How Important is the Red Sea?


the Red Sea bar bellman demonstrate and

Suez Canal a three of the world's most

important geostrategic locations as they

make up the shortest Seaborn route from

Europe to Asia reckoning for 2250

kilometers or 1398 miles the Red Sea is

a sea water inlet of the Indian Ocean

lying between the continents of Africa

and Asia at its widest point the Red Sea

is 355 kilometers or 220 point six miles

wide the Red Sea as a larger dear

strategic location is made up of three

smaller geostrategic points these being

the inlet or sea as a body of water in

itself at the northernmost end of the

long body of water the Suez Canal and to

the south the barbell manned up straight

built by the Suez Canal Company between

1859 and 1869 the Suez Canal was

officially opened on the 17th of

November 1869 offering a more direct

route between the North Atlantic Ocean

Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean

the canal reduces the journey distance

from India to Europe by roughly 7,000

kilometers or 4,300 miles canal itself

is approximately 121 miles long and can

accommodate many large container and

tanker vessels currently 2.5 percent of

the world's oil output traveled through

the canal which has a capacity of

approximately 97 ships per day in 2018

18,000 ships used the waterway a 3.6

percent increase from 2017 with vessel

size growing by 12% container ships were

the most common vessel in 2018 with more

than 9% of international trade passing

through the canal large year 2015 the

new Suez Canal was completed and

officially opened the following year in


this new Suez Canal involved an increase

in capacity by the digging of a second

Channel and cut waiting times from 13

hours to 3 hours as of 2016 the new Suez

Canal will generate a revenue increase

for Egypt from 5 billion US dollars to

12.5 billion US dollars annually as well

as generate a new Suez Canal economic

zone with Russian involvement the city

of newest Mallya was also built on the

bank of the new Suez Canal to

accommodate 500,000 Egyptians easing the

population burden on Cairo under the

convention of Constantinople the canal

may be used in time of war as in time of

peace by every vessel of commerce or of

war without distinction of flag

essentially meaning that any state is

free to use the canal if it is not at

war with Egypt without the use of the

canal ships would have to travel a

further eight thousand nine hundred

kilometers around the southern tip of

Africa to reach Europe making the Suez

Canal arguably the world's most

important geostrategic point as whoever

controls it has extreme geopolitical

leverage over many other states

the bab-el-mandeb or quite literally the

gate of tears connects the Red Sea to

the Indian Ocean being the other

geostrategic point within the Red Sea

area bordered to the northeast by Yemen

and to the southwest by Eritrea and

Djibouti the Strait is divided into two

channels by Parham Island 600,000

barrels of day of crude oil from the

Persian Gulf travels via the Strait and

north to the Suez Canal

then on to Europe and North America

while 120,000 traveled the other way to

Asia traffic heading for the Suez Canal

from the Indian Ocean must travel

through the Bab el mundo Strait which

can often involve great risk from piracy

and neighboring conflicts such as the

war in Yemen the unstable nature of many

of the states surrounding the

bab-el-mandeb have led to some states

intervening kinetically in the region

Saudi Arabia has recently backed a

project that would see a bridge built

across the Strait passing journey times

for land-based traffic which would no

longer have to travel through Egypt and

across the Sinai Peninsula under

mentally both the Suez Canal and

bab-el-mandeb Strait form the world's

two most critical choke points

throughout history the red sea has been

a contested area and an important trade

route many states and empires have come

to dominate its shoreline controlling

the various geostrategic points which

allow dominance of the larger region

various historical figures such as

darius of persia and Alexander the Great

sent exploratory expeditions through the

sea to gather data and establish

potential trade and military routes in

the first century BC under Emperor

Augustus the Red Sea was the preferred

route for trade between the Roman Empire

and India and China for a period the

volume of trade grew and the sea served

as a communication route between Rome

and China however this link was severed

in the 3rd century AD when the Aksumite

Empire took control of the bab-el-mandeb

region during the Middle Ages the Red

Sea served as an import

and component of the spice trade route

