Interview: Admiral James G Stavridis, Outgoing Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR)
On 13 May Admiral James 'Jim' G Stavridis - the first naval officer to hold the post of NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) - handed the helm over to US Air Force General Philip M Breedlove.
Reflecting on four years as SACEUR, Adm Stavridis told IHS Jane's : "Upon taking office in the summer of 2009 I set myself five goals: make progress in Afghanistan; reduce the number of ships and mariners held captive by Somali pirates; downsize the NATO force levels in the Balkans; improve capabilities against cyber attacks; and enhance our ballistic missile defence [BMD].
"Today, I am very pleased with the progress made. Looking back at our counter-piracy endeavours, two years ago about 25 ships and 500 mariners were held hostage and on average there was one pirate attack on a weekly, sometimes even on a daily, basis. Today [as of early May], piracy is reduced by more than 80%. Only two ships are held captive and there has not been a single successful hijacking in the past year."
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