investment advisory firm.

However more sobering, A K Prabhakar, senior vice president at Anand Rathi Securities was quoted by the WSJ as saying, “The stocks are up but we don’t see a runaway rally as the reality is going to set in soon, and problems in Europe and Greece are going to take centre stage.”

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INS Viraat arrives in Kochi for refit; IAC further delayed

INS VIRAAT in Kochi Channel (via The Hindu)

Indian press reports the INS Viraat arriving in Kochi on 02NOV12 for periodic refit at the Cochin Shipyard (CSL). The work is expected to last at least three months. (Earlier reports said the refit would take much longer leaving India without a working aircraft carrier until March 2013).

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