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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Secretary of the Navy on terror threat near Ghana

Short but to the point, from here:
Navy Secretary Donald Winter said lawlessness in West African waters, where massive amounts of oil are pumped, had created an environment ripe for terror-related activities, though there was no known immediate threat.

Countries along the Atlantic Ocean's Gulf of Guinea provide the United States with more than 15 percent of its petroleum imports, much of it pumped offshore, and the U.S. military is training ground troops around the region in anti-terror tactics.

But impoverished governments cannot effectively patrol the high seas. The Navy is helping outfit Ghana's ships to counter illegal activities- easily co-opted by terrorists, Winter told The Associated Press in an interview late Wednesday.

"The concept here is that, if you have a good maritime security environment -whether it relates to piracy, whether smuggling or illegal fishing - it makes it more difficult for anybody to come in to create a problem or engage in acts of terrorism," he said.

"It is to this end that we believe we could achieve results through effective partnerships with many countries like Ghana, during which we can offer them the necessary training and tools where possible to improve the overall security environment," he said.
This is line with the shift in focus of Commander, US Naval Forces Europe.

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