Between October 7 and yesterday, the Iran-backed Houthi rebels launched over 70 missiles and drones into the Red Sea, initially targeting Israel and expanding to include any vessels associated with or traveling to/from Israel. The USS Carney, joined by USS Mason, Thomas Hudner, HMS Diamond, and the French Ship Languedoc, intercepted threats successfully, amid disruptions in the Red Sea, a vital chokepoint handling 12% of global trade.
Despite the escalating threat, the U.S. initially emphasized “disciplined restraint.” Major shipping companies altered routes or paused operations due to increased risk. In response, the U.S. initiated Operation Prosperity Guardian (OPG), inviting 20 countries to join. Challenges arise from OPG’s defensive nature and ambiguity regarding its goals.
The UK actively addresses the crisis, deploying HMS Diamond and HMS Lancaster, showcasing commitment to maritime security. Concerns persist about utilizing the HMS Queen Elizabeth to enhance coalition capabilities. While OPG faces challenges, the UK remains involved, emphasizing a comprehensive approach and diplomatic efforts for international support.
The urgency of the evolving maritime crisis in the Red Sea calls for swift deployment of assets and collaborative efforts to achieve OPG’s goal – restoring freedom of navigation. The UK’s strategic positioning and active involvement underscore its commitment amid the need for a more assertive strategy.