Piracy Escalates Off Somali Coast

Posted by Jun Bando
December 1, 2008
Hijacked Merchant Vessel Off Somali Coast

About the Author: Dr. Jun Bando serves as the Maritime Security Coordinator and U.S. Africa Command Liaison for the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of African Affairs.

Since I last wrote about piracy in October, the situation has continued to escalate. More than 30 additional attacks have been reported in waters off the coast of Somalia, including the Gulf of Aden. Elements of the shipping industry have announced plans to reroute some vessels around South Africa to avoid the Gulf of Aden, and a supertanker carrying millions of barrels of oil has been hijacked several hundred miles from shore—two scenarios that only weeks ago were thought by many to be implausible. The escalation of risk at sea mirrors conditions on land in Somalia, where the eroding security situation necessitates the urgent deployment of additional peacekeeping forces.

In recent weeks, U.S. Government efforts on Somali piracy have intensified. Piracy has the attention of the highest levels of our government. Our senior diplomats are taking a leading role in coordinating the international response and reaching out to key participating countries to identify the resources—diplomatic, political, military, judicial—each country can contribute to this effort.

Military engagement must be coordinated—and not just deconflicted—among participating countries. As in efforts to fight other forms of organized criminal activity, an essential part of the fight will be ensuring that hijackers and their accomplices are brought to justice.

What are the United States and the international community already doing to address piracy in the Horn of Africa?

Several countries have deployed naval vessels and aircraft to the region. Since September, the U.S. and coalition partners have maintained a Maritime Security Patrol Area in the Gulf of Aden. The U.S. and others have contributed to North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Combined Task Force-150 counterpiracy operations. NATO, Canada, and European Union member States have provided escorts for vessels delivering United Nations World Food Program emergency assistance to Somalia.

Although naval vessels have successfully prevented a number of attacks, pirate acts have nonetheless continued to increase, along with the greed of hijackers. The supertanker seized on November 15 belongs to Saudi Arabia and the pirates are reportedly demanding millions of dollars in ransom.

The U.S. is leading efforts in the United Nations Security Council to renew the authorities in Resolution 1816, which provides countries cooperating with the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia with the authorization to enter Somali territorial waters and use all necessary means to repress piracy and armed robbery at sea.

We’re seeing greater involvement by the African Union and its member States in fighting piracy. Two weeks ago, Kenya agreed to prosecute eight piracy suspects captured by British naval forces near Somalia. (In 2006, Kenya also prosecuted piracy suspects captured by the U.S. Navy.)

Despite these and other efforts, including significant activity by the European Union to initiate its own counterpiracy mission, the continued increase in piracy clearly signals that international efforts against piracy in the Horn of Africa must be strengthened. On Tuesday I’ll travel with a delegation to Paris to support discussions with the French on strengthening counter-piracy cooperation. Stay tuned for further developments.

Comments

Comments

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
December 2, 2008

Donald in Virginia writes:

2 December 08

PIRACY ON THE OPEN SEAS!

I had a few days to think about this situation.

A few good tips that might help resolve this situation.

The known tactics they are using is common as rope and a graple hook in getting onboard.

Cargo ships should start including a Guard Rail that would deflect a graple hook and add one more neat device to the rail. Have portable grinders and saws for the crew to cut the lines before the pirates get on the ship.

One other cool thing to add - Have a 8 foot electrical fence that goes around the skin of the ship. This might give the pirates a little buzz when trying to get onboard! It might knock them right off the ship! Add the razor sharp wires to the fence as well.

Look out watches - Cargo ships should have look out watches manned day and night. When the pirate boats get close the look outs should have a visual on the pirates before they can act.

Add sensors and cameras around the vessel so they know when the pirates are trying to get aboard! The bridge of any ship should have a complete picture as to whats happening around the entire vessel at all times. That way even the Captain knows whats happening in real time!

