Sunday, March 28, 2021


In 1956 the Suez Canal crisis shook the world and set ally against ally.

Today, a freak accident of a stranded containership led to an accidental blockade of the waterway. This unintentionnal event has already costly consequences for the international trade and might intrude with the price of many essential materials and commodities.

If the situation were to endure, other strategic and geo-political consequences might require a swifter, costly international intervention. One should be cautious and be alert for the thoughts that are in everybody's mind. If the economical fallout is serious enough to warrant a quick resolution, the political anxiety shouldn't be ignored either.

Everybody knows what the Canal means to the world and in a region which is always on permanent high-alert (just like the Strait of Ormuz). The American Fifth and Sixth Fleets need the Canal to be able to maintain their mobility and deterrence. All countries in the region from Suez to Djibouti, from the Gulf to Iran, need at least one factor of stability in a region rife with unknowns.

Washington cannot afford to sit idle, for reasons of its own. Besides, shared interests abound to remedy ASAP. The Egyptians have every reason to cooperate since the Canal is also their first source of income. They want to avoid tension at any price.

If the stranded ship is not dislodged through the currently available means, an international recue might become unavoidable. There exist hard machinery and engineering that could be mobilized. Dutch, Belgian and others "know how" is ready to intervene.  At the end of the day only the urgency matters. There is no need to dramatize. Cool crisis management can prevail without superfluous emotion. The world economy doesn't need another shock. Therapy will do just fine.

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