Archive for September 2014

PRIVATE MARITIME SECURITY ADAPTING TO NEW INT’L PIRACY MAP   Leave a comment

By Dave Yonkman

“The vast criminal enterprise of seafaring piracy in Somalia’s Gulf of Aden continues its steady decline as the preeminent danger zone to international shipping on the high seas since its height in 2011.”

Counter-measures deployed by nation states and international coalitions have contributed to diminishing the threat, but the overall success can be mostly attributed to the presence of Private Maritime Security Companies (PMSCs).

Pirates have yet to successfully attack a single vessel protected by armed security guards. This is a strong indicator that PMSCs and their onboard security teams are a major deterrent to pirate attacks.

Now that they have largely succeeded in the Gulf of Aden, PMSCs are necessarily shifting their business focus to a large degree on the emerging new “markets” in West Africa and the Malacca Strait. Counter-piracy measures are nearly non-existent in these areas despite the rapidly increasing risks to safe passage and potentially devastating effect on economic prosperity in the regions.

Reuters news agency reports recently that pirate attacks off the coast of Nigeria have jumped by one-third in 2013 “as ships passing through West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, a major commodities route, have increasingly come under threat from gangs wanting to snatch cargoes and crews.”

Furthermore, Reuters reported back in October of an attack on an oil supply vessel in Nigerian waters where pirates kidnapped the captain and chief engineer, both of whom were American citizens.

Most recently, Greek authorities reported that an oil tanker came under armed attack off the west coast of Africa, and the ship’s Ukrainian captain and Greek first engineer were kidnapped.

Conversely, maritime piracy by Somali gangs has dropped 90 percent to a six-year low, according to a new report from Control Risks.

It might be easy to try and correlate the two – West Africa and Somalia – but they are markedly different types of menaces.

Somali pirates attack ships with the first and foremost goal of holding their crew for high ransom.

West African pirates are more interested in the cargo, particularly oil, which they can sell on the black market for half the cost. They are far more inclined to simply kill or injure crew members if they get in the way than to barter their lives as currency.

This is occurring at a time when piracy in the Gulf of Guinea is emerging as a vital shippinglifeline for a dozen countries and targeting vessels that carry nearly 30 percent of all U.S. oil imports, according to the Heritage Foundation.

Indeed, the Gulf of Guinea has emerged as the world’s latest piracy hotspot.

The absence of any rule of law or consistent regulation among nation states is a ripe breeding ground for corruption, with the bad guys already exploiting the situation to their advantage.

Fortunately, PMSCs have always stood at the forefront in responding to this new frontier. They possess the most sophisticated capability and necessary flexibility to protect ships and ensure their safe passage through international waters.

This defense will be crucial until impacted nation states and international organizations operating in the region can coalesce around an agreed upon framework that includes all maritime security providers, including PMSCs.

PMSCs are not unhinged freelancers for hire, however. They are required to honor a strict code of conduct and best practices issued by maritime security organizations and the International Maritime Organization. They hold themselves to the highest standards of international conduct, including Flag and Port State controls while protecting ships in the open water.

And, unlike national naval forces, they are not constrained by bureaucracies and limited resources in their efforts to provide efficient and safe passage to all threatened vessels.

The vast majority of vulnerable nations in the emerging battleground have no official naval forces to begin with aside from two or three small skiffs that are continuously under repair.

The implications for the future of the maritime shipping industry are tremendous. The new threat environments require bold new approaches that continue to combat traditional adversaries in the Gulf of Aden, yet recognize the emerging threats in West Africa and the spillover from the Arabian Sea into nearby international waters.

The global map of maritime piracy needs to be redrawn in response to the new dangers. PMSCs are critical in mounting effective resistance to continuous pirate attacks that are often supported by corrupt nation states. They are a significant part of an overall solution in the mixture of public and private efforts to control global piracy on the high seas.

In the meantime, the private sector stands at the ready to ensure safe passage of vessels and to confront this developing criminal enterprise before it becomes too late.

Posted September 27, 2014 by rrts in -NEWS

How Armies Eat Around The World   Leave a comment

Leave it to reddit to open our minds on the stark differences of our eating habits around the world.

Redditor user itsrattlesnake has created an interesting photo project that unbiasedly documents the ready-to-eat meals (MREs) armies are equipped with while on the field. Thanks to itsrattlesnake, we learned a couple of interesting things about the men and women who dedicate their lives to protecting their countries and its citizens. One, candy is a must. And two, a heating device is an invaluable part of an MRE (because really, we all deserve a warm meal).