Most ships have the ability to fight damage control. A 2" 1/2 water hose and pump certainly could deflect any Pirates trying to get onboard as well. Plus it could sink the Pirates craft before they have a chance to board the ship.

Crew members should be trained on weapons. A small response action team should do the trick. Each and all crew members mandatory having rifle and handgun training atleast once a year qualifcation at a certified range. Each ship should have a small amory to protect the crew and cargo.

Surface Radar - Make sure the vessel has the best radar that can pickup these crafts before they become a threat!

Last part of my ideas - Set Zebra Condition and prevent the pirates from gaining access to the Bridge or any other part of the ship entry points. Completely lock them out from gaining access to them! Until help arrives!

I believe the United Navy should consider putting a Air Craft Carrier at the Horn of Africa near where all the piracy has been taken place, then just do fly operations and buzz the pirates at sea with our fighter jets! Then maybe they will get the hint!

ARG ARG ARG!!!

God Bless!

Kirk
|
Kentucky, USA
December 2, 2008

Kirk in Kentucky writes:

I have a three word solution to piracy:

.50 caliber machineguns.

Place them in protected turrets and forget those dinky sonic guns. While governments generally frown on civilan possession of heavy hardware, I say use the right tool for the right job.

While there may be an escalation of arms used because of this, making piracy a potentially lethal encounter will deter most. The reason piracy so prevelent is because it's so easy. There is virtally no risk. Faced with automatic rifles and grenade launchers, most ships don't even put up a fight.

Water turrets may be an acceptable alternative to machine guns as anyone hit wit a fire hose can attest.

(Of course, resolving the strife that causes piracy in the first place probably wouldn't hurt either)

John
|
Greece
December 3, 2008

John in Greece writes:

@ Donald in VA -- Very interesting suggestions! However, we should also work a little bit on the theoretical "treatment" of the issue.

What I mean is that you "fight" the problem on a "field base", providing really sharp and inspired suggestions, but unfortunately this way we follow the pirates' game. It's like accepting the fact that piracy will keep on exciting in the area and we just defend ourselves the best way we can.

Our western world's priority, concerning this issue, should be to enforce the law, arrest pirates and give a permanent lesson to all "future pirates". We have to make sure to them that they cannot act this way without ending to a local or international prison. Of course diplomacy, politics and synergies are the vital tools toward this perspective.

Nevertheless, I think that many of your ideas should be adopted by Cargo ships. I have not worked in a ship and therefore I do not know how much practical they are, but I found them excellent suggestions.

Zharkov
|
United States
December 3, 2008

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

So while Secretary Rice is playing piano for the Queen of Britain, pirates are seizing our ships and sailors?

American officials are not British subjects and should not be serving British royalty in ANY capacity, including playing piano for the Queen, guarding British shipping channels, or financing the British economic collapse.

If Secretary Rice wants to perform for the Queen after the Secretary leaves public office, that is fine, but as long as American taxpayers pay her salary, she play piano for us.

What this piano episode makes clear is that Ms. Rice either has no sense of American history with Britain, or else wishes to insult her fellow Americans. The people who wrote the US Constitution were strongly against American officials becoming subservient to Britain and Ms. Rice should learn more about that. Americans are not British slaves anymore.

Susan
|
Florida, USA
December 3, 2008

Susan in Florida writes:

With all the extremely dangerous situations our diplomats are dealing with around the world....terrorism in India, murder/genocide in the Congo, chaos in Thailand, it does seem a bit frivolous to be playing the piano in Great Britain. It was probably "requested" and since the British are our strong allies, it would have been difficult to refuse. Now a general question.... what are we doing about the pirates? Wouldn't a very large warship be able to make a difference??!

John
|
Greece
December 3, 2008

John in Greece writes:

Right Susan! What the piano has to do with piracy? Except, if Z is attempting again to "piracy" a real Global hero!

