Sunday 19 Aug 2018 | 11:34 | SYDNEY
Sunday 19 Aug 2018 | 11:34 | SYDNEY

Piracy: Doing our bit by accident, not design


Rory Medcalf


19 May 2009 17:30

It's good to see Australian warships playing their part to protect international shipping from piracy in the Gulf of Aden.

But this, one assumes, was a combination of being in the right (or wrong) place at the right time and a commendable sense of duty on the part of the commanding officers — HMAS Sydney and HMAS Ballarat were in transit from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean, as part of Operation Northern Trident, a multi-purpose global circumnavigation.

No doubt Northern Trident has its worthwhile reasons, but the whole episode begs the question of why Canberra does not despatch a frigate specifically for a deployment to assist Combined Taskforce 151 in a sustained anti-piracy effort. This would demonstrate that Australia is pulling its weight as a major trading and maritime nation, and would deliver the beneficial side-effect of honing our ability to work with other key Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean navies, including the Indians, Japanese, South Koreans and Chinese.

Photo by Flickr user thornj, used under a Creative Commons license.