From this glimpse into the window of the army’s food world, we also get a look of how each country packs its culture with them on the go. The Italians start their day with a shot of alcohol (smart thinking), the British are supplied with tons of tea (naturally), and the French, well the French go fancy with duck confit, deer pate and a Dupont d’Isigny caramel. (And no, the Spanish are not supplied condoms in their MREs, despite what it may look like in the picture below — so lets just get your mind out of the gutter already.)

Take a look at how these 11 countries feed their men and women in service. If you have any information on how other countries prepare their MREs, we’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.

  • 1
    Germany
    You’re looking at: Sour cherry and apricot jams, several sachets of grapefruit and exotic juice powder to add to water, Italian biscotti, liver-sausage spread and rye bread, and Goulash with potatoes.
  • 2
    Canada
    You’re looking at: Bear Paws snacks, salmon fillet with Tuscan sauce or vegetarian couscous for the main meal, the makings of a peanut butter and jelly (raspberry jam) sandwich for breakfast and a shocking omission of maple syrup.
  • 3
    United States
    You’re looking at: Almond poppy seed pound cake, cranberries, spiced apple cider, peanut butter and crackers, pasta with vegetable “crumbles” in spicy tomato sauce and a flameless heater – it heats up enough to warm the plastic meal pouch.
  • 4
    France
    You’re looking at: Deer pâté, cassoulet with duck confit, creole-style pork and a crème chocolate pudding, some coffee and flavored drink powder, muesli for breakfast and a little Dupont d’Isigny caramel. (There is also a disposable heater.)
  • 5
    Italy
    You’re looking at: A breakfast shot of 40 percent alcohol cordiale (seriously), a powdered cappuccino, lots of biscotti, a pasta and bean soup, canned turkey and a rice salad. Dessert is a power sport bar, canned fruit salad or a muesli chocolate bar. (And there’s a disposable camping stove for heating parts of the meal.)
  • 6
    UK
    You’re looking at: Kenco coffee, Typhoo tea, a mini bottle of Tabasco, chicken tikka masala, a vegetarian pasta, pork and beans for breakfast, trail mix, an apple “fruit pocket” with packets of Polos.
  • 7
    Estonia
    You’re looking at: Stuffed peppers, chicken-meat pâté, smoked sprats, liver sausage with potatoes, crispbreads, halva with vanilla (for dessert), and muesli with fruit pocket and honey.
  • 8
    Australia
    You’re looking at: Vegemite, jam sandwich biscuits, a tube of sweetened condensed milk, meatballs, chili tuna pasta, a can-opener-spoon for getting at the Fonterra processed cheddar cheese, lots of sweets, soft drinks, and two unappetizing-looking bars labelled “chocolate ration.”
  • 9
    Denmark
    You’re looking at: Earl Grey tea, beans and bacon in tomato sauce, a golden oatie biscuit and Rowntree’s Tooty Frooties. (Also, a flameless heater.)
  • 10
    Spain
    You’re looking at: Cans of green beans with ham, squid in vegetable oil, pate, a sachet of powdered vegetable soup, crackers, and peaches in syrup for dessert. (There is a disposable heater with matches and fuel tabs, as well as lots of tablets: Vitamin C, glucose, water purification and rehydration.)
  • 11
    Singapore
  • You’re looking at: Butter-flavored biscuits, instant noodles, isotonic drink, Ego fish-shaped biscuit, honey teriyaki chicken noodle, sweet potato in red bean soup, apple and blueberry bar and mini packs of Mentos.

Posted September 26, 2014 by rrts in -NEWS

China’s navy fights pirates at Gulf of Aden   Leave a comment

Posted September 26, 2014 by rrts in -NEWS

Vinalines warns of rising piracy in Southeast Asia   Leave a comment

A Vinalines cargo ship at sea. Photo credit: VinalinesA Vinalines cargo ship at sea. Photo credit: Vinalines

Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) warned its affiliates to remain vigilant against rising piracy in Southeast Asia.
Marine transport companies must strictly follow safety protocols and maintain frequent communications with their dispatchers, the state-owned corporation said in a statement.
According to Vinalines, pirates operating in Southeast Asia seek cargo and tend not to hold hostages for ransom like Somali pirates.
The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) reported a total of 73 incidents of piracy and armed robbery at sea in Asia during the first half of this year.
Of the 73 incidents reported, 18 were incidents of piracy and 55 were incidents of armed robbery against ships. Accordingly, 15 piracy incidents occurred in the East Sea (a.k.a. the South China Sea), two in the Bay of Bengal and one attempt in the Indian Ocean.
In July, the International Maritime Bureau’s (IBM) Piracy Reporting Center raised concerns over a worrying trend of small tanker hijackings in its mid-year 2014 report.
Globally, 116 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported to the PRC in the first six months of 2014, down 138 incidents compared to the corresponding period for 2013.
In Southeast Asia, at least six known cases of coastal tankers being hijacked for their diesel or petroleum cargo have been reported since April, sparking fears of a new trend in piracy attacks in the area, according to the report.
IMB director Pottengal Mukundan said the recent increase in the number of successful hijackings is cause for concern.
“These serious attacks have so far targeted small coastal tankers. We advise these vessels to maintain strict anti-piracy measures in these waters, and to report all attacks and suspicious approaches by small craft.”
The number of Somali pirate attacks continues to remain low; only 10 incidents were reported, including three vessels fired upon.
None of those vessels were boarded.
Vulnerable small tankers
Sam Bateman, adviser to the Maritime Security Program at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, said small product tankers of about 1,000 gross tons are very common in regional waters.
“Due to their size, relatively slow speed and low freeboard when laden, they are particularly vulnerable to attack,” he said.
“A further problem arises because some of these vessels may not be compliant with the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code which applies to most of these vessels and prescribes mandatory security requirements for them.”
According to Bateman, most ships transiting regional waters are not at risk unless they slow down or anchor in areas where attacks occur.
Major requirements to reduce the number of attacks in the region include better security in ports and anchorages and effective inter-agency coordination both at sea and onshore, he said.
“These attacks are invariably transnational in nature indicating the importance of close cooperation onshore between regional police forces to deal with this form of maritime crime.”
thanhniennews.com

Posted September 7, 2014 by rrts in -NEWS

Golf of Guinea pirates adopt new tactics   Leave a comment

Golf of Guinea Pirates Changing MOIn the early hours of Saturday, August 9, 2014, the radar of a product tanker transiting south, 200 nautical miles off the Nigerian shoreline detected a probable pirate mother ship lying in wait close to its track. Shortly after detecting the vessel, the crew was engaged by several bursts of automatic gunfire from up to three pirate boats.The pirates then made an unsuccessful attempt at boarding the vessel from the stern.
 
Dryad Maritime warns that the range at which this attack took place, some 200 nautical miles offshore, and the tactics employed are more commonly associated with Somali piracy methods than those seen in the Gulf of Guinea.

Ian Millen, Chief Operating Officer at Dryad Maritime, said: “The attempted boarding of a vessel underway, especially at night and this far out in open seas, is a tactic more usually associated with highly motivated Somali pirates, and only then on a small number of occasions.
Whilst we have seen similar attacks on vessels off the Niger Delta up to 160 nautical miles out, these have been crew kidnap incidents.
It is unusual to see an attempted hijack of an underway tanker at such ranges from the shore and the numbers of craft involved suggest that this was an attempt at cargo theft.

This could be a real game changer for this specific type of crime if repeated; one that would match the strategic shock earlier in the year when a tanker, MT Kerala, was snatched from an anchorage off Angola”.

As a result of the attack, Dryad Maritime have issued an immediate advisory to ship operators transiting the area.

Dryad’s team of analysts predict that the incident could signal a step change in terms of both pirate capability and tactics and a development that regional forces would be unlikely to be able to deal with.

“It would be easy to characterise this event as just another statistic in the story of Gulf of Guinea maritime crime, but to do so would be missing one very significant point – the open ocean nature of what looks like an intelligence-led operation.

The victim vessel was in transit between a Gulf of Guinea port and a destination further south. If the departure and destination ports were known, and the mother ship had a suitable equipment fit, it is possible that the pirates could sit along the likely route and intercept the vessel whilst underway.

With the amount of data shared on maritime movements, it is even conceivable that the ship’s passage plan could have fallen into the wrong hands, making this an even simpler criminal mission,” said Millen.