Only Z can comprehend this relevance... Piracy and piano? (LOL) But as long as he wants an answer: His point has to do with "last year". History is old, Future is everything -- We live RIGHT NOW Z, not in a historical nightmare utopia!

I also agree with you Susan that Great Britain is one of U.S.A.'s -- and the rest of the Western world's -- strongest allies and I feel like saying that Secretary Rice does not have to prove via Z's question, whether she "knows how to play the diplomatic piano" or not, BECAUSE SHE HAS ALREADY PROVED THAT SHE CAN. She is a pure, talented PATRIOT! A REAL BRAIN!

Otherwise, let's fetch Z to "play the piano". Do you play the piano Z?

Zharkov
|
United States
December 3, 2008

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

Unfortunately, the official "Somali pirate zone" is so large that a single warship could not catch a pirate in the act of piracy. Pirates probably use ship's radar and scanners to plot their next attack at a location where the navy is absent.

No government intervention is necessary. As one of the prior posts suggests, each ship's captain must be certain to carry sufficient numbers of guns to allow the crew to repel any pirate attack. We must make it more dangerous for pirates than for shipping. When we start shooting at pirates, they will disappear.

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
December 3, 2008

Donald in Virginia writes:

3 December 08

@ John in Greece -- Thank-You again!!!

I'm glad someone is paying attention to new ideas or suggestions that might help resolve the situations. I use a combination of my skills of having been on ships at sea and my security background to think these things up.

Defending your ship is a great thing!

Decades of time has gone by and cargo ships really deploy with little or no ability to fight back. The more defense abilities the cargo ship has the less likely the Pirates will even bother trying to steal or overtake the vessel. It's almost like that saying about having your porch light on and the thief goes to the next home.

"Old football saying" A great defense is one awesome Offense!" meaning these ships, and crew need to up the security level in that part of the world and not take it lightly. A well defended ship means they will survive the attacks.

I believe the Carrier was mentioned as well on my listing of ideas. I would like to see Africa start patrolling its own waters and rooting out these pirates. They should have a Coast Guard Units just like we do in the States.

BEST REGARDS,

DONALD

John
|
Greece
December 4, 2008

John in Greece writes:

@ Donald in VA, Kirk in KY & Zharkov in U.S.A. -- I will concentrate a little bit more on the "amory & guns" suggestion. There are 2 basic problems with this perspective we all focused on.

Please guys correct me if I am wrong.
1. Today, the International Law of the Sea does not allow the crew members of a ship to have guns. Only the captain is allowed to do so -- and according to my views he MUST have one for sure -- as long as the gun is legally purchased and registered.

So guys, I imagine that you suggest that we should proceed toward a new International Sea legislation -- a new amendment-concerning the issue?

However the 2nd parameter is the most difficult:

2. The practical application! First we have to deal with a very difficult component that is the gun training of all these ship-crew members all around the world and second, which is even more important, these crews (50%) are not any "better" boys than the pirates. If you give them guns you may end up with "internal" pirates in many cases. Moreover, they will kill each other during gambling or drug overdose? Have you heard of the "Philippine code"? The only way for a captain to keep his ship safe is to have good relations with the "Godfather" of the "crew mafia". When you are referring to Cargo ships keep in mind that they are not "Love boats".

And here is the worst and most dangerous thought among the above:

What if we stop piracy, but then we have to deal with illegal gun emporium? During terrorism times, the only thing that terrifies me is the idea that hundred thousands of guns "take a cruise" in the open seas. Ex.: you want to get an illegal, unregistered pistol? You can buy it from a Cargo ship crew member. Then, he declares that it felt in the open sea and you proceed doing your "bad" job like having a walk in the "sea" park.

All the above do not mean that I am against this "amory & guns" suggestion. I just felt to contribute some more debatable parameters. I look forward to read your views guys.

John
|
Greece
December 4, 2008

John in Greece writes:

@ Donald in VA, Kirk in KY & Zharkov in U.S.A. -- Thomas Jefferson's note: "The style of the demand admitted but one answer. I sent a small squadron of frigates into the Mediterranean".

