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Red Sea crisis is a warning that we must invest in our maritime capability

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In the ongoing operations in the Red Sea against the Iranian-backed Houthis, led by the United States and the United Kingdom and supported by other nations such as the Netherlands, Bahrain, Canada, and Australia, the vital principle of freedom of navigation is being staunchly defended. 

With international trade heavily reliant on maritime routes, disruptions caused by violent attacks on shipping pose a significant threat to the global economy. Such attacks, which endanger human lives and violate international law, have led to a decrease in vessel transits through the Red Sea, resulting in substantial economic repercussions.

The economic impact of disrupted shipping routes is substantial, with over 80% of international trade volume being transported by sea, including a significant portion passing through the Red Sea to and from the Suez Canal. Companies like Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd have already experienced delays and increased costs due to rerouted journeys, leading to higher shipping costs and delayed deliveries of goods to European markets. These disruptions have further contributed to rising global shipping costs, impacting exporting countries like India and leading to price hikes that are expected to affect consumers worldwide.

Additionally, the environmental consequences of forced diversions around the Cape of Good Hope are significant, as ships burn more fuel, contributing to the industry's already substantial carbon footprint. Moreover, the conflict underscores questions about the efficacy of military interventions, the sustainability of operations, and the readiness of naval forces to safeguard maritime trade routes critical to national and international economies.

In essence, the ongoing conflict highlights the vulnerability of the global economy to disruptions in freedom of navigation, emphasizing the need for robust international cooperation and strategic planning to address such threats effectively.


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Source: Politics home