GEOPOLITICAL AND GEOSTRATEGIC SIGNIFICANCE OF ISLANDS

In the field of geopolitics and geostrategy, islands are important geographic features. Their location at sea and isolation from the continental landmasses often provide good positions for attack, surveillance, support and special activities of different kinds.

Examples of such islands are Diego Garcia (UK/USA), Lampedusa, south of Italy, and various islands and island groups in the Pacific. The South China Sea islands are gradually occupied by China without much opposition from the West.

France’s Southern Indian Ocean Maritime Zone, Australian islands in the South Pacific, India’s islands in the Indian Ocean, The Nicobar and Andaman Islands are of strategic importance.

For the United Kingdom The Falklands are vital for forward security in the South Atlantic Ocean.

In case of a Russian attack on Sweden the Aland Islands in the Baltic Sea close to Stockholm would be attractive targets as well as the Island of Gotland (Swedish territory). It is presently more and less undefended by Swedish Armed Forces.

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