This morning there is another story about someone in Arabia shooting at our ships. This isn’t the first time.
About 220 years ago the United States faced seizures and enslavement of crews from it’s merchant vessels trading in the Mediterranean Sea.
Congress appropriate money for the construction of six frigates to ensure freedom of navigation. This resulted in two wars against the Barbary pirates but put an end to the practice of capture of our merchant marine.
This week off the Arabian peninsula the United States Navy again was called on to ensure freedom of the seas. Our vessels began taking fire off Bab el-Mandeb, a choke point to entry to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.
As of this morning our vessels have been attacked a third time by these ostensible pirates, referred to as Houthi rebels in South Yemen. Somehow these people acquired Chinese built anti-ship missiles and are able to fire them. The media reports all these efforts have fallen short. Other than the destruction of the radar sites apparently employed in these attacks by cruise missiles our counter measures we are told about are deliberately opaque.
The Barbary pirates had pretty clear goals and perceived this new flag in the Mediterranean, the stars and stripes, to be weak. Right now no one really knows what this rebel group in the south of the Arabian peninsula has for an agenda in launching these missiles. But they apparently believe they can get away with it.