Navy SEALs take over hijacked tanker in Mediterranean

The Barbary pirates are back.

 

The new face of smuggling? (Photo: Reuters/Esam Omran Al-Fetori)
The new face of smuggling? (Photo: Reuters/Esam Omran Al-Fetori)

Earlier in March, a shadowy oil tanker, suddenly bearing the name Morning Glory, showed up in Es-Sider, Libya with a plan to load oil from terminals held by Libyan rebels.

Back in January, forces of the Libyan government fired on a tanker as it attempted to enter the rebel-held port, reportedly to load another cargo of oil.  The tanker, Baku, Continue reading “Navy SEALs take over hijacked tanker in Mediterranean”

Peace in our time: ‘Game of carriers’ in Eastern Med

Elephants dance.

Vladimir Putin’s Russia has moved to clamp down on Ukraine in advance of the laughably rigged “referendum” scheduled for 16 March, when Crimeans will vote on which way to secede from Ukraine: either as an “independent” state or through annexation by Russia.  Crimeans who want to remain part of Ukraine are out of luck.

The battle for Crimea may be preordained; the battle for Ukraine underway.  There are also indications of a larger battle shaping up in the region, as the aircraft carriers of Russia and the United States perform an elaborate minuet in the Eastern Mediterranean.  If you weren’t convinced that the Russian move on Ukraine would rapidly destabilize the region, consider what has been going on in the last week west of Cyprus. Continue reading “Peace in our time: ‘Game of carriers’ in Eastern Med”

U.S. Navy assets update in Ukraine crisis

Great big ships.

Reader “Your Opinion Please” posed questions to me on carrier movements at this earlier post, and I am copying the response here (see below) to provide a general update.

There is no change in the U.S. military posture in the Mediterranean or Black Sea.  That’s the basic point to take away.  The activities we’re seeing are routine and predictable.  Because of the geography of the Ukraine problem, no NATO naval power can realistically be brought to bear on it, and any signals sent with naval power will be political, collateral, and temporary.

As mentioned in the previous post, the carrier USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) and her strike group are in the Mediterranean, Continue reading “U.S. Navy assets update in Ukraine crisis”

Great news: Russia, China to hold joint naval exercise in the Med

On the QT…

Russia Today reports that China and Russia agreed this past weekend to hold a joint naval exercise in the Mediterranean Sea.

Since they’re both there and all.  It will be interesting to see where they hold the exercise.  Presumably they will steer clear of any area in which they would excite the territorial-claims concern of Greece and Turkey.  That may or may not eliminate the waters between Cyprus and Syria.  I suspect the Russians would avoid that area; it would be an “in your face!” gesture at Turkey to have the exercise there: the use of a card Russia doesn’t need to play just yet. Continue reading “Great news: Russia, China to hold joint naval exercise in the Med”

Chinese warship arrives off Syria

Your father’s international order, nowhere in sight.

 

Chinese frigate Yancheng, thrilling the ladies in Cyprus. (Reuters photo.)
Chinese frigate Yancheng, thrilling the ladies in Cyprus. (Reuters photo.)

How many warships does it take to remove chemical weapons from Syria?  One more this week than it took last week, apparently.  If you’re a big, important country with a big, important navy, you want to be involved in the good-citizenship exercise in Syria.

A 31 December deadline for getting some of the chemical stockpile to waiting ships in Latakia was missed, as readers will remember.  But it looks like Continue reading “Chinese warship arrives off Syria”