America Is Putting Together a Team

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The US is creating a naval task force to tackle the Houthi threat to international shipping in the Red Sea. Houthi drone attacks and ship seizures have essentially closed the Suez canal to international trade.

Britain has already said it will join, and the rest of NATO can be expected to provide at least a token force. But regional allies such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt have both declined to participate in the group. Politico reports:

The US has announced the creation of an enhanced naval protection force operating in the southern Red Sea in an attempt to ward off mounting attacks from Yemen’s rebel Houthis on merchant shipping.

Britain said it would be among the countries participating but notable absentees were Arab nations Egypt and Saudi Arabia, while analysts speculated that shipping would continue to be disrupted and attacks continue.

The high tech US Navy is performing well in defending shipping, but at a huge cost. Each interceptor is magnitudes more expensive than the drones launched for the attacks. Politico continues:

As American warships rack up kills against Houthi drones and missiles in the Red Sea, Pentagon officials are increasingly alarmed not just at the threat to U.S. naval forces and international shipping — but at the growing cost of keeping them safe.

U.S. Navy destroyers have shot down 38 drones and multiple missiles in the Red Sea over the past two months, according to a Defense Department official, as the Iran-backed militants have stepped up attacks on commercial vessels moving energy and oil through the world’s most vital shipping lanes. On Saturday alone, the destroyer USS Carney intercepted 14 one-way attack drones.

This is eerily similar to the Vietnam War, where US bombings would cost more than the damage they caused.

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