On this occasion, the vessel was both well prepared and alert and implemented anti-piracy drills; both ship and crew are reported as safe, however the whereabouts of the criminals, skiffs and mother ship are still unknown.

en.portnews.ru

Posted September 4, 2014 by rrts in -NEWS

NEW PLANES TO FIGHT THE PIRACY   Leave a comment

Nigeria yesterday took the wraps off a new aircraft to tackle high-sea pirates, as well as maritime hijackers and oil thieves. The high-tech plane is one of seven to be operated by the maritime safety agency and the air force.

 

It includes sensors, radar and electro-optic surveillance and tracking equipment, which houses three cameras to monitor ships in Nigerian waters.

 

The 20-seat plane can fly as low as 60m above the sea and passes on information about maritime traffic to the navy, which can intervene with fast-attack craft if necessary.

 

“We can SPOT any vessel hundreds of kilometres away,” a spokesperson said.

 

Piracy off the western coast of Africa has been rising, with attackers targeting ships playing a key role in the region’s thriving oil

 

industry. Maritime watchdog, the International Maritime Bureau, said West African piracy made up 19% of attacks last year.

 

Nigerian pirates accounted for 31 of 51 attacks.

 

– AFP

Posted September 3, 2014 by rrts in -NEWS

The Future of British Defence   Leave a comment

Op-Ed by Simon Williams

 

The 2010 British Strategic Security and Defence Review (SDSR) begun with an unambiguous statement of intent; ‘Our country has always had global responsibilities and global ambitions. We have a proud history of standing up for the values we believe in and we should have no less ambition for our country in the decades to come’. It then goes on to outline how this might be achieved.

 

Britain must be ‘more thoughtful, more strategic and more coordinated in the way we advance our interests and protect our national security’. But since 2010 the record has not reflected these aims. If anything, it seems the British government is becoming less and less clear about what it wishes to achieve in the international arena in service of British national interests. Written in the light of recent adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, the document admits that Britain’s ‘Armed Forces – admired across the world – have been overstretched, deployed too often without appropriate planning, with the wrong equipment, in the wrong numbers and without a clear strategy.

 

In the past, underfunded spending pledges created a fundamental mismatch between aspiration and resources’. The murderous march of Islamic State (previously ISIS) through Iraq, the ever present and resurgent Taliban threat in Afghanistan and the declining civil order in Libya all demonstrate the damaging consequences of ill-conceived and ill-planned military intervention.

 

Professionalism, success and sacrifice at the tactical level have not translated into success at the strategic level, largely due to the simple fact there has been no overarching strategic direction, set at the political level, guiding operational and tactical planning. The consequences of Britain’s twenty-first century interventionist wars are yet to be fully felt, but they are unlikely to lead to the stability and peace in the Middle East, and security at home, that was envisaged.

 

The key reason for defeat in these campaigns was a failure of British policymakers to fully appreciate the military, political and cultural dimensions of the regions and conflicts in which they were getting involved. This inevitably led to an inability to develop a singular strategic aim and appropriately plan for contingent outcomes, leading to confusion around how to respond both politically or militarily to evolving contexts.

 

Ultimately, this bewilderment was an predictable consequence of fighting the wrong conflicts, conflicts that did not directly serve British or indeed, global interests, or in fighting them in the wrong way (as in Afghanistan where limited intervention led to strategic creep – ‘nation building’ – and a blurring of aims and means, and in Libya where short term kinetic intervention has led to long term instability).

 

For these reasons, Britain and her allies could never secure long-term victory. If London did not set criteria for victory, how could it possibly achieve it? As the British naval thinker Admiral Sir Herbert Richmond once cautioned in his 1946 study ‘Statesmen and Seapower’; ‘If the statesman misinterprets the nature of national defence or the ultimate object of a war, or fails to make the necessary preparations; if, in war, he misdirects the strategy employed for the attainment of the object; the results will be far more injurious than those of errors in minor strategy or tactics: for they are more far-reaching’.

 

These words have acquired fresh resonance.

 

The campaign in Libya and the lobbying for intervention in Syria still demonstrate that the incumbent UK government, despite the promises made in the SDSR, does not understand what national security means and how the application of force might serve to uphold it. If the UK government seriously decides that it is in the UK’s national interests to involve itself in wars such as have been fought or proposed in recent years, then it must first write a coherent foreign policy to justify this approach, then develop a defence strategy reflecting this approach, providing ample financial and military resources in order to deliver it.

