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US Navy Reveals Shortfall in Warship Numbers for Operation Prosperity Guardian



US Navy Raises Concerns Over Insufficient Warships for Operation Prosperity Guardian Against the Houthis

Operation Prosperity Guardian

John Konrad, Maritime Journalist, Reports on US Navy’s Decision to Withhold Deployment of Nearshore Combat Ships

In a surprising development, the US Navy has recently announced that it does not possess an adequate number of warships to commence Operation Prosperity Guardian against the Houthi rebels. Maritime journalist John Konrad has shed light on this issue, stating that although the US has constructed 24 nearshore combat ships, they have chosen not to deploy them due to the perceived threat presented by Houthi anti-ship ballistic missiles and drones.

With tensions escalating in the region, Operation Prosperity Guardian was expected to be a strategic move by the US Navy to counter the Houthi rebels, who have been involved in numerous confrontations in the waters off Yemen. However, the current shortage of warships has compelled the US Navy to reconsider their plans.

John Konrad, a respected maritime journalist, has highlighted the concerns surrounding the deployment of nearshore combat ships. These vessels have been specifically designed for operations in littoral waters, providing flexibility and enhanced maneuverability. Despite their capabilities, the US Navy has opted not to utilize these assets, citing the potential threat posed by Houthi anti-ship ballistic missiles and drones.

This revelation has raised eyebrows within the maritime community, as the decision to withhold the deployment of these nearshore combat ships has significant implications for the future of Operation Prosperity Guardian. The US Navy’s reluctance to expose their warships to potential attacks signifies the evolving nature of modern warfare, where asymmetric threats can severely impact military strategies.

As the situation continues to develop, the US Navy will likely face pressure to find alternative solutions to bridge the gap between their current warship inventory and the requirements for Operation Prosperity Guardian. The Houthi rebels, on the other hand, may perceive this shortage as a temporary advantage that they can exploit.

The US Navy’s admission of the insufficient warship numbers highlights the complex challenges faced by modern navies when confronted with new and evolving threats. It also serves as a reminder that military strategies must constantly adapt to the changing landscape of global conflicts.

In conclusion, the US Navy’s announcement regarding the shortage of warships for Operation Prosperity Guardian against the Houthis has brought attention to the potential vulnerabilities faced by modern naval forces. As John Konrad has emphasized, the decision not to deploy nearshore combat ships reflects the perceived danger posed by Houthi anti-ship ballistic missiles and drones. The repercussions of this revelation warrant close monitoring as efforts continue to find a resolution that balances effective military actions with necessary precautions.


Israel Hamas Conflict

US assessing military responses to Iran-backed attacks in the Middle East




US defence and military officials have been deliberating over a response to Iran-backed attacks across the Middle East as they await approval from the Biden administration, according to officials and sources familiar with the matter.

US forces in Iraq and Syria have been targeted over 100 times since 17 October, which was just 10 days after the deadly Hamas attack on Israel.

The US military has publicly announced at least six different potential responses as they look to contain the conflict in Gaza and prevent a new war that would require deploying US boots on the ground again.

After several weeks of attacks, US President Joe Biden had initially only authorised responses inside Syria, which analysts and former officials have described as largely symbolic strikes despite some of the attacks on US troops occurring in Iraq.

The US had avoided responding inside Iraq due to already frustrated public sentiment amongst Iraqis towards Washington. However, the US has since targeted Iran-backed militias inside Iraq and killed several fighters, officials said.

Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke to the Iraqi Prime Minister regarding Baghdad’s obligation to protect US diplomatic and military personnel in the country. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also held similar discussions with the Iraqi Premier to reinforce this message.

Austin stated the US had the right to act in self-defence against those attacking US forces and called out Iran-backed Kataeb Hezbollah and Harakat al-Nujaba for being behind most attacks.

According to one US official, who spoke anonymously to discuss sensitive information, the United States was giving the Iraqi government an opportunity to curb these militias.

Baghdad’s security forces have arrested a handful of perpetrators. However, the official said it seems unlikely the Iraqi government will be able to fully stop attacks on Americans in the country at the invitation of the Iraqi government.

In recent days, the top US military general for the Middle East held discussions with the top US military general and Pentagon chief to discuss potential responses.

US Central Command (CENTCOM) chief Gen. Erik Kurilla now has a list of different retaliatory attacks prepared, ready for approval once the US President authorises a response.

“Deterrence has not worked so far,” said one US official.
Gen. Kurilla travelled to Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Israel last week. He also visited the USS CARNEY in the Red Sea, which has shot down ballistic missiles and drones launched by the Houthis multiple times over the last few weeks.

Calculating an appropriate response
The Biden administration has publicly stated its intention not to launch any attacks that would escalate fighting in the Middle East.

Thousands of US troops are based in the region and any retaliation to US strikes could put them in danger immediately.

Nevertheless, the US military is prepared to strike back at the attacks as well as the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen for shooting down an American MQ-9 Reaper drone and for hijacking and attacking commercial vessels in the Red Sea.

An official said any potential response would have more impact and send a stronger message to Iran than previous strikes, which the US has accused of being behind the uptick in attacks across the region. However, calculating the scale and type of attacks remains ongoing.

Carrying out strikes against the Houthis in Yemen and militias in Iraq and Syria would be almost tantamount to declaring war, one official said, pointing to the various factors under consideration.
That is something the US aims to avoid as part of its policy objectives on Gaza. According to officials, policy decisions are being made based on five pillars: protect, deter, contain, assure, and project force.

