We're always looking for ways to make better. Have an idea? See something that needs fixing? Let us know!

Seychelles: Strategic Considerations
Country Study > Chapter 6 > Strategic Considerations


Historically, the western Indian Ocean has played a vital role in international politics. In ancient times, maritime commerce attracted numerous nations to the region, including Egypt, Persia (Iran), Ceylon (Sri Lanka), India, Indonesia, and China. During the period of European colonial empires, Portugal, the Netherlands, Britain, and France sought to protect their respective strategic and commercial interests by protecting the lines of communications and providing external defense and internal security to Madagascar, Mauritius, Comoros, Seychelles, and Maldives. After 1945, Cold War considerations provoked competition between the United States and the former Soviet Union for access to strategically important air and naval bases in the western Indian Ocean and for the loyalties of the area's indigenous governments. Britain and France also maintained a military and political presence in the region throughout much of the Cold War. After the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union, Moscow ended its military presence in the western Indian Ocean. However, the United States has continued to maintain an interest in the region. The post-Cold War era also has provided traditional powers such as France and emerging regional states such as India, South Africa, and Australia with an opportunity to increase their activities in the western Indian Ocean.

In addition to the presence of foreign military powers in the region, Madagascar, Mauritius, Comoros, Seychelles, and Maldives have pursued their own national security objectives. Apart from providing internal stability, indigenous security forces have sought to protect the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) claimed by all five countries and to prevent the use of the western Indian Ocean as a transshipment point for illegal drugs.

Data as of August 1994

Last Updated: August 1994

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Seychelles was first published in 1994. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

Seychelles Main Page Country Studies Main Page

Section 39 of 51


Click any image to enlarge.

National Flag

(₨) Seychelles Rupee (SCR)
Convert to Any Currency


Locator Map