If you want my final opinion.

Zharkov
|
United States
December 4, 2008

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

Under the legal doctrine of necessity, a ship's captain has the inherent, fundamental right law to arm his crew despite all contrary written laws, treaties, and executive orders. This doctrine has been recognized in all British common law nations. A variant of this doctrine appears in our constitution in the "Letters of Marque and Reprisal" clause.

A ship's captain has the choice, as they always have, to keep all guns locked in the ship's armory, distribute the guns to the crew only when entering the pirate zone, and collect the guns when the ship is safely leaving the area.

The National Guard does exactly the same thing - all weapons are kept locked in the armory until some event occurs that requires arming the soldiers. No armed mutiny has occurred from this practice in modern times.

Tyrannical governments do not trust their citizens with guns, obviously. An armed citizenry is a big discouragement to potential tyrants. This is the main reason why most governments prefer their citizens to be defenseless. An exception to this practice is in time of war, when governments have, from necessity, no choice but to arm the citizens or lose the war. In piracy, we are at war on the high seas, and an armed crew can win that war if the ship's captain allows them that option.

Donald M.
|
Virginia, USA
December 4, 2008

Donald (U.S. Navy Veteran) in Virginia writes:

4 Dec 08

NEW CHANGES FOR CARGO SHIPS CAPTAINS AND CREW OF VESSELS IDEA!

1. I don't think the entire crew should be dealing with weapons. It should be limited to a security element added to the ship. The Captain and Security Teams onboard should ONLY be allowed to carry weapons on any Vessel.

2. The Captain should have Certified Security Officers on the Vessel under Direct Orders from the Captain when dealing with security issues.

3. Each Vessel should carry law enforcement equipment example: Handcuffs, Communication equipment like hand held radios, Restraints, Mace Cans, Bull Horns, Small Armory ONLY the Captain has the key.

4. Under which the ship or vessel is being approached by suspected Pirates, the Captain should issue orders to the Security Staff. This should include opening the small armory and outfitting the Security Staff with weapons and ideally protecting the ship, the crew and the Captain.

5. The Security Staff must be in a position on the ship to have the best line of sight of the targets. A future thought is maybe a gun tower can be added to the highest deck on the cargo ship!

6. Rules of Engagement: Verbal orders given by the Cargo Ship Security Staff telling them to halt or leave! If they persist on moving towards the ship, a warning shot is fired in the air or in the sea. If they continue advancing towards the ship then the Security Staff should take the Approach of "Shoot to Stop" and prevent them from coming onboard!

7. The Security Staff should be qualified and certified to handle weapons,trained in law enforcement, trained in Defense Tactics, security issues and provide two officer shake down capability looking for illegal drugs and or illegal weapons on the ship.

Best Regards,

Donald

Zharkov
|
United States
December 5, 2008

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

It certainly doesn't take much of a security team to stop a hijacking at sea. One guy with a flamethrower could keep a pirate boat away from the ship. The problem of cost enters the picture if a specially trained security team must accompany every ship, while it is much less expensive to simply arm the crew when necessary, or at least arm the most trustworthy members of the crew.

John
|
Greece
December 5, 2008

John in Greece writes:

@ Donald in VA -- I think that you put the finishing touches to this great security proposal you created. I hope that decision makers (legislators, ship owners, captains, brokers etc.) will adopt all, or some of your sharp ideas and they will finalize this first draft.

Besides guns, your ideas about:
-- Guard Rail
-- 8 foot electrical fence + the razor sharp wires
-- Look out watches
-- Sensors and cameras
-- A 2' water hose and pump
-- Modern surface radars
-- Setting of Zebra Condition
are also extremely interesting!!!
(please see Donald's post on Tue Dec 02,2008 for more details)

And the most important is that these ideas are really cost affordable, especially compared to the HUGE cost of the ships and cargos (ex.: Saudi supertanker "Sirius Star" costs more than $100 million).

