Archive for January, 2011
It was the most ambitious, expensive, and risky oceanic engineering feat ever attempted – all for the intelligence contained in one Soviet submarine. It was also one of the most secretive operations, yet it was conducted under the spotlight of international media and Soviet intelligence. Sponsored by billionaire Howard Hughes under the cover of an undersea mining operation, Project Azorian attempted to raise a sunken Soviet submarine from a depth of 16,000 feet, far deeper than the 164 feet previously plumbed for a sunken submarine. Renowned naval historian Norman Polmar and film producer Michael White have recently published a book, Project Azorian: The CIA and the Raising of the K-129 (Naval Institute Press, 2010), that offers new details and convincingly answers many of the remaining questions surrounding the mystery of the sub’s sinking. Polmar recently spoke at the Navy Memorial about this new book and his exhaustive research to produce it.
The K-129 mysteriously ceased communications and disappeared in March 1968 while operating in the north Pacific. The Soviets were unable to locate it, but U.S. Air Force surveillance systems picked up unusual acoustic “events” traced to K-129 and were able to pinpoint its location within 2-3 miles. U.S. Navy submarine USS Halibut (SSGN/SSN 587) was dispatched to the area, found the wreckage and took thousands of photos – showing that K-129 was, surprisingly, relatively intact. Salivating over the potential intelligence they could collect and assuming that it was just a matter of time before the Soviets found it, the CIA embarked on what could have been considered a foolhardy salvage attempt. The likelihood of successfully raising the sub was estimated to be 10 percent, according to the authors. It required an astronomical investment in state-of-the-art and innovative equipment at a time when the U.S. was still heavily engaged in the Vietnam War – a cost the government could not justify at the time. But the opportunity to obtain a Soviet nuclear-tipped missile and its guidance system was just too tempting. However, the project of this scale needed a convincing “cover.”
So, the CIA enlisted the help of Howard Hughes, the eccentric billionaire who predictably agreed to underwrite the project. It was given a fake mission of a sea floor mining operation paid for by Hughes and it proved to be a perfect front. Openly reported in the press and with a legitimate money trail (as the government already had contracts with Hughes and the other contractors working on the project), a specially-outfitted deep sea mining ship was built in which heavy equipment – ostensibly mining – could be lifted from the ocean floor. It was brilliant.
The Hughes Glomar Explorer set out for its historic mission in June of 1974. Its task was daunting: “Beyond the lowering of the ‘capture vehicle’ or ‘claw’ at the end of a pipe-string and then recovering the submarine, the system would have to raise the capture vehicle, submarine hulk, and pipe-string up through an open well. There would be strong dynamic forces at work in the North Pacific even in summer, and it would be necessary to hold the ship in an exact position over the three-mile pipe-string. As the K-129 was raised it would be necessary to ensure perfect alignment with the opening of the docking well or moon pool. And, of course, the recovery had to be unobservable by outsiders.”
Even knowing the outcome of the adventure, the story is a riveting one. Authors Polmar and White are successful at unveiling – peeling back, really – many previously unreported details of this story through suspenseful chapter ends and a non-chronological story arc, one that keeps the reader’s attention. It could have read like an academic treatise, but it doesn’t. The authors also convincingly answer many remaining mysteries of the mission – including what caused the K-129 disaster. The book will obviously attract industry insiders, but its friendly prose and narrative style will also appeal to any Tom Clancy fan.
A full recap of all the erroneous press reports at the time also provides interesting fodder and adds some consumer color to the story, lending credence to the project’s mystique as a bona fide Cold War-era mystery. Knowing Polmar and his dry, sarcastic wit, I can tell that he held his tongue when debunking many of the theories that abounded about the demise of the K-129 and the myriad, confident journalists and authors that subsequently posited wildly off-base accounts. Polmar does not suffer fools, but he held back judiciously in this academically supported thesis. He knows that hindsight is 20-20.
The mission was partly successful, but it remains debatable as to whether the intelligence gleaned from the salvage effort was worth the estimated $500 million (1970s money!). A total of 38 feet of the submarine was salvaged; the remaining 100 feet broke off and dropped back to the ocean floor, shattering into tiny bits of debris that were impossible to recapture. The authors allege that the true story of Project Azorian represents a feat that, while only producing modest intelligence gains, was as ambitious an engineering project as landing a man on the moon. We Americans have a habit of justifying the climbing of any mountain … just because it’s there!
