Time To Round Up The…err…Dolphins.

A story that has had me swimming in circles this week was the news that America’s Navy has begun to draw up plans to unleash its most unconventional military force:  The dolphins. Yep, you heard me right, America have outdone themselves again in their chauvinistic strive for military superiority.

Flipper and his pals have been specifically trained to locate mines and mark the location by dropping an acoustic transponder next to them.  This effectively allows marine vessels’ to plot a safe course through dangerous and booby-trapped waters.  I can just see the $149.9 billion spent by the navy trickling down the drain.

If Iran’s diplomatic stand-off with the West goes the whole-hog and they end up with no cards left to play.  It is likely that President Ahmadinejad will be forced to close the Strait of Hormuz.  If this happens we would see price of oil increase by around 50%.

So what does America plan to do, if Iran does block the Strait of Hormuz? Well that’s simple, they will just send in some happy-flapping dolphins to mop-up the mess up.

The potential closure is a serious matter and one that should not be sniggered at. But come on! Sending in a pod of mackerel loving show-offs (and I’m talking about the dolphins, not the Icelandic) is just downright ridiculous. Not to mention a seriously cruel act.

Although the nonsensical lot have indeed proven their salt in the Gulf during the Iraq campaign and earlier on in Vietnam, the questions remains the same: are they really worth the $14m already invested in 2011 by a financially struggling US Navy? The answer: not in the slightest.

Statistics from the military show that during the invasion of Iraq in 2003, nine navy dolphins helped clear more than 100 mines laid by Saddam Hussein’s forces. What the stats don’t tell you is that the dolphins’ were unable to distinguish between metallic objects:  meaning that many-a-potential explosive device turned out to be nothing more than a discarded shopping trolley. Guess that $14million wasn’t needed in the education or health sector then.

The one thing I can firmly put my flipper down on is that sending a pod of mammals to clear up a mine site is a diplomatic faux pas by America. America should lay their trust, not in overfeed and over-pampered aqua clowns but in trained military professionals and sophisticated sonar equipment which 36% of its taxpayer s money is spent on.

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