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US Navy Seals at work off the coast of Cyprus

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News from multiple sources this morning is that US Navy Seals seized control of a rogue oil tanker that was flagged as being North Korean. Libyan rebels stole the ship and sailed the Morning Glory while operatives allegedly sought to sell the cargo on the black market.

The good news is that the US Navy Seals acted in cooperation with the Libyan and Cypriot governments to stop the pirates. That is a role that America plays out where local governments haven’t the means.

Our foreign policy is to confront and to eliminate piracy of this kind. The North Koreans say that they didn’t authorize the action. As the story says, the situation is embarrassing to the Libyan government that is supposed to control its ports. Having a friend in the USA is no embarrassment however.

“U.S. Navy SEALs Seize Rogue Libyan Oil Tanker

U.S. Navy SEALs have seized a North Korean-flagged tanker loaded with oil from a rebel-held port in Libya. A separatist militia took control of the oil terminal in July 2013, demanding a greater share of the country's oil wealth. The tanker, the Morning Glory, evaded a naval blockade at the eastern port of Sidra last week, embarrassing the government and spurring the dismal of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan. North Korea disavowed the ship, saying it did not provide authorization. According to the Pentagon, U.S. forces boarded the Morning Glory before dawn Monday in international waters off Cyprus, and took control of the tanker, at the request of the Libyan and Cypriot governments. The move may prevent further attempts by the rebels to sell oil on the black market. Meanwhile, a car bomb hit outside a military base in the eastern city of Benghazi killing at least five soldiers and wounding another 14 people.”

fp@foreignpolicy.com

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