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Russia and U.S. Join Forces to Fight Pirates

11. November 2009 by James 0 Comments


Russia, the United States, China and a host of other nations are joining forces to fight the Somalia pirates. The alliance has historic implications.


Historic

In an interview with Fox News, piracy expert Roger Middleton, of the London think tank Chatham House, is impressed that nations who have trained to fight each other, have joined together to fight a small, dangerous force..
"It's remarkable you have in what is generally considered not to be the most strategically important corner of the Earth, you have the Chinese, the Russians, the Americans, the Indians, all working together against a common enemy," Middleton said.


Superpowers Leading the Way

In September Russia and China announced joint anti-piracy patrols called “Operation Blue Shield”. In addition the Russian Navy is supporting NATO patrols in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden.
According to the United States Fifth Fleet 25 ships from 14 nations are now patrolling the waters off Somalia.


Currently, pirates hold nearly 250 hostages from around the world, including a British couple taken last month. Three ships have been seized in the last week alone.


Sea Friends

Many of those nations that are not friends on the land are comrades on the sea. Under naval tradition and the law of the seas, sailors are obligated to help any ship in trouble, no matter what flag the ship may fly.


Two months ago, the Turkish frigate TCG Gediz chased pirates assaulting a Greek ship. Even though for years both nations have been at odds over the island of Cyprus. Likewise the South Korean navy dispatched helicopters to assist a North Korean cargo ship that was under attack.


All the navies agree the problem is so great that no one nation can do it alone. Since no one nation has a territorial claim on the seas, it is easy for nations to corporate.  All the participants welcome this historic, unprecedented cooperation.


Sharing Information

Last week, the navies of 26 nations, including China, Russia, the United States, India, the Ukraine, Japan, Great Britain, the EU and NATO, met to discuss operations and share information. While at sea countries share information via radio and e-mail. The only nation not sharing information is Iran.


Though navies are working together they can’t stop all the attacks in area as vast as the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden. The root of the problem lies in the fact that Somalia has no working government, the citizens languish in poverty, are dependent on international aid and see piracy is the only way to make a living.