Spencer Ackerman and Matt Yglesias are thrilled to see the collection of strange bedocean-fellows — including the United States, Russia, NATO, the EU, and now China — patrolling the waters off the coast of Somalia. Here’s Spencer:

chinese patrol boat.jpg

Yes, that’s right, despite the bleatings of militarists who view the Chinese as an inevitable enemy, there are in fact ways to share the world’s security burdens in a positive-sum fashion. The world is far, far better served forming legitimate (and legitimized) coalitions of capable nations to confront shared threats than it is when nations either seize for themselves the mantle of global protector and/or assume the burden alone, with or without the blessing of the international community.

This attack on a Chinese ship — plus the hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil that pass through the channel — seems to have hastened Beijing to the quite astute conclusion that enforcing some semblance of legality in the Gulf of Aden is very much in their interests as well. May this be a model for cooperation — military and diplomatic — on the entire continent.

(image of a Chinese patrol boat from flickr user concrete cornfields under a Creative Commons license)

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