Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

Nicholas W. Stephenson Smith wrote in 2021 about the recent history of the Red Sea, describing it as a macabre thriller, from industrial-scale hostage-taking by pirates to naval attacks between Israel and Iran in international waters and unchecked drug and arms smuggling. The surge of Houthi militant attacks on container ships has further added to the Red Sea’s woes. The crisis and its geopolitical implications, as well as its historic roots and the legacy of colonialism, are examined in Flash Points. The article also discusses how colonialism left scars on the region and how the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s plan for an age of uncertainty and disruption, was ahead of the curve. The Royal Navy’s presence in the Red Sea has been reinvigorated as the Houthis threaten global shipping, and the potential targeting of underwater cables by the Houthis could disrupt global communications. Egypt has the most to lose from Houthi strikes on merchant ships, affecting global trade and causing regional implications.

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