By Mark Tempest
The last few decades have seen the growing quality and quantity of the People’s Republic of China’s . Along with this rise has been a maturing of their maritime strategy and their view of what to do with their growing sea power. Join us as we discuss this topic with United States Naval War College Associate Professors Toshi Yoshihara & James R. Holmes, the authors of the book, RED STAR OVER THE PACIFIC: China’s Rise and the Challenge to U.S. Maritime Strategy
Sunday, 5pm U.S. Eastern Time.
Hit the link below.
On January 31st, Naval Academy midshipmen John McDonough, Stephen Honan, and Blaine Tonking will start the 135 mile Arrowhead Ultramarathon. To put this in perspective, 135 miles is equivalent to 5 marathons or the distance between Washington, DC and Philadelphia. However, if running 135 miles isn’t challenging enough, the temperatures at the snowy northern Minnesota race course routinely reach -40 ⁰F. And, by the way, you have to finish in less than 60 hours.
These midshipmen, beyond peak physical condition, have already finished other shorter (though shorter is a relative term here) ultramarathons such as the JFK 50 miler and the MOAB 100 miler. All three are members of the Naval Academy marathon team, and all hope to service select SpecOps or SpecWar.
The race is so long that the race directors require each participant to have at least 3000 calories of food and a sleeping bag rated for -20 ⁰F on them at all times. Because of the terrain, many participants choose to tow this gear on sleds.
Why are they doing this? Besides testing themselves physically and mentally, they hope to raise $30,000 for the Special Operations Warriors Fund (SOWF) by running.
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation mission is devoted to providing a college education to every child who has lost a parent while serving in Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps Special Operations during an operational or training mission.
The Warrior Foundation is currently committed to providing scholarship grants to more than 760 children. These children survive over 600 Special Operations personnel who gave their lives in patriotic service to their country, including those who died fighting our nation’s war against terrorism as part of “Operation Enduring Freedom” in Afghanistan and the Philippines as well as “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” To date, 143 children of fallen special operations warriors have graduated from college.
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation also provides immediate financial assistance to special operations personnel severely wounded in the global war on terror. Once notified of a special operations soldier, airman, sailor or Marine hospitalized with a severe injury, the Special Operations Warrior Foundation immediately sends funds to the service member (or his/her designated recipient) so the family and loved ones can immediately travel to be bedside.
The rest of us now have no room to complain about a measly 1.5 mile long run.
To read more about these incredible future officers: http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/john-mcdonough-2/arrowhead2011 Read the rest of this entry »
I know, I’ve not posted anything in far too long. I’ve done a lot of things since I last talked to you all. I’m nearly into my new apartment in Mons–I signed the lease Thursday and move in before the close of next week, and I should have my new car (2011 VW GTI Mk V, 200HP of awesome) soon.
I’ve not lived in the US for some time now–my time in Afghanistan and my time deployed with SAN–essentially since late 2008 I’ve not lived in the US. Granted, living in a FOB in Afghanistan is not exactly cultural immersion, even in Kandahar a–NATO base–English was the dominant language, with native toungs only using their language between themselves. That said, having come more-or-less strait from Kandahar to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), is not as radical a step as I expected…
True, that in the most important sense Casteau, Belgium is radically different from Kandahar. As I am not having to hit the deck from indirect fire and 107mm rockets multiple times a day, nor have a M16 slung over my shoulder. Though (and this is different from the two months I was just back in the States) being out here, when I hear a sound similar in timbre, even in the slightest sense, to the rocket alarm in KAF, I tense up and nearly do hit the deck. I attribute this to me again being in a new environment. Where the rest of my senses are still getting their bearings, my instincts are dominant over reason.
However, in KAF I was exposed to many of the Nations who’s flags fly outside of the building I work in today. I am used to seeing French, Belgian, Dutch, Canadian (their desert uniform, at least), and British uniforms. I know Army and Air Force ranks and rank structure, I know to call an Air Force E-8 Senior, just the same as the Navy, an Army E-8 a Master Sergeant, that Air Force junior personnel call their senior enlisted Sir or Ma’am (in many cases). I also got used to the notion that one has to travel all over a base, rather than different decks and frames on a ship, to accomplish a check in process…. Though, in one sense the inverse is true of Casteau in comparison to KAF: RAIN.
