Geopolitical location of Bangladesh is of utmost importance. Specially Bay of Bengal and its adjoining Indian Ocean and Malacca Straits constitute the most important maritime zone not only for strategic reasons, but also for trading point of view. In other word, Bangladesh can be termed as a ‘maritime country’ with 24,824 square km of internal sea and 138,945 square km of Exclusive Economic Zone( EEZ), totaling 163,749 square km, which is 1.1 times larger than the land territory. Located near the eastern approaches of the Malacca Straits, Bangladesh commands an important geo-strategic position in the region.It also possesses the only sea port that is near to the landlocked Indian ‘Seven Sisters’. The Bay of Bengal lies on the south with a coastline of over 700 square km. 90% of GNP depends on sea trade and commerce and almost 100% of Bangladesh’s energy requirement in terms of fuel arrives by sea from the Middle East. The two sea lines of communication (SLOCs) connected with two sea ports at Chittagong and Mongla provide access to the oceans and act as vital trade links. In the meantime, the Bay of Bengal has become a center of attention of regional and extra regional powers due to the discovery of a substantial amount of natural gas off the Indian and Myanmar coasts and the possibility of more discoveries in the EEZ of Bangladesh. India and China are competing each other for a share of the gas from Myanmar for their future energy security. In addition to this, the modernization drive of the neighboring navies and increasing influence of extra- regional powers including China and the USA in the maritime scenario are posing greater challenges for Bangladesh as well as for the region. Considering all the imperatives, Ahmed Sharif analyzes the geopolitics of the Bay of Bengal region in our current issue. We will try our best to highlight the overall strategic scenario in this region and the stand of Bangladesh navy in the upcoming issue.
Bangladesh Air Force on the other hand has been perusing a policy of enhancing its fighting as well as defensive capabilities. BAF has rightly decided to procure few modern armaments and equipment in recent years. Our reporting team has just presented a short article in this respect and we intend to provide more information in near future.
India, being a regional power expends highest in the world to import armaments for its armed forces. Apart from this, India always pushes forward with indigenously built armaments and equipment including all sorts of missiles. In March this year India has successfully tested a submarine launched ballistic missile from Bay of Bengal for the first time. Hopefully they will integrate this missile system to their indigenously built submarine Ahirant shortly.
Fakhrul Islam has come up with an article concerning Central Asian conflict which has been boiling that region for a long period. Nagorno- Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan has not only taken heavy tolls in both the sides but also created a sense of instability in that volatile region.
Other articles are there as usual. We hope our esteemed readers will find different types of materials to read and we would appreciate criticism from them.
May Allah bless us all. Let there be peace in the world.