Links of Interest

France’s rescue attempt in Somalia was pretty much a goat rope.  Rescue missions are risky, and have a high failure rate. Failing is one thing. Leaving a man behind? That’s a real black mark on the record.

And President Obama has notified Congress that US aircraft supported the operation. Eh, I’m not gonna get too excited about that. He complied with the War Powers Act mandate to notify Congress. And flying top cover over Somalia is fairly low risk. And believe it or not, France has been a fairly steadfast ally in  a lot of ways. So scratching their back from time to time won’t hurt much.

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France is also busy fighting in Mali. France has a long, long history of intervention in brush wars in Africa. When the US intervenes somewhere, there are calls from every corner of the world and from half the US population about having the blessings of the UN. France doesn’t bother with any of that nonsense. If they feel fighting Islamist radicals in Africa is in their best interests, it’s go time.  I’m hearing some rumors of US logistical support for the operations, but nothing firm yet.

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Steeljaw Scribe is getting the message China is sending. Are you?

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Some days just suck harder than others.

http://themellowjihadi.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/A-ground-crew-member-from-Electronic-Attack-Squadron-132-signals-to-an-EA-18G-Growler-as-it-returns-from-a-flight-Jan.-10-during-heavy-snows-at-Naval-Air-Facility-Misawa-Japan..jpg

Via NavyOne.

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I think I’ve found my new favorite band.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3-pUNhYORw]

D’oh. Video didn’t load first time around.

EU Naval Forces Conduct Raid on Pirate Base in Somalia

It seems the EU nations are tired of playing “whack-a-mole” against pirates off the coast of Somalia.

EU naval forces have conducted their first raid on pirate bases on the Somali mainland, saying they have destroyed several boats.

The EU forces were transported by helicopter to the pirate bases near the port of Haradhere.

Anti-piracy forces have been reluctant to attack mainland bases, fearing for the crew of captured ships.

Somalia-based pirates have seized vessels across the Indian Ocean and demand huge ransoms for their release.

They are believed to be holding about 17 ships and 300 crew.

Just the other day, I was commenting at Information Dissemination regarding our (the US) rather ineffective approach to anti-piracy operations:

Again, we don’t have a piracy problem. We have an ROE problem. We’ve lawyered ourselves into a position where taking any actions that include the use of force can be painted as a war crime by our own domestic political factions, or by non-friendly foreign powers.

I had a follow up comment responding to replies:

I’m aware of that.  But playing whack a mole with the odd skiff here and there is insufficient to end the scourge of piracy. A punitive expedition that sank every skiff along a hundred miles of coast line would have a more permanent effect. But we won’t do that.

Seems I was a bit hasty. We won’t do it. But it appears the EU will…

I speak and the EU listens! Hey, let’s talk fiscal policy…