which stretch from East Asia and India

to the Mediterranean Sea however with

the rise of the Ottoman Empire in the

15th century and the unwillingness to

rely on the non-christian power such as

the Mamluk Empire Europeans began to

look for other routes for the trading of

spices as a result European traders and

explorers looked at the west and south

to find new routes for the spice trade

expeditions mainly Portuguese Spanish

and Italian circumnavigated the

continent of Africa in 1497 opening a

new alternative route to the Red Sea

moving forward into the early colonial

era many European powers tried to gain

control of the Red Sea and Suez region

for their own geopolitical ends in 1513

the Portuguese led by Afonso de

Albuquerque sought to control the Red

Sea in order to secure better access to

their Indian and East Asian holdings and

the trade which came with them following

the collapse of ottoman power Egypt

became an independent state and began a

process of modernization this included

allowing a French and British plan to

build a canal from Port Said in the

Mediterranean support to thick in the

Red Sea

later in 1875 the British would purchase

all of the shares in the canal owned by

Egypt and would come to control the

state through a protectorate government

in 1882

additionally earlier in 1856 the British

had seized control of the island of

Perham in the bob almond upstraight

giving the state control of the Red Sea

as a geostrategic point

the Red Sea region today is once again

shaped by the states which surround it

in the context of the Red Sea US bases

in Saudi Arabia allow the state to

project kinetic power in the case of any

attack on its interest whether that be

shipping or enemy units traveling

through the water Saudi Arabia has

recently made a call for more

cooperation between the states which

border the Red Sea in 2018 the state led

a conference including Egypt Djibouti

Sudan Somalia Yemen and Jordan with the

intention of staving off negative

outside influence in the region

Saudi Arabia also has plans to build a

completely new smart city on the

northeast corner of the Red Sea called

neon currently little can be discerned

about the geostrategic relevance of the

city as it is only in the early stages

of construction however its proximity to

Israel Jordan and Egypt and in

particular the Suez Canal will give

Saudi Arabia greater geopolitical

leverage over the affairs of those

states and other states which depend

upon the red sea Israel holds a small 14

kilometer structure of coastline on the

Gulf of Aqaba which allows the states

were access to the Red Sea without

having to go through the Egyptian held

Suez Canal for Israel having a port on

the Red Sea is about retaining US

independence as a state surrounded by

enemies and the country has plans to

modernize the small area which will mean

less reliance on states that it does not

trust in the region Saudi Arabia and

Israel already play a large role in the

Red Sea region and will continue to do

so for the foreseeable future

furthermore both states have alliances

with the United States and have their

own Armed Forces given them further

geopolitical leverage and kinetic power

capacity when it comes to geostrategy

Sudan has begun to look outwards in its

red sea policy both Turkey and Qatar

have expressed interest in building and

managing ports on Sudan's Red Sea

coastline this will further Sudan's

power and reputation on the global stage

as well as attracts other potential

allies for the state it is the same city

of so Arkin and the island on which it

is situated that modern-day Turkey is

looking to revive as a Red Sea hub so

Arkans strategic value is derived from

the fact that as a halfway point between

bob almond dab and Gulf of Suez as well

as opposite the shores of Saudi Arabian

Mecca and Jeddah if turkey were to

militarize owacan it would have a

valuable geostrategic point from which

it could project kinetic power whilst

Turkey has stated that it currently has

no militaristic intentions for Saddam

this is not the case in nearby Somalia

where the state has deployed advisers to

train the Somali army which has left

experts speculating whether this can be

repeated in Sudan neighboring Sudan is

water land Eritrea which has a large Red

Sea coast line that stretches from the

Sudanese border in the north to the

Djiboutian border and south as a

somewhat underdeveloped Horn African

state Eritrea is also looking outwards

for both economic and military

assistance due to the threat of the

recently established Chinese presence in

Djibouti the US has looked to establish

a military presence in Eritrea the u.s.

