EU Missing In Action

Graham Charles Lear
5 min readJan 14, 2024

On 11–12 January 2024 in response to continued illegal and potentially lethal Houthi attacks against commercial shipping transiting the Red Sea and Suez Canal, the armed forces of the United States and the United Kingdom, with non-operational backing from the Netherlands, Canada, Bahrain, and Australia, conducted joint strikes against several targets in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen. This was in accordance with the inherent right of individual and collective self-defence, consistent with the UN Charter.

Only one EU country supported the UK’s attack on the Houthis in Yemen even though every Cargo ship going to mainland Europe and docks in Rotterdam that uses the Red Sea route is in danger from Houthi attacks. Germany and Denmark have since signed a joint statement in support of the attacks, but France, Italy and Spain refused. Only jets from the UK and US were involved. The UK Typhoons flew the missions from their base in Cyprus.

Once again it's left to the UK which is not in the EU to protect EU countries

Are you worried about Iran? If you are not worried you should be and in the coming days I am going to show you the EU’s complicity in the appeasement of the Iranian regime over many years.

First, though let's take a good look at what has been going on in the Red Sea by the Houthi.

Since November, the Iran-backed Houthis have launched over 100 drone and missile attacks against vessels from a range of countries, putting innocent lives at risk, threatening the global economy, and destabilising the region.

This has continued despite the UN Security Council’s demand in resolution 2722, adopted last week, that the Houthis immediately cease all such attacks.

Over 100 attacks by Houthis and enough was enough

Where was the EU on this?

Conspicuous by their absence were major EU countries such as Germany, France, Italy, and Poland. Equally conspicuous was the absence of any statement from the EU Commission in support of this action by British and American forces.

This matters, because if this vital shipping lane is effectively closed to commercial shipping — which is what has been happening in recent days — then the prices of everything from food to petrol will increase in the UK again, as it will in the EU countries, as ships are forced to divert around the horn of Africa, adding weeks to their journey.

How the RAF responded to the Houthi aggression on Thursday

Four RAF Typhoon FGR4s, supported by a Voyager air refuelling tanker used Paveway IV guided bombs to conduct precision strikes on two of the Houthi facilities in Yemen. One mission was directed at a site at Bani (north-western Yemen) used to launch reconnaissance and attack drones. Several locations involved in drone operations were targeted.

The other location struck by the RAF was the airfield at Abbs. Intelligence has shown that it has been used to launch both cruise missiles and drones over the Red Sea. Several key targets at the airfield were identified and attacked by the RAF.

All RAF and US aircraft returned safely.

[Source Ministry of Defence.]

No aircraft from any EU country participated in this operation to keep the world’s shipping lanes open.

In Part II I will look at the EU’s disastrous history of appeasing Iran

Here is a taster. Iran has a long history of exporting terrorism. It is also strongly suspected of having a nuclear weapons program and sources say this is beyond question.

The complicity of the EU (and US President Barack Obama) in the ability of Iran to fund all these attacks against the West is something I warned about years ago.

When President Trump was in power, in 2018 he pulled the US out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran. This was an agreement negotiated with Iran over several years which started in 2015 involving the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany and the EU Commission.

The intention was to prevent Iran from creating its own nuclear weapons programme. I was against this agreement from the start, not that it matters who am I in the great scheme of things, I am just a retired army officer who has been around a bit in quite a few major conflicts, as I did not believe the Iranians would honour it — and so it transpired.

If the West’s commercial shipping and its military support which has become necessary is being continuously attacked in international waters, it is of course possible to continue to defend it, as the UK’s HMS Diamond and US naval vessels have been doing.

The obvious course of action is, however, to attack and prevent those who are attacking you, otherwise, the problem goes on forever. This is what happened on 11 January, by US and UK forces.

If this conflict continues, it will be the consumer who ends up paying. If the Red Sea and Suez Canal become in effect unnavigable then all container ships will divert to the far more costly and lengthy route around the horn of Africa, adding weeks and costs to their journey.

This will add to the prices of many goods in the United Kingdom and I have to say in the EU countries as well, and it will increase inflation at precisely the moment it is falling fast.

With the EU countries failing to act to counter this aggression, then as usual it has fallen to the UK and the US to do the job for them.

Sources: UK Ministry of Defence | EU Commission

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Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.