Skip to content

Maritime Operation ‘Prosperity Guardian:’ Who’s In, Who’s Not

The guided-missile destroyer USS Mason sails alongside the Japanese destroyer Akebono in the Gulf of Aden, Nov. 25, 2023. Photo by: Petty Officer 3rd Class Samantha Alaman

Pentagon spokesman Maj. Gen. Patrick Ryder announced yesterday that over 20 countries have agreed to join Operation Prosperity Guardian, the new maritime security operation that the U.S. is cobbling together to counter ship attacks by the Houthi Ansarullah movement in Yemen. “Since the announcement on Tuesday [Dec. 19], Australia and Greece have also highlighted their participation in this operation,” Ryder said. “But again, we’ll allow other countries and defer to them to talk about their participation.” Aside from those two and the nine countries that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin named when he announced the operation from Bahrain, Ryder did not name any of the other countries participating in the operation, leaving 8 that haven’t admitted to it.

In any case, Australia’s participation comes with a caveat. Defense Minister Richard Marles confirmed on Dec. 22 that the government would not send a warship to the Middle East but would instead increase the number of Australian maritime forces staffed in Bahrain from 5 to 10 and deploy up to 6 Navy personnel to contribute to the new U.S.-led taskforce (a total of 11 people).

“We won’t be sending a ship or a plane. That said, we will be tripling our contribution to the combined maritime force,” Marles said today, according to an Australian wire report. “We need to be clear about our strategic focus, and our strategic focus is our region and the northeast Indian Ocean, the South China Sea, the East China Sea and the Pacific.”

This post is for paying subscribers only


Already have an account? Sign In