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Middle East escalation fears spike as Houthis launch most damaging attack yet

Posted on 02/20/2024 2:13:01 PM PST by Tench_Coxe

"The Middle East looks set for a path of escalation on multiple fronts as Israeli forces close in on what is left of southern Gaza, and as Yemen’s Houthi rebels launch their most damaging strike yet on a ship in the Red Sea.

The crew of the British-owned, Belize-flagged bulk carrier MV Rubymar were forced to abandon ship in the Gulf of Aden on Monday, receiving help from a nearby merchant vessel and coalition warship to reach a nearby port after “two anti-ship ballistic missiles were launched from Iranian-backed Houthi terrorist-controlled areas of Yemen,” according to U.S. Central Command."


Twenty-six EU countries — every member of the bloc except Hungary — have issued a warning against Israel’s offensive in Rafah, saying it would only deepen the humanitarian catastrophe there.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: houthi; middleeast; redsea; shipping; war; yemen
That last bit should put some people posting here in a quandary.
1 posted on 02/20/2024 2:13:01 PM PST by Tench_Coxe
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To: Tench_Coxe

I thought FJB’s handlers fixed the Houthi problem - by removing all reporting of it in the MSM

2 posted on 02/20/2024 2:18:53 PM PST by PGR88
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To: Tench_Coxe

There is no humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, except for the remaining 10,000 Hamas fighters trapped in Rafah.

3 posted on 02/20/2024 2:20:40 PM PST by PIF (They came for me and mine ... now its your turn)
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To: Tench_Coxe

The Houthi attacks are not affecting Israel. They are affecting most of Europe and probably a lot of Asia. So those affected countries who don’t give one wit about Israel’s problems are, of course, protesting Israel.

On a different note, you build your military and its equipment to go after a particular predicted threat. I suspect that the vessels and equipment/ammo that is currently deployed in the Red Sea is tuned to a different sort of threat profile than what the Houthis are presenting.

Also, as someone said recently, it’s more efficient to shoot the archer rather than the arrow. So far, it looks like we’ve shot at more arrows than archers.

Pulling back to the ten-thousand-foot level, the Houthis have uncovered a huge vulnerability in our globally connected supply chains. A cell phone, for example, has some thirteen hundred parts from dozens of countries traveling along thousands of miles of sea routes. Stop just one of those parts from reaching the factory and it can’t ship cellphones. There are at least five more choke points where someone who has nothing to lose can plant a few mines and bring global trade to its knees. It isn’t a few mines or missiles that can kill global trade, it’s the insurance cost to the ships.

4 posted on 02/20/2024 2:24:48 PM PST by Gen.Blather (Wait! I said that out loud? )
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To: Tench_Coxe

Just don’t call them terrorists. The u.n. says that hurts their feelings......

5 posted on 02/20/2024 2:26:31 PM PST by rktman (Destroy America from within? Check! WTH? Enlisted USN 1967 to end up with this💩? 🚫💉! 🇮🇱👍!)
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To: Tench_Coxe
MV Rubymar

I wonder why they didn't mention the US 30 million dollar MQ-9 drone the Houthi's shot down? The Rubymar incident was in the same video as this MQ-9 clip. Maybe too embarrassing I guess.


6 posted on 02/20/2024 3:25:01 PM PST by Karl Spooner
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I don’t think there was much concern for a “humanitarian catastrophe” when we firebombed Tokyo. Serious people understood that there was a war to win.

7 posted on 02/20/2024 4:34:27 PM PST by hinckley buzzard ( Resist the narrative. )
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To: Karl Spooner

It makes us look bad.

8 posted on 02/20/2024 5:50:05 PM PST by EEGator
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To: Gen.Blather

Actually, the insurance cost is much secondary to the effects that will kick in when the ton-mile capacity shortages kick in. Some of those Asia-to-Europe (or back) routes now take as much as 4x as much time, now. Best cases are on average about 2x. Basically, if you were meeting transport needs and didn’t have extra ships, quantities of deliveries will be inversely proportional to increases in delivery time. So if delivery times double, the quantities delivered halve. If there is little recourse to resource locally, you have shortages and potential big time inflation. Europe should be particularly relieved that winter and high demand for LNG is almost over...

Port traffic at Eilat is considerably down, so, I’m not sure how you can say Israel is not affected. Granted that Israel has bigger problems at the moment.

You are correct about the threat profile, however, our forces are adapting well. Ward Carroll has an excellent post on You Tube on this subject. One of our Harrier pilots flying off the Bataan downed 7 drones before the Bataan returned to the Med. The big problem is that at any one time we only have 3 Arleigh-Burke destroyers on station, with one making a supply run. That’s just not enough capable ships to set up a “picket line” sort of defense along that much coastline. So far, ships near our destroyers have not been hit. But if you are further away...

