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WSJ: To Secure Peace, Be Ready for Battle

Author: Catherine Ashton
January 3, 2014

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"An effective and coherent security and defense policy is a necessity, not a luxury, for Europe. Possessing the capacities for crisis prevention and peacekeeping are vital if we are to build a more peaceful world order."

Off the coast of Somalia, men and women from across Europe are proving the old adage that no news can be good news. Stories of piracy used to make front pages around the world. Today they don't. That is because attacks over the past year have dropped by 95%.

This is no accident. National frigates are working together under the EU's Operation Atalanta to protect the shipping lanes needed for so much of Europe's trade with the rest of the world, and for vital food aid to Somalia. We are also tackling the underlying problems, not just the symptoms. The EU is training the Somalian army, supporting the rebuilding of its shattered institutions and providing development aid to lay the foundations for long-term prosperity.

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