An interesting week on the water. We begin with the main news, which is the end of NATO’s Operation Ocean Shield, the anti-piracy operation in the Indian Ocean. While NATO only maintained a couple of vessels in the region, their withdrawal will certainly be felt by shipping at a time when new threats have emerged in the region. It remains to be seen whether a reduced naval presence will embolden the local pirates and criminals.

Staying in the region, Kenyan security officials are boosting coastal security in the wake of threats from al Shabaab terrorists to kidnap tourists. Previously, Somali pirates had kidnapped foreign nationals from resorts such as Lamu.
Closer to home, it has emerged that the British Royal Navy isn’t just short on firepower, it’s sorely lacking in platforms, too. It’s all a little embarrassing, really.

Iran, meanwhile, is busy building new naval bases on its coast. That will certainly please the US and Saudi Arabia…

In West Africa, the Nigerian Navy has ended an operation in the Delta, only to see a spate of incidents occur the moment they turned their backs. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Finally, in Southeast Asia, the German man kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf Group terrorists has made a video pleading for his ransom to be paid, while various people affiliated with the group have made demands for payment. Our thoughts are with him and his family.

Regards,
David Rider
MSR
Editor

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