So far, the US has been able to protect its troops in the region for the most part as well as contain the fighting to Gaza. Officials say the US has also reassured Israel of its commitment to helping defend itself and respond to Hamas.

Washington has also demonstrated it is capable of surging assets to the Middle East while not neglecting the threat from China to the Indo-Pacific or its ability to provide assistance to Ukraine as it continues to defend itself from Russian invasion.

The fifth pillar that has not been achieved is deterrence, according to current and former US military officials.

“There’s a fine line between avoiding escalation and inviting continued opportunities for Iranian and Houthi attacks, based on a perceived fecklessness on our part,” said former US Central Command head Gen. Frank McKenzie in a recent interview with POLITICO.


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Somaliland Health Ministry Urged to Combat Counterfeit Drug Infiltration




Thousands of fraudulent Ozempic units seized by the FDA, posing potential risks to consumers.

FDA Seizes ‘Thousands of Doses’ of Fake Ozempic

In a recent development, the FDA has uncovered a significant issue surrounding counterfeit drugs, specifically targeting the widely used diabetes and weight loss medication, Ozempic. Thousands of units of counterfeit Ozempic have already been seized, but the agency warns that fraudulent products may still be circulating in the market, posing potential risks to public health.

Mohamed W. Dualeh, a concerned individual, has directed his attention to the Somaliland health ministry, urging them to be extremely cautious and closely monitor the quality of drugs entering the market. Dualeh emphasizes that counterfeited drugs have become a disturbingly common phenomenon in the global trade industry, fueling the irresponsible elements within the private sector.

The New York Times recently shed light on the severity of the issue, reporting that the FDA has linked five adverse events to a single lot of Ozempic that contained counterfeit medication. It is important to note that regulators have not yet determined if these issues were directly caused by the fake drugs, as the symptoms were similar to common side effects associated with Ozempic, such as nausea and stomach pain.

While it is uncommon for counterfeit drugs to reach the hands of patients, Shabbir Imber Safdar, the executive director of the Partnership for Safe Medicines, warns that shortages can lead pharmacies to purchase from unfamiliar distributors, increasing the risk of unintentionally buying counterfeit medications. Ozempic and similar drugs have been facing supply challenges, resulting in shortage of certain doses. Despite efforts by the FDA to strengthen drug tracing and verification systems, criminal distributors have become more adept at producing fake medications that bypass these safety measures.

The implications of counterfeit drugs infiltrating the market are grave, threatening not only the health and safety of consumers but also the integrity of the pharmaceutical industry. It is imperative for the Somaliland health ministry to take immediate action, implementing robust measures to combat the infiltration of counterfeit drugs and ensuring the highest standards of drug safety and efficacy.

In conclusion, the seizure of counterfeit Ozempic units by the FDA serves as a stark reminder of the alarming rise in counterfeit medications. Mohamed W. Dualeh’s warning to the Somaliland health ministry highlights the urgent need for proactive measures to protect the public from potentially harmful drugs. As the fight against counterfeit drugs continues, it is crucial for global authorities and regulatory bodies to collaborate and prioritize the safety and well-being of consumers worldwide.


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Recognizing Somaliland: A Strategic Move for the Maritime Security of the Golf of Aden




Strengthening Regional Alliances to Counter Growing Threats in the Red Sea

The Red Sea, a key conduit for world trade since the inception of the Suez Canal, is now facing unprecedented challenges. Recent geopolitical shifts and escalating conflicts have highlighted the urgent need for enhanced security measures in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. In this critical juncture, USA should recognize Somaliland as a crucial step towards countering the growing threats and attacks in the region.

The strategic importance of the Red Sea cannot be overstated. It forms a vital link in the maritime trade route between the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean, facilitating the movement of goods and energy resources worldwide. However, the region has become a hotbed of instability, with Houthi rebels in Yemen targeting merchant ships and naval vessels, and mounting drone and missile attacks on Israel.

Recognizing Somaliland is not only a matter of maritime security but also of regional stability. Somaliland, a historically independent area, has demonstrated remarkable resilience against extremism and has maintained stability for decades. By recognizing Somaliland, USA can support a reliable partner in countering extremist groups that pose a threat to the region.

Moreover, Somaliland’s strategic location near Yemen raises concerns about Iranian weapon smuggling to the Houthi rebels. Israel’s recognition of Somaliland would enable enhanced surveillance and intelligence sharing, bolstering efforts to dismantle this dangerous alliance and protect vital trade routes.

Furthermore, recognizing Somaliland would strengthen America’s position in the Red Sea amid the increasing competition for influence by global powers. China and Russia have shown interest in the region, with Russia proposing a long-term agreement to build a facility for its warships in Zaila Port. By solidifying ties with Somaliland, USA can prevent the potential encroachment of rival powers and safeguard its commercial shipping lines.

Additionally, Somaliland’s strategic significance extends beyond maritime security. It offers an emerging and stable region with economic potential, attracting investments from countries like the United Arab Emirates. America’s recognition of Somaliland would open avenues for economic cooperation and bilateral trade, benefiting both nations.

In conclusion, recognizing Somaliland is a strategic move for America’s maritime security and regional stability. By countering the growing threats and attacks in the Red Sea, USA can protect vital trade routes, dismantle dangerous alliances, and foster economic cooperation.

The international community should join forces to ensure enhanced surveillance, intelligence sharing, and coordinated naval patrols in this critical maritime region. It is time for USA to reaffirm its commitment to safeguarding the freedom of navigation and countering emerging security challenges in the Red Sea.

Kasim Abdulkadir

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