Winston Churchill once said that the Americans always get it right after doing all the wrong things first. Some states do get it right near the beginning. This time around it is the Netherlands, which has forwarded the rational debate on armed guards.
We would hope it will help crowd out some of the irrational screeching attendant with the subject. Other states and one particular international government organization should emulate the good thinking done in the Netherlands.
The Dutch government recognises its solemn responsibility to its flagged ships. After all, one of the original reasons flag licences were contrived in the mid-19th century was for the ship owner to pay fees and taxes to the flag state and the flag state in return to use its sovereignty to protect its flagged ships. During the Pax Britannica from 1815-1914, when the British Empire controlled most of the key maritime trade routes and enjoyed unchallenged sea power, this seemed to work pretty well.
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