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Monday, March 14, 2016

U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Intelligence Worldwide Threat to Shipping (WTS) Report 9 February - 9 March 2016

From ONI:

For those of you interested in the smuggling of migrants, an interesting blog from a law professor at the University of Southern California, Migrants at Sea, one post of which links to this NATO news release about an expansion of it counter-migrant program in the Mediterranean/Aegean from international waters into territorial waters of NATO members Greece and Turkey:

NATO took swift decisions to deploy ships to the Aegean Sea to support our Allies Greece and Turkey, as well as the EU's border agency FRONTEX, in their efforts to tackle the migrant and refugee crisis. NATO ships are already collecting information and conducting monitoring in the Aegean Sea. Their activity will now be expanded to take place also in territorial waters.
the purpose of NATO's deployment is not to stop or push back migrant boats, but to help our Allies Greece and Turkey, as well as the European Union, in their efforts to tackle human trafficking and the criminal networks that are fueling this crisis.
Yes, criminals committing crimes at sea.

As the good professor at Migrants at Sea notes:
NATO’s characterisation of its operation seems to be an attempt to draw a distinction between a push-back practice where any migrant boat, regardless of whether it is in need of rescue, would be intercepted and pushed back and a search and rescue operation providing assistance to migrant boats in need of rescue. This is meaningless distinction given the current situation in the Aegean where every migrant boat is in need of assistance or rescue.

NATO video on their efforts in the Aegean:

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