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  1. The NATO counter piracy mission off the Horn of Africa was limited mission. The EU and Combined Maritime Force based in Bahrain conducted the majority of counter piracy measures. NATO first supported the WFP ships delivering much need food to Somalia.
    Somalia was declared a Failed State, hence the UNSC Resolution was able to be implemented. This is not the same situation in the Gulf of Guinea. It is very much doubted that the States in the Gulf of Guinea would wish to be equated with a failed State.
    The NATO mission ended off the HoA some years ago, leaving EU and CMF to continue the mission but the missions were evolved to include IUU Fishing monitoring, capacity building and engagement with the regional states, additionally, observing human smuggling and deterring drug smuggling.

    Whatever mandate that would be required for the GoG necessitate that all regional States are signed up to drastically improve maritime security their maritime borders, and not solely in their own interests, as seems to be the ongoing situation. Note, in SE Asia they have instigated cross-border cooperation to pursue pirates.
    There are initiatives to enable greater cooperation however these are mired in basic legal differences of opinion.

    Whilst shipping associations have pressed for greater protection of international shipping in the region, it is clear that it will take regional governments to make a collective decision on how to proceed. A simple example is the comparison of the use private commercial armed security companies operating in the area, and importantly, the use/carrying of weapons. This brings with it the inherent argument of weapon smuggling, something rife in the East Africa waters. Furthermore, the use of the smuggling routes that are utilised by terrorist groups remain a threat in the Indian Ocean and Asia’s Sulu Seas.

    Disbanding the Nigerian Navy at a time when it is most needed should not be a consideration just to entice NATO to begin operating the region. The navies of ALL the States must be enhanced to included blue water operations and not just Territorial Water patrols. The scarcity and disparate levels of naval presence exacerbates the problems of maritime crimes.
    The necessity to increase and improve the navies is not just a benefit to reducing maritime crime and transnational organised crime, but also is the enhancement will prove vitally important in the future as the States look to the Blue Economies to deliver wealth to their people.

    The Australia may be laudable, however, it should be borne in mind that there is already an integrated maritime strategy out to 2050 that has been vaunted by the African Union since 2014. The Lomé Charter is something to review. The regional States must combine their efforts effectively. NATO patrols are a palliative measure; equipping the navies with highly trained personnel with common standards, providing appropriate levels of resources should be the goal.

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