Leave Hegemony to the Pros

The Times reports that the Indian Navy accidentally sank a Thai fishing vessel originally thought to be a Somali pirate “mothership.” For what it’s worth, I think this helps illuminate a few of the less visible benefits of American hegemony. While there’s no guarantee that a US naval vessel wouldn’t have made a similar mistake, a half-century of patrolling global sea lines of communication has made us quite proficient at anti-piracy operations. In an ideal world, we’d take the lead in some sort of joint effort to patrol the Somalian coast, which – in addition to curtailing piracy – would have the added benefit of encouraging emerging powers like India to integrate themselves into a broader multilateral framework. Back in the real world, we’ve devoted most of our military resources to Iraq and Afghanistan, which prevents us from making a significant commitment to the region. And that’s too bad, because it sounds like the Indian Navy could use our help.

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