Anyway, DipNote once again proved that when we work as a thinking "team", our brain storming can create real good ideas and suggestions which can help the world.
In other words: The best weapon is our brain!

Best Regards Sir.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
December 5, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Dr. Bando -- One wonders when maritime efforts will conclude in taking on the pirates on land. Where they live.

As a failed state, Somalia now can reasonably be seen as a result of past interventions that have left no stability behind, failing to achive objectives for lack of political will, and resourcing.

Though its recognized leader is anti piracy and welcomes international efforts, they have no real ability to affect things on the ground in a state of virtual anarchy.

When will the world community choose to turn Somalia into a UN protectorate, and take direct preventive action?

There are worse options that have already been tried. We're all now witness to the results.

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
December 5, 2008

Donald in Virginia writes:

Thank you John in Greece.

The only thing I would add to my list is items like the following:

1. NON-Lethal Weapons including (CS) Tear Gas and Eletric Tazors.
2. Bullet Proof Armor Vests and Helmets for the sailors
3. Night Vision

"All Shipping companies around the world that deliver goods by ocean vessels should adopt a Master Plan of Security for all the ships they operate for the Captain and crew. This Master Security plan should be tested and implemented and approved by the the countries Maritime Leadership and by International Law. Adding that element of Security would make a difference."

Zharkov
|
United States
December 7, 2008

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

For those who don't understand my piano comment, you might read this article:

"Condi Plays Piano While Islam Destroys Western Civilization",
http://worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=82823

Piracy at sea received the death penalty at common law for similar reasons for which we outlaw airline hijacks -- the potential for loss of life and property was simply too great to allow the pirate to live, not to mention that his Majesty's ships were expensive to replace, so pirates were routinely subject to hanging in England if they got that far, or simply hung from the mast of a British warship if they didn't.

The non-lethal weapons we might use against old ladies who argue with TSA employees at the airport are not adequate to stop piracy. We should want to discourage pirates from their trade, not entertain them with our weak defenses.

There may be a theory that nobody commits piracy while laughing, therefore a team of comedians should accompany every shipment, but this would be more reward than punishment for serious people looking to destroy the West.

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
December 7, 2008

Donald in Virginia writes:

7 December 08

@Zharkov in U.S.A

USE OF NON-LETHAL WEAPONS

Reason why law enforcement uses non-lethal weapons is gives the pirates a chance to surrender, or end the attack before it becomes violent. Tear gas would cause disruption to your movement.

I had included a rules of engagement in one of my blogs. Once again, NON-Lethal weapons can be used first to get the pirates attention and realize they are dealing with a smarter security force, they might just evade the fight and leave. Anyone that has been through CS Tear gas knows what it can physically cause the body. It's not as funny as you mentioned Zharkov. Have you ever been in a situation with tear gas? Personally, I have been through it four times with tear gas in training and it's never fun.

If your trying to compare an AK/47 to Tear Gas well we all know that an assault weapon is greater. You can't use that weapon if your senses are not able to fire it. Which means the use of Tear Gas is still a good choice for NON-Lethal weapons.

Hence, its better the pirates surrender or give up then having a big gun battle onboard the ship. Making the NON-Lethal weapons a smart choice for the Ship Captains and crew! Atleast it would only be another item in the list of things Cargo Ships and crewmembers security can use before something major happens.

john
|
Greece
December 7, 2008

John in Greece writes:

... "what are we doing about the pirates" Z? The piano again? Please don't change the subject AGAIN.

What I mean is , today, the date is 2008. Forget the piano and the Englishmen and the history and your nightmares...

I do not understand your question. Do you mean that Dr. Rice should be in the Gulf of Aden "shooting" the pirates? She is not a SEAL, although I believe SHE IS indeed! However, she has a different official role: Secretary of State. Why you make it so complicated?