When one does not see it rain for a good length of time it becomes noticeable, and for me, kinda depressing. I am sure to some extent, 120 degree weather and dust finer than talcum powder contributed to the environmental realities being depressing. But, I can clearly remember longing to see rain. Where as the days absent of any rain in Belgium are the exception. Standing outside in it, it occurred to me that getting rained on constantly did not have the same psychological effect as did perpetual heat and dryness. But, ask me again in another three or so months of this, if I still feel the same…
It is a fairly common thing in the States, at least the parts I’m from, to hear someone voice the opinion that if you’re not going to speak English, that you shouldn’t live in the US. While I am not looking to make a comment towards that one way, or the other; it is still interesting to note how that sentiment has affected me out here. In talking to the locals, I am ashamed that I do not speak their language (French in the part I live in, Dutch in the Northern part around Brussels) beyond basic greetings and niceties. Even when I speak the few words I do know, I then become overly aware of my less-than-good accent. In other words, I am now that guy that does not speak the native language, and with all geo-political realities aside, I shouldn’t live here unless I learn their language. It’s silly, but this sentiment stresses me out a little in social situations. Though, there is a funnier anecdote to this…
My name is French, very, very French… This fact is not lost on anyone who speaks French. In fact, the Realtor through whom I got my apartment, her maiden name is Gauthier. So, in breaking the ice with any local I meet, I now tell them, that I’ve been nothing but a disappointment since I got here. Eyes light up when they think that maybe this stupid American might know the language of his heritage, but then they learn that well, no.. He is, after all, an American… That ice breaker works, in person… Trust me.
My beer tally is at 8. By no means impressive at this point; but it is a work in progress. For my birthday two new Shipmates took me up to Brussels to a bar named Delirium. The EU in some sense banned smoking in restaurants and bars. However, many of the places ignore that law it seems, and you can smoke in bars, no one stops you or the other 100-ish others. This bar’s beer list is a tome the thickness of the Bible. It’s said that nearly every beer in Belgium, save the super-rare Trappist varieties, are available here. I however, only got four beers in (Delirum Nocturnum, La Guillotine, Keizer Karel (Charles Quint), and Charles Quint Blond) before the curfew the train schedule imposed on us meant we had to leave. At the train station, they were giving out samples of what looked like to be an energy drink from a distance, though once we got closer it was actually premixed wiskey and coke in a can. No one was getting carded, and they would give you two cans, if you asked nicely. +1 Europe.
I am sure you’re all now wondering if I really do any work, and the answer is yes. I’m just not fully spun up, yet. While my duties and responsibilities are still being hashed out to a degree, what I hoped for has already been exceeded. I’m not sure yet how much leg I can show, so I will hold off on the full brief until I have a better understanding. Though walking the P-ways and meeting my new shipmates, I get a lot of ‘Oh, you’re the guy who emailed the Admiral, to get the job? That was ballsy.’. So, in the interest of full disclosure I’ll run through exactly how I ’emailed the Admiral’ to get the job, here.
It was just over a year ago, maybe by a week or so, that he put out his ‘Top 10 list’ of accomplishments for 2010 on facebook. I was in Afghanistan and got back from work that day, and saw it once I logged in. So, I decided to comment on the posting with the following, “4,632,982 on the list – make sure YN2 Gauthier gets to come work for me, because he is awesome and has read everything I’ve ever written.” I thought it just to be a funny thing to say, with no one ever going to take any real notice. However, someone did… That someone became my current boss, too. I was messaged on facebook and asked if I really wanted to work for the Admiral. Then over the course of the rest of my tour in Afghanistan it all got worked out, and here I sit now, in Belgium working at SHAPE. Unreal, right?
Thirty years on, the lesson should still be clear. There is no such thing as “hard power” or “soft power”, or “smart power” . There is simply power. Power, judiciously and skilfully employed, with a will behind it that lends it credence to allies and gives pause to enemies and potential enemies.
