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On grain shipments, the future of threats to peace, and the likely need for some serious shipbuilding
Much has been made of the steps taken to ship more grain from Ukraine to help relieve the world's troubled food markets. The mayhem imposed on Black Sea shipping by Russian malfeasance is inexcusable from a basic humanitarian standpoint.
■ It is noteworthy that the word "shipping" in this case really does refer quite literally to the use of ships. Grain moves in large quantities aboard boats, not just from Ukraine; the shipping industry claims that 350 million tons of grain are moved by sea each year.
■ The war Russia is waging upon Ukraine and the heated situation in the waters between China and Taiwan offer two reasons to revive attention to the condition of conventional naval power. The planet is very, very big, and 71% of it is covered by the oceans. The maintenance of a stable world in which peaceful nations can freely carry out their trade and other interactions with one another may well hinge upon the ability of rule-abiding nations to stand up for themselves and their allies.
■ Does the United States need a substantially larger Navy, as some sensible thinkers have argued? It seems more likely than not that the challenges to peace upon the seas are going to continue rising, and that the consequences of letting countries ruled by malicious powers will grow accordingly unless a convincing deterrent is not only in place, but provided-for well into the future.