pivot to Eritrea has had profound

effects on the security situation of the

country which recently signed a peace

treaty with Ethiopia furthering

stability both Sudan and Eritrea can

look forward to further economic

development and investment from other

states directly because of their Red Sea

coastline as these states continue to

develop there is nothing stopping them

from becoming red sea powers in their

own right Djibouti is an interesting

geopolitical case with a small coastal

state being prime real estate for any

major power seeking influence in the Red


previously Djibouti was controlled by

the Ottoman Empire and colonial France

due to his two strategic location near

the Strait of bab-el-mandeb in the

modern era many states from around the

world have taken an interest in the

small African country due to the fact

that his waters overlooked 25% of the

world's exports that flow into Asian and

Mediterranean markets

additionally djibouti's relative

stability compared to some of its

neighbors makes the country an

interactive investment for any state

looking to expand its influence in East

Africa as mentioned prior the US has a

military base in Djibouti

which surfacer protects US influence in

the bab-el-mandeb region alongside the

US presence the country is open itself

up to other states including China Japan

Italy and France which now all have

their own bases to protect their

geopolitical interests a Russian request

to set up a base in the country was

recently rejected by the government due

to Russian involvement in the Syrian

civil war interestingly the US base in

Djibouti is situated only six miles away

from the newly built Chinese base

Djibouti is critical to Chinese interest

in Africa and could acts as a major

gateway for Chinese influence on the

continent the current civil war in Yemen

has left the states red sea policies

somewhat confused most likely Yemeni

policy towards the Red Sea will be

defined by the victors of the conflict

if Iranian backed Houthi rebels prevail

the NEM may become a security issue for

the United States and some Western

shipping traffic through the Baba Elmen

that's straight as the country is

situated on his eastern coastline

however if government back forces win

then the country may choose to align

with the US and his other Middle Eastern

allies finally Saudi plans to build a

bridge across the barber almond F Street

may further aid Yemen's development

Egypt controls the premier geostrategic

point of the red sea the Suez Canal the

canal has long been a point of

contention with outside powers namely

Britain France and the United States now

Egypt is faced with pressure from all

sides as the demographic changes of many

African and Asian states mean increased

demand for passage through the canal

since 2011 trade from Southeast Asia to

the Mediterranean has done 37% with

growth to and from the Gulf of Suez

where China is the final destination up

77% never was pressure from outside

powers more evident and in the Suez

Crisis of 1956 when the French and

British invaded and captured the canal

following its nationalization by then

leader Gamal Abdel Nasser the enormous

geostrategic importance of the canal was

demonstrated by this crisis as the

former colonial powers were willing to

go to great lengths to ensure free

passage for their naval traffic in the

modern day Egypt will most likely face

pressure from China and India as these

countries seek to expand trade with the

Europe and the Americas

the end of Ottoman control to the

modern-day Egypt has experienced a lot

of political turmoil which has

inevitably impacted its Red Sea policy

the 2011 revolution and the subsequent

political and geopolitical chaos that

followed it have meant that that Egypt

has drawn closer to many different

states since the 2013 military coup that

deposed Mohamed Morsi one such state

that Egypt has increased cooperation

with is Russia with the aim of

strengthening military and economic ties

some examples of rousseau Egyptian

cooperation include plans for greater

economic ties conflict resolution in

Syria and the building of a nuclear

plant with Russian loans the joint aim

of both states is to promote regional

stability through the building of strong

national states looking forward into the

future the red sea can express increased

naval traffic an investment around the

globe as well as greater focus on

regional stability through the

resolution of conflict those lesser

developed states of a red sea coast line

such as Sudan Eritrea and Yemen will be

the greatest beneficiaries of foreign

investment in the region more developed

States of Saudi Arabia Israel Djibouti

and Egypt can also look forward to

further economic and security

development driven by the outside world

demands of passage through the Red Sea

strategic region can only be expected to

grow as Asian and African populations

increased dramatically this may lead to

greater military involvement from states

such as China Russia Japan and the US

and may also seek greater involvement in

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