 

If however, it considers such increases in defence spending as impracticable, and prolonged ground wars as impracticable, then a sober refocusing and apposite downsizing of our national ambitions and strategy is required. Based on the recent record the latter is perhaps more palatable; the more a nation engages in conflicts that they do not understand, both in the long and short terms, the more likely they are to lose credibility in the eyes of their potential enemies, emboldening and perhaps multiplying them.

 

Military capability must match the politicians rhetoric. It is in this, that the soft and hard-power capabilities afforded by flexible and numerous maritime forces present themselves. For a nation such as Britain, who wishes to retain global influence but contain defence spending, a well resourced maritime force can offer a cheaper, more effective, less invasive and more flexible means of meeting the basic security requirements demanded of an Western government.

 

Where the SDSR does start to talk sense is in its clear contention that British ‘national security depends on our economic security and vice versa’. Stemming from her island status, Britain’s economic health is dependent on the sea. 90 – 95 percent of British imports and exports are dependent on the sea and UK based shipping contributes £10bn to GDP and £3bn in tax revenues and after tourism and finance, is the third largest service sector industry in Britain.

 

In 2011 the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) forecasted that globalization is simply increasing British dependence on maritime trade. After adjustments for inflation, seaborne imports are projected to grow 287 percent over the next two decades, and exports delivered increasing by 119 percent. The value of British imports in 2010 stood at £345bn and is expected to reach £1.95tn by 2030. In the same twenty-year period export values are expected to rise from £233bn to £1.63tn.

 

The SDSR however fails to grasp such facts. A maritime focus for foreign and defence planning is critical. It has been through shrewd exploitation of the maritime realm for global influence, trade, diplomacy and war fighting, that Britain had forged and refined successful foreign and defence policy postures framed by her seapower status.

 

But such is modern Britain’s general lack of understanding of the role of the Royal and Merchant navies in shaping British history, that the efficacy of this foreign policy posture is poorly understood. Thus it is unsurprising that Britain is now struggling to develop a coherent national strategy that serves her interests and not the whims of vote-winning, short-termism.

 

As a result of the SDSR of 2010, the UK armed forces are getting smaller, meaning Britain must be more discriminating about its utilization of hard power. To achieve this aim, Britain must develop a coherent and focused national strategy, structured around its reliance on the sea. A strong Royal Navy can deliver defence of trade, conventional deterrence, counter-narcotics operations, counter-piracy, upholding the rule of law at sea, diplomacy (‘showing the flag’ missions), global air-power projection, support of operations ashore, and of course maintaining the at-sea nuclear deterrent. There is great utility in such a force that can deliver all these things at proportionally little cost.

 

However, if Britain continues to fail to appreciate its historic relationship with the sea and how it has been utilized, in war and peace, in the defence of her interests, it will remain ignorant to the potentialities of the maritime realm in the modern day. It is my contention, that if exploitation of the sea for influence, prosperity, security, and military effectiveness, continues to be sidelined as a core strategic function, by continued under-investment in maritime forces, then Britain’s credibility as a global power will atrophy.

 

Herbert Richmond explained that a state’s ability to deliver decisive military action rests on that state’s strength, whether it has appropriate and well-maintained arms to pursue the objective and ‘whether they have been kept sharp or blunted by ill-considered policy, surrender of territory, of interests, or of rights concerning their use’.

 

Britain’s ‘ill-considered policy’ of the past decade has arisen from a misplaced sense of purpose and strength and it has repeatedly ignored the sources of its power and thus failed to deliver lucid thinking on national strategy. The SDSR failed to interpret British interests, and the threats to them, in the longer term. In putting terrorism as a core focus of British defence efforts, the authors have shown a collective failure to understand that terror does not present a long term menace to the prosperity and security at home that Britons have come to expect. Therefore terrorism should not be a phenomenon that shapes a nation’s foreign and defence policy posture. A nation’s armed forces should remain flexible to respond to and prevent acts of terrorism, but should not be focused on them.

 

To highlight terrorism as a top priority of British defence planning suggests that Britain, despite the lofty rhetoric of the SDSR, is still doing defence, security and indeed strategy, wrong. Britain’s recent failure to fight wars in support of clear foreign policy goals would appear to draw this out.

 

For instance, its reliance on the purported efficacy of foreign aid is perplexing, when in reality the value of its use is far from certain. The money would be better spent on a maritime force capable of delivering tangible security, tried and tested over hundreds of years. These views are shared by Dr David Betz of King’s College London, who in a recent unequivocal post on the War Studies Department Blog argued that ‘For three hundred years… a cornerstone of British policy has been the maintenance of a very good, at times world pre-eminent, navy–even through the 20th century during which its relative power progressively diminished… On current trajectory, presently we shall have a not very good navy at all with serious gaps in capability and depth’.