Three decades ago this day, the 444-day national humiliation that was the Iran Hostage Crisis ended, minutes after the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan. For fifteen months, beginning in November of 1979, the United States endured the holding of 52 of its citizens as hostages to the Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iranian Revolution. As 500 “students” stormed the gates of the American Embassy in Teheran, the Marine Security Guard personnel were forbidden from defending themselves or their compound. One of those “students”, we know now, was none other than Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, current “President of the Islamic Republic”.
The ongoing situation can be said to have given birth to the 24-hour news cycle with ABC’s Nightline, and was a major milestone in the march toward modern television news coverage. But the situation was more than that. It was a world-wide display of American impotence, of our decline as a force in world affairs, which many of our adversaries declared (and some allies worried privately) at the time, was a signal of the end of America on the world stage. The failed April 1980 rescue attempt seemed to confirm an America and a US Military unable to protect its citizens and its interests overseas. Furious and fruitless negotiations by the Carter Administration with the Iranian “authorities” produced little but frustration, anger, and more humiliation at the hands of the people who held our citizens and called America the “Great Satan”.
The signing of the Algiers Accords on 19 January 1981 was pointed to as the nominal event that led to the release of the hostages, even though the accords themselves were never ratified (enacted by President Carter using an Executive Order), as the provisions contained in them would have proven intolerably humiliating under Congressional scrutiny. The Algiers Accords had virtually nothing to to do with the release of the 52 hostages. Mere minutes after the inauguration of a President who understood power and the value of the will to use it, the hostages were released.
One of the great political cartoons of the 20th Century was published nationwide this day, 30 years ago, drawn by the late Jeff MacNelly.
The 52 hostages, those still with us, will never forget the ordeal of captivity in Iran. Nor should we. Lest we forget the lesson. There is power, with all its subtleties and facets. And there is the will to use it. Soft, hard, smart, all of it a part of the whole, and used in infinite proportion and combination. It encompasses deterrence, and the refusal to negotiate with terrorists. And the value of a position of strength. We had a 444-day object lesson that ended thirty years ago today. It is one that we would always do well to heed. Lest this be interpreted as some kind of partisan piece, I would submit that the above lesson is one that FDR knew, as did Truman and Kennedy, and Clinton. The next President from either side of the aisle who forgets or ignores it, does so at his, and at our, peril.
There are a couple news items worth observing as the government focuses on cyber security, and in particular, begins looking at the role of government in the private sector when it comes to cyber security. Here is the first article on the reform of FISMA and DHS.
A controversial Internet security bill proposed in 2010 by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) could yet become law in the current session of Congress, said Jeff Greene, counsel on the majority staff of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
The bill, S.3480, “Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010” is garnering early bipartisan support in the new Congress, Greene said during a Jan. 19 ACT-IAC meeting in Falls Church, Va.
“FISMA hasn’t necessarily worked out as well as we had hoped,” said Greene. “Current structures are disorganized, they’re decentralized, they’re inefficient and generally speaking, they’re fairly weak.”
FISMA is basically a failure. Originally passed in 2002 following 9/11, government has been very slow to adopt FISMA certification standards and implement them throughout a number of agencies. The standards set up by government are so complex that the only cloud computering collaboration platform to meet certification is the Google Apps for Government (GAPE) system. In theory, that means any agency using Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite (BPOS) is using a product that doesn’t even meet Federal certification standards for cloud computering. No big deal right? Tell that to the Department of Interior.
Even if we ignore the inability of both the Federal agencies and private sector, except Google, to meet FISMA standards – the real concern of the cyber bill is how DHS is expanding authority towards the private sector.
Federal cybersecurity intervention in private sector critical infrastructure and systems–what some critics have called Lieberman’s “kill switch” proposal–would not be taken lightly, said Greene, and would follow the DHS infrastructure protection definition in case of a cyber attack.
“This requires the disruption or destruction of a system that would cause a regional or national catastrophe. Which generally, by DHS regs, has been $25 billion first year damage, 2,500 immediate deaths or mass evacuations or relocations of citizens,” said Greene. “So it’s a pretty high bar. We’re not talking about Amazon going down.”
Funny thing how high bar status in the original idea seems to get lower and lower over time. Indeed, it looks like we are already looking for ways to lower the bar.
