Dolphins, Pirates and Merchant Ships

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So God –or at least mother nature–appears to have decided that China’s maritime trade is important enough to merit personal intervention. According to this story from Xinhua, thousands of dolpins spontaneously decided to intevene and stop Somali pirates from attacking Chinese merchant vessels. Money sentence: “The piratesĀ could only lament their littleness befor the vastĀ number of dolphins.” Indeed.

But perhaps it wasn’t just mother nature helping out. This incident comes at the same time as a rare interview with the head of China’s navy, Wu Shengli, who said that the service’s objective was to develop new weapons and build news ships. Might that include remote controlled dolphins? It certainly includes an aircraft carrier, which official media have repetaedly said is in the offing. And lots of hi-tech submarines too, presumably. Those subs are probably the single thing that worries the U.S. Navy the most as was evidenced by the incident in which the USS Impeccable–basically a sub tacking vessel–had a clash with Chinese ships off Hainan recently. Like satellite downing missles and legions of hackers, submarines are a cheap and very effective way of nullifying America’s huge advantages if it ever did come to a conflict. For a fictional but fairly believable scenario about one way this might play out, see Ghost War by New York Times reporter Alex Berenson.