Friday, October 31, 2008

Pirates in Cameroon

Some people didn't like my September column in the New Atlanticist, warning that NATO needed to pay much more attention to security threats to its south. They saw it as a way to "distract" attention from Russia and Georgia.

Well, what's in the headlines today? Pirates Seize Crew of French Boat at Cameroon Rig. The French oil services company Bourbon, whose personnel was seized, had already suspended operations in the Bonny River area of Nigeria after attacks there.

What is also worrying is that the tug that was attacked and bordered was in the process of helping a tanker load crude oil. What happens if the next attack targets and cripples that kind of ship?

The Al-Jazeera report on the matter concludes:

Heavily armed pirates have in the last year preyed on oil plants, oil and fishing boats and even coastal towns in the region. Other Gulf of Guinea states that have seen similar attacks this year include Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea and Benin.

17 percent of U.S. oil comes from this region. Do we really want to be ignoring its security?

Sure, why not?
Much better to get involved in areas peripheral to U.S. interests and provoke a conflict with Russia to boot!
A pirate theme for Halloween?
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