The Obama administration will provide universities and businesses with government intelligence and law enforcement information about malicious Internet activities so that they can protect their critical assets, the president’s cyber czar said on Tuesday.
“I think we all recognize that the government has unique access to information,” Howard Schmidt, cybersecurity coordinator and special assistant to the president, told congressional staff, policymakers and interest groups at a Washington conference. “We need to continue to look for ways to share that information, but also give our universities and our businesses information to be able to protect themselves.”
I am particularly disturbed by the arrogance, or perhaps ignorance, of the newly appointed chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.
“We need solutions that contain incentives to encourage business to adopt best practices to security” and “no one-size fits all mandate from Washington” that becomes outdated by the time it is implemented, Goodlatte said.
FISMA, the law by which government is supposed to establish security standards for Federal agencies, is a big fat failure – and now government is going to take a more proactive approach in exercising power and influence over the security of the private sector? I respect the interest government has in critical infrastructure, and think engagement is important, but it is important to recognize that the weak link in capability is government, and providing anything other than intelligence information to the private sector in the name of security is almost certainly an overreach of power and authority – and likely to backfire.
Cyber security law represents an example where the individual rights of Americans are going to be pissed away in the name of security. Would an internet “kill switch” have protected Iran from Stuxnet? Nope, the targets of Stuxnet were computer systems not connected to the internet, and transfer of the worm was conducted primarily by jump drives. This is government thinking though – the nuclear weapons solution to the poisonous mosquito.
This is the best advice for those who think about cyber warfare issues: The reason no one understands cyber warfare is because nobody understands cyber warfare. Repeat that sentence until you get it. Cyber warfare is people, not networks. Think of domain as terrain, and attacking the network is like bombing the ocean. Security in cyber warfare is measured by mitigation, risk assessment, and resiliency; and measures that go beyond those areas almost always do more harm than good and do not represent security at all – rather represent attempt at control.
Cyber warfare is a tough issue, and protection from cyber attack is an important government function. Security standards, the original basis for FISMA, is also important. What is most important though is understanding how quickly government can overreach in the name of security, and easily adopt solutions that provide the illusion of security when in fact those solutions aren’t real. $25 billion damage is damage measured in penny’s compared to the cost of an internet kill switch, even if it was for just a few minutes. DHS has demonstrated very strange definitions lately for the term security, whether it is airline flights or cyberspace. American elected officials need to require definitions for security, and insure that policies are aligned towards mitigation, risk assessment, and resiliency; because DHS Whack-a-mole policies continue to consistently take the ‘attempt at control’ approach that is in clear violation of Constitutionally protected individual rights; policies that do not provide a clear homeland security function with a holistic approach to the resiliency of the state to disruption. Until such a policy is required of DHS, our nations political leaders will continue to overreact to every incident with political and economic reactions on the scale similar to a 10 year land war in Asia.
When Russian tanks rolled into the breakaway Georgian enclave of South Ossetia in 2008, a series of military gaffs ensued. Officers were reportedly using personal cellular phones for battlefield communication. Even basic suppression of enemy air defenses appears to have been neglected with the loss of multiple Russian aircraft to a country with no air superiority fighter and only a very limited set of air defense hardware. And for a country Russia borders, target selection for the air force was reportedly almost abysmal. The list goes on.
This is how the west has viewed the Russian invasion of Georgia – another excuse to chuckle over drinks after work. But this misses the far more important point: Russia imposed a military reality through the exercise of military force in its periphery. We can mock it, but every nation that borders Russia saw crystal clearly how a pro-American regime and an American ally that was actively contributing troops to the Iraq campaign at the time was invaded with little more than some strongly worded statements of condemnation from the global superpower. And the militaries that defend the countries of Russia’s periphery are almost universally incapable of effectively defending against a Russian onslaught.
In 2000, the Oscar-II SSGN Kursk (K 141) disaster seemed the final deathblow to the capability of the military that Russia had inherited from the Soviet Union. But it was a turning point in the Russian psyche, comparable and concurrent with the rejection of Boris Yeltsin (and with him everything that Russia did not only in the 1990s but under Mikhail Gorbachev) and the election of then-President and still-strongman now-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin has been reshaping its military ever since. It is important not to overstate the capability of the Russian military, but it is equally important not to understate it and to understand it in its own right and in the appropriate geopolitical context. Each country has unique military challenges. With extraordinarily long, effectively undefendable borders, Russia’s military challenges are profound. But rejecting its military because it may not be able to repel, for example, a well-planned, well-positioned conventional assault by the United States has almost no bearing on the practical, real world significance of Russian military power.
