Mar 2, 2011, 9:15 PM
Post #3 of 10
Go in and shoot up the shore side bases? What shore side bases? I don’t think they have fenced compounds with signs which say “Pirate Base Here”. Should we blast every seaside town in Somalia in the assumption that the people living there are pirates? That is about as good an idea as blasting out of the water every wooden boat manned with Africans in the Indian Ocean. I don’t think even Cory Friedman could explain the legal basis for either idea, and honestly, this is a lot more than political correctness; the Navy really cannot be expected to openly operate outside of the law. They are not going to become a vigilante force as much as many of us would like fantasize about that.
Re: [ms] Response to Piracy
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Convoys would probably improve the odds for the shippers but not reduce the cost. The numbers of vessels regularly transiting the area is rather significant. To hold them up in a staging area until a convoy size was reached and military escorts are available would be a delay to every vessel; a cost to all. The cost now are pretty minimal considering that it is probably an insurable risk (or at least self insurable by the shipping companies) which is spread across a large number of ships, most of which get through already without incident. This is to say nothing of the logistics of the convoy process which would be formidable. I am not sure it is even practical for yachts, and definitely not affordable if the yachts were required to pay for the protection. The military has already recognized this and have, up to now, declined to protect yacht convoys, which are already operating.
No, it is going to take a few more, very highly visible, piracy attacks which go wrong to trigger enough outrage for something to be done and then establishing the legal basis would be move #1. Probably the world powers would have to declare war on Somalia, or at least Puntland, where the pirates and Islamic fundamentalists have teamed up too run this business, which by the way is highly profitable for all involved, including a lot of suppliers and middle men who facilitate the negotiations and ransom payments, to say nothing of the Toyota dealers selling SUV’s to the Somalis on payday.
A declaration of war frees up the navies considerably; they could then stop suspect vessels before an attack against a ship or yacht is commenced, as is now not legally possible. Satellite analysis and a few predator drones could help the navies to find suspect vessels. Active interdiction could be possible, even if only to dump all their weapons overboard, and might do much to de-fang the pirates. Predator strikes, against the pirates after they have collected the ransom and left the ship, might make an impression.
But be realistic guys, right now this is not high enough on anybody’s radar screen to make anything happen. It is simply an insurance issue for the shipping industry. A few yachties getting killed is regrettable, but issues like Libya and internal economic and political problems will keep this off the politicians and the NSC’s agenda for the foreseeable future.
I hate to say it, but a few more people need to get killed first.
And Cory, the “Aging flower children” comment was uncalled for. Cruisers now days are more likely to be retired New York lawyers than old hippies.
Fredrick Roswold, SV Wings, Mauritius (outside of the pirate area, I hope)