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The UK and Spain want international influence. No one important cares about your opinion if you can't project power.

Certainly "everybody important" is likely to discount the value of soft power. But that is, I would say, the Important People's problem, not ours. When Egypt starts making noises about joining the EU (and, not to put too fine a point upon it, thus giving the Union complete control of the access ways to the Mediterranean), maybe they'll realise the error of their ways...

Big ships are very vulnerable to small fast craft. And pirates are dealt with by destroying their base of operations, something for which you need - that's right - amphibious assault assets.

The problem is that destroying a fishing village pirate base here and there isn't a permanent solution any more than destroying individual pirates. Political stability and a functioning government in the country they're operating out of is the permanent solution. And somehow I don't see an amphibious assault task force running in and out of - say - Somali territory promoting stability in the area.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 01:41:07 PM EST
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It's a solution which will work good enough until the Somalis can get their shit together. And quite frankly, if they haven't managed to make any progress in 17 years it's unlikely to happen soon. But all the luck to them.

Until that I guess strikes will have to be launched from the French base in Djibouti every now and then.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed Oct 15th, 2008 at 03:57:19 PM EST
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As long as there are failed states along major shipping routes and desperate people living in the failed states with access to small boats, its not as if taking out a particular hot spot for pirate activity is going to provide anything by temporary relief. One set of "these people" are "taught their lesson" by killing them, somewhere else along the coast an entirely different set of "these people" gives it a try.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Oct 16th, 2008 at 09:39:38 AM EST
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