Clearly, the Russian military is a shadow of the Soviet Red Army. But though Russian flag officers have made a habit of making absurd statements and the target metrics for reform are consistently not met, that does not mean that there has not been considerable progress in reform in the Russian military. Obviously, Russia is dying demographically. But an entire chapter of history remains to be written before that happens.
And something small, but rather remarkable is happening in Russia: by the end of 2011, all outdated munitions are to have been removed from storage and destroyed. Now the target almost certainly won’t be reached, and there are almost certainly degrees of exaggeration to the official statements on the matter. But think about that for a moment: of the things that tend to characterize our preconceptions of the Russian military, improperly stored, neglected and out-of-date munitions are high on the list. Munitions factories have not shut down. And despite the fact that in many ways the Russian defense industry has survived on the laurels of what the Soviet military-industrial complex was on the verge of achieving when the Soviet Union collapsed, Russia continues to manufacture some of the best air defense hardware, high-end military aircraft, diesel-electric submarines and battlefield ballistic missiles (the 9K720 Iskander or SS-26 “Stone”) available. Despite China’s advanced manufacturing capabilities, it still relies on Russian manufacturers for the most advanced military jet engines.
The Russian military of today warrants more than the off-hand rejection it came to deserve in the late 1990s. And it must be measured and understood for what it is designed to achieve, not by some abstract western standard of how it should go about achieving military objectives. Because in the American distraction with Iraq and Afghanistan, Russia has not simply gotten its act together, but regained dominance over much of its periphery with real strategic and geopolitical consequences for the long term. And it is now acquiring from France modern amphibious assault ships of a caliber that it never built on its own. Not only French, but also South Korean experts (the most efficient shipbuilders in the world today) are now consulting on reshaping the Russian shipbuilding industry.
The next chapter in history will not only be a fascinating and dynamic one, but it will have repercussions long after Russia succumbs to the demographic forces that make it all too easy to reject it in the near term.
The incomparable Neptunus Lex reminds us that One Hundred Years Ago Today….
It’s a great post! Read it all!
Congratulations to US Navy Carrier Aviation, born one hundred years ago today. Along with a bunch of pilots who are just about the coolest.
Why just about the coolest? Well, because…
Please join CDR Salamander and me as we convene Episode 54 “USMC at the Pivot” at Midrats on Blog Talk Radio:
A decade as a land army, its future combat systems either canceled, delayed, or under pressure, and a Navy that finds itself getting shore-shy, what is the next step for the USMC? Our guest to discuss will be Dakota Wood, Lt. Col., USMC (Ret), a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. He is currently involved in studying the operational challenges of irregular warfare, complex contingencies under high-technology conditions, and proliferated nuclear environments. Before his retirement, LtCol Wood served in a wide variety of operational and staff assignments, including the Corps’ Military Assistant to the Director of the Office of Net Assessment and, provided defense issues analysis support to the Commandant of the Marine Corps on assignment to the Strategic Initiatives Group. Following his retirement, he provided support to the DHS as Operations Officer for the National Biosurveillance Integration System.
That’s 5pm (1700), U.S. Eastern Time, 16 January 2011.
If you miss the live show, you can download the show later from the Midrats page at BlogTalkRadio or on iTunes.
Listen to internet radio with Midrats on Blog Talk Radio
Check out this map of piracy incidents from November 1, 2010 through January 10, 2011 (click to enlarge). It is worth noting that many security companies that provide security on commercial vessels disembark at Shalalah, Oman.
Someone explain to me how the Sea Sheperd Conservation Society is able to track down all of the Japanese whaler operations with three ships and a single helicopter, tail their ships effectively and leverage presence alone to shut down Japanese whaling operations.
But the most powerful Navies in the world can’t do the same thing to the motherships supporting piracy from Somalia? We are either not trying, or completely incompetent. There really are no other explanations.