Correct about the archers, tho’ we are working on it. Nothing yet on the archers’ supplier.

9 posted on 02/20/2024 9:53:34 PM PST by Paul R. (Bin Laden wanted Obama killed so the incompetent VP, Biden, would become President!)
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To: Tench_Coxe; All

Any word on whether the Rubymar is still afloat?

10 posted on 02/20/2024 9:54:26 PM PST by Paul R. (Bin Laden wanted Obama killed so the incompetent VP, Biden, would become President!)
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To: Tench_Coxe

Most of those countries are in their own quandry, as they have no means to effectively affect the shipping disruptions unless they want to join in on attacking the Houthis. Missile defense ships are a scarce quantity. Plus many are probably trying to placate their Muslim populations...

11 posted on 02/20/2024 9:59:02 PM PST by Paul R. (Bin Laden wanted Obama killed so the incompetent VP, Biden, would become President!)
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To: Paul R.

Thank you for the thoughtful and well-constructed post.

“Port traffic at Eilat is considerably down, so, I’m not sure how you can say Israel is not affected. Granted that Israel has bigger problems at the moment.”

Regarding, the impact on Israel, I saw a financial analyst reporting that the last quarter impact of the military action in Israel was an annualized 19% reduction in GDP. Israel has called up the reserves. For the most part those were people employed in producing things that would become part of the GDP. If the factories are idle than the stuff feeding the factories, which mostly comes in from the sea, will not be arriving. I worked for Tadiran when they were Israel’s General Electric. They were very much a just in time manufacturer.

From this and other data I decided that the bulk of the problems caused by the Houthis on world trade affected people who were not in Israel. Cargoes of food, for example, mostly go to non-Israeli destinations. The link below leads to an article on where Israel is getting its 220k/day infusion of oil. The rest of the world is screwed.,Muslim%20nations%2C%20data%20from%20analytics%20firm%20Kpler%20show.

One last observation...globalization has led to population increases in areas that can’t survive without the present globalized nature of fertilizer and food supply. Some of those nations are so dependent that a few missed shipments will cause starvation. Shrilanka, as an example. The Arab Spring was not due to a sudden burst of Western style enlightenment. It was caused because Russia, the world’s number one wheat exporter, had two bad harvests in a row and they embargoed their own export to prevent starvation there. The global price went up (ten percent, if memory serves) and that led to food riots which the Leftist media reported as a political awakening. (Because everything is political to the Left.)

Unless the developed world is willing to stamp on groups like the Houthis and Iran then it had better be ready to have millions of dead third-worlders and millions more refugees.

12 posted on 02/21/2024 4:00:34 AM PST by Gen.Blather (Wait! I said that out loud? )
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To: All

since the suez canal opened, europe-asia trade has utilized the canal at the northern end of the red sea and the bab al mandab strait at the southern end of the red sea.

the southern end of the red sea is flanked to the east by yemen. the houthis operate largely from yemen.

houthis have recently increased terrorist operations against ships carrying goods between europe and asia at the bab al mandab strait and neighboring areas.

much of the specialized military arms needed for the houthis to attack the ships are financed by iran.

the houthis often use a sniper type strategy: attack once and then move immediately. repeat as needed until objective is attained.

the neighboring saudis are for whatever reason unable to control the houthis operating in yemen.

a large scale invasion from a non-neighboring country would involve problematic logistics.

attacks on commercial red sea ships have the first immediate effect of increasing war insurance for ships and goods on the ships.

many smaller import companies cannot afford the extra war insurance for their goods, since this would drastically increase their costs.

smaller import companies are compelled to reroute goods shipments around cape horn (at the southern tip of africa). this involves an added shipping delay of about 4 weeks.

a typical shipping time (company dock to company dock) is 60 days. adding 28 days for cape horn detour yields about 90 days.

smaller import companies are being pressured to absorb delivery delay penalties incurred by shipping around the horn. effectively, smaller import companies’ working capital will be reduced by ~33% (and sometimes more if empty shipping containers are not available for use at the point of loading).

shipping container shortages are affected in a complementary manner, and this also increases logistical problems and logistical delays.

as a result, smaller import companies are being pressured towards bankruptcy.

as a result, larger shipping companies will take over (in a manner similar to mergers and acquisitions for non-shipping businesses) the niche currently occupied by smaller import companies.

this all will result in more supply monopolies and eventually in higher consumer prices. it will also result in more fuel costs which will result in more pollution and higher consumer prices.

13 posted on 02/24/2024 1:23:34 AM PST by SteveH
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