2001 World Naval Operational News Highlights
- The biggest story this year was the huge role that US and allied navies have played in the war on terrorism.
- Several recurring themes were identified throughout this year’s naval news stories, many of which persist from last year:
- The continuing enforcement of economic sanctions and no-fly zones against Iraq, who remains able to successfully circumvent the economic sanctions on the exporting of oil.
- The Russian Navy promising – and failing – to rebound from its doldrums, this year abandoning its base in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam.
- Piracy in the South China Sea, which is worsening as Indonesia descends into anarchy.
- The tension in the Taiwanese Straits between Taiwan and China.
- Further consolidation of the US ship building industry.
- The ascendency of the Indian Navy, demonstrated during this year’s International Fleet Review, and its suprising new alliance with the US Navy.
- Territorial disputes over islands in the South China Sea, such as the Spratly Islands, which is what the EP-3 was really investigating.
- Clampdown on the entry of illegal immigrants into countries, evidenced by the aggressive actions of the Malaysian and Royal Australian navies.
- Underfunding of the US Coast Guard, which was unable to meet its missions before September 11, let alone after that date.
- The woes of the MV-22 Osprey, which is desperately needed to replace the US Marines aging rotary wing force.
- Concern over the damaging effect that certain types of sonars have on marine mammals.
- The most professional amphibious operation of the year was the landing of US Marine Expeditionary Units within Afghanistan, several hundred miles from the sea.
- The only ship-to-ship combat of the year was between the Sri Lankan Navy and the Tamil Tigers; and the Japanese Coast Guard and the (presumed) North Korean Navy.
- The most intriguing naval news story of the year was that US nuclear attack submarines continue to carry out clandestine intelligence missions to place taps on undersea fiber optics cables to intercept data traffic on them.
- The most strategically significant naval news story of the year is the “coming out” of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force with its first overseas deployment outside Japan since World War II, and how it may serve in the future as a counter balance to the Chinese Navy.
- The most technically significant naval news story this year was the rise of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, and what its maritime applications will be, as demonstrated by the Global Hawk’s demonstration flight to Australia early in the year.
- The most narrowly averted naval disaster of the year was the downing of the US Navy EP-3 intelligence aircraft by the Chinese Air Force, and the continuing harrassment of US intelligence aircraft since that incident.
- The most tragic naval news story of the year was the accidental sinking of the Japanese fishing trawler by the USS Greeneville.
- The most bizarre naval news story of the year was the inabilty of the Swedish Navy to go to sea for the last 7 months of the year because it had been banned from allowing its sailors to work overtime.
- The most humorous naval news story of the year was the plight of the former Soviet aircraft carrier Varyag, which waited for years for permission to transit the Bosphorus Strait, and after doing so, broke its tow and went adrift for some distance in the Aegean before being successfully taken in tow again.
- The most technically impressive naval news story of the year was the raising of the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk from the sea bed and her return to port for scrapping.
- The quietest naval story of the year was the cancelation of the US Navy’s DD-21 class destroyers. This program seemed to have no clear supporters to oppose its cancelation.
- The non-story of the year was the US defense review, which never reached any solid conclusions are resulted in any definite plans.
- And finally, the naval news story of the year with the most potential long term significance was the dangerous overemphasis placed on avoiding collateral damage when making targeting decisions in Afghanistan by the US. What targets were missed in the name of “safety?”
In 2001, there were news stories linked to on 311 / 365 days – that is on 85% of the days.
In 2001, NOSI linked to 1,077 articles covering 916 news stories.
The news stories linked to covered the operational activities of 43 nation’s navies, coast guards, and marine corps:
United States – 396 stories
United Kingdom – 75 stories
Russia – 54 stories
Australia – 30 stories
India – 29 stories
Canada – 21 stories
Taiwan – 20 stories
China – 14 stories
Japan – 12 stories
France – 9 stories
Malaysia – 9 stories
Sri Lanka – 6 stories
South Korea – 6 stories
Pakistan – 5 stories
Phillipines – 5 stories
Israel – 4 stories
Iran – 3 stories
Italy – 3 stories
Indonesia – 3 stories
Singapore – 3 stories
New Zealand – 3 stories
Turkey – 2 stories
Romania – 2 stories
Tamil Sea Tigers – 2 stories
Egypt – 2 stories
Argentina, Bahrain, Chile, Columbia, Denmark, Ghana, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Nigeria, North Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Venezuela – 1 story
???and 117 Background news stories
In 2001, 92,436 pages of information were read on NOSI by 39,079 users.