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Attacking the Pirate Logistics Bases (Shift)

(BRUSSELS2) The ambassadors of the Political and Security Committee of the European Union discussed, during their last meeting before Christmas, the modification of the operation plan (OpPlan) of Atalanta to allow more offensive action. This option – known as option IV – had been prepared by the commander of the operation, General Duncan Potts, to provide the European anti-piracy operation with more robust methods.

Some had already been put in place for ships under European command to intervene offensively in the event of hostage-taking (with the agreement of the flag State), if necessary by firing against pirate ships. This method was tested for the first time during the release of Me Colombo as explained on B2 by Rear-Admiral Canova.

Among this strengthening of methods, it was also planned to be able to destroy pirate, logistical or other bases. It is not systematically “ to go ashore explained an officer to us; we can " target certain sea depots. It should be noted that these are often a few tents with vehicles, fuel depots »

This modification of the operation plan should have been approved during the last council of defense ministers. But one state opposed it, apparently more for reasons of internal politics than real opposition. According to our information, this is Spain which was represented on this council by Carme Chacon, who was to leave his post after the defeat in the elections of the socialist party (PSOE). And the handover of these files could not be ensured with the new team of the popular party. The minister was therefore unable to make a firm commitment to her successor, whether for this operation plan or other projects of the European Defense Agency.

(Updated, Dec. 30) This modification also sparks a very political discussion in Germany. Several opposition parties expressing loud disagreement with more offensive measures, as reported today by Faz, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

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Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).