 

Betz’s final point is perhaps the neatest exposition of what this writer believes needs to happen; ‘If it were up to me every damned penny currently earmarked for overseas aid would be redirected to the Royal Navy permanently. There’s nothing better for lifting poverty than trade’.

 

Britain is a de facto seapower. But its failure to appreciate this is the greatest threat to its long-term security. The scrapping of Nimrod Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA), the Harrier fleet and the current aircraft carriers before replacements were in commission and the delivery of only 6 Type-45 Destroyers instead of the proposed 12, all show a lack of appreciation by government officials of what a flexible naval capability requires.

 

Such a high proportion of the future fleet will be required to protect the new carriers that it will be unbalanced and hard choices will have to be made about whether other critical routine operations can be maintained. Either that or more time will be spent at sea with implications for moral (another focus of the SDSR), retention and maintenance.

 

When reading the SDSR document, it fails to account for the unpredictability of the world and the lessons of history. For instance, it stated ‘in the short term, there are few circumstances we can envisage where the ability to deploy airpower from the sea will be essential. That is why we have, reluctantly, taken the decision to retire the Harrier aircraft, which has served our country so well’.

 

Within the succeeding four years, air strikes were launched against Libya from bases in the UK and Italy – even the Italians flew their missions from the Giuseppe Garibaldi – at exorbitant cost and prominent officials were lobbying for a similar intervention in Syria. Only in the last fortnight America has begun launching airstrikes against IS in Iraq. The UK may provide similar support but only enabled by the fortuitous location of her base in Cyprus.

 

Future events will undoubtedly once again throw the gap in Britain’s maritime capabilities into sharp relief. But until this elusive moment of clarity, London must begin to refocus foreign policy aims to directly service the nations interests and do this by beginning to acknowledge the nations historic and tested credentials as an effective seapower.

 

The world is becoming more fractious, unstable and to boot more nations with bright economic futures – some with values divergent from those of the West – are pursuing naval programs. It is not good for a nation such as Britain, so dependent on the security of the world’s seas, to realign its defence focus to terrorism (and the sources of it), put so much faith in dubious international aid payments whilst neglecting its duty to upholding the security of the world’s oceans.

 

Despite the dreadful consequences of individual terrorist acts, they will regrettably never be eliminated and the threat they pose to the wider security of Britain remains disputed. The defeat of terrorism and the instability that feeds it, through foreign aid and armed intervention, is an illusory aim and the pursuit of it will inevitably continue to lead to future embroilment in costly and ineffectual foreign adventures that do not safeguard Britain’s interests, or its security.

 

Instead, the upcoming SDSR of 2015 must refine Britain’s global ambitions and be selfishly realistic in what it can and cannot achieve vis-à-vis defence and security, instead of pursuing nebulous and discredited aims such as the defeat of terrorism. This post, in addition to the last 400 years of British history, has demonstrated that the UK should pay proportionally more attention to events in the maritime realm and must invest to maintain a strong, flexible maritime armed force (this means numbers not just technologically advanced platforms).

 

The Royal Navy has proven through history to be adaptable, delivering security, prosperity and influence through business-as-usual global operations; able to respond to a broad array of contingencies with finesse or force. London must re-engage with the history of the Service that facilitated its rise to world power status and focus not just on what its armed forces can deliver in war but also what they can deliver in peace. Only in doing this will it truly re-learn the importance of the Royal Navy and the utility of seapower.

 

Simon Williams received a BA Hons in Contemporary History from the University of Leicester in 2008. In early 2011 he was awarded an MA in War Studies from King’s College London. His postgraduate dissertation was entitled The Second Boer War 1899-­1902: A Triumph of British Sea Power. He continues to write on naval history and strategy and in 2012 he hosted the Navy is the Nation Conference, in Portsmouth, UK. The aim of this event was to explore the impact of the Royal Navy on British culture and national identity. His is organizing a second event entitled Statesmen and Seapower, being held in partnership with the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth on 17 & 18 April 2015.

 

This article originally appeared at CIMSEC and was republished with permission in maritime-executive.com

Posted September 2, 2014 by rrts in -NEWS