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The sea lines of communication have been enjoying an undisturbed period of peace for several decades until 2008, when a piracy issue brewed up in the Horn of Africa, triggering an unprecedented speedy response from the European Union, if only by a few hours ahead of NATO on this occasion.

Until then, Western navies have perhaps neglected the true nature of their existance for the benefit of other kind of operations and tasks. No doubt, at the moment this seemed reasonable and even necessary. But the moment piracy struck our world, questions became inevitable as to the purpose of the man´o´war, the organization of a navy, its structure and needs. The roles played by Western navies in recent conflicts, always in constant growth over the last several years, have been met with indifference by the media, society and politicians alike, and consequently, the results of the tasks allocated to them have been ignored, despite the outcome. This false sense of indifference towards the navy has generated, as a consequence, a demoralizing effect in their crews and members.

With these reflections the author wishes to share some considerations in order to outline the virtues of the Navy, its role, purpose and importance for any country who wishes to have a saying in today´s international environment.

These views and reflections do not represent those of the Armada, but those based on the experience and reflections of the author and are, consequently, subject to discussion and comments by all those who care to venture an opinion.

Lt.Cdr  Juan Del Pozo Berenguer

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