Donald in VA contributed some great ideas. And he did it "on the issue"! And I think that he made great effort "on the issue".

So, if we really care, let's contribute on THIS topic.

P.S. Respect -- The fact that Dr. Rice will not be within the SD for some years, does not mean that she did not service the best way she could. Respect!

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
December 8, 2008

Donald in Virginia writes:

7 December 08

THANKS AGAIN @ John in Greece -- I work in law enforcement and have experience onboard US Naval ships. I was actually trying to come up with items that would enhance the security onboard cargo ships. The simple solution is ensure they have a Plan, equipment and the Authority to Defend the ship! International Law should be changed to include adding a Security element to the ships. This would of been equally security smart with airplanes and trains around the world. Having Airmarshals is great, since it's a Federal funded program, I just don't see it going far enough when it comes to security. The Country that has the cargo should be responsible and accountable for that shipment leaving its port and arriving to it's destination safely. Having well trained Security Officers would make the difference needed to defend the cargo and crew. I actually suggested SEA Marshals and never heard anything from it. Considering the problems they have on cruise ships, seemed like it would of been smarter to have Sea Marshals as well!

How many countries around the world DO NOT even practice security drills onboard cargo ships? How many might not even have a security plan? Have the experience to deal with pirates to begin with?

Think that is why I came up with the list to help people on this topic. If it can do some good, great!

Best Regards,
Donald Ex (SW)

Zharkov
|
United States
December 8, 2008

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

Shipping companies can take measures to defend their ships if they wish to remain profitable, or not, that is between them and their insurance companies. A smart insurer will offer lower rates to companies which arm their crews to repel pirate attacks.

What I am concerned about are the currently-unarmed cruise ships filled with thousands of tourists from western nations. At the moment, piracy is occurring off Somalia but as with terrorism, it has happened elsewhere and unarmed cruise ships are very soft targets.

The minimal legal responsibility of the ship's captain is to maintain sufficient arms to defend the ship with deadly force if necessary. A ship company and their insurers who fail to arm their ships deserves the mass casualty litigation they will receive and the subsequent bankruptcy.

From what I've read, any resistance against a pirate attack automatically results in a gun battle with them. One doesn't go to a gunfight armed with tear gas.

All your suggestions are fine but if you want to make the pirates sick, CS gas them, and they will leave and be back in a few days for another ship attack. If we capture them, we will spend a few million dollars on the way to the US Supreme Court deciding whether they are unarmed combatants or pirates. Shooting them is far more effective.

And yes, I have tried US military CN tear gas and find it wears off in a hour or so and you won't even notice it with a decent gas mask. Pirates may be desperate but they aren't stupid.

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
December 8, 2008

Donald in Virginia writes:

8 December 08

Thank-You @ Zharkov in U.S.A.

You have made my point very well. In one hour don't you think the time it takes to subdue someone when they can't react to the situation. Meaning while they are rubbing the eyes and trying to get the cs tear gas out of them, they are being held up with weapons and put into handcuffs along with restraints. They become "Arrested" and busted.

Then they get to be taken into custody and serve a very long time in prison for their actions. This all can be done without firing one shot from any weapon. I only mentioned one form of NON-Lethal weapons,there are others.

I know what you tried to imply, don't show up to a gunfight with a knife. "Yes we all know that old saying."

The bigger point is to try and capture the pirates without the loss of life and injury to the crew or even to the pirates. If they can be taken into custody without weapons being fired, it's a good day for shipping companies, brokers, sailors and all those who sail the seas!

Zharkov
|
United States
December 8, 2008

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

Self-help works. If tear gassing the pirates works, then do it. Pirates have no rules. Tear gas is a lot less expensive than sending a fleet of battleships that never quite catch up with the bad guys. But if they opened small weapons fire on my ship, I would shoot them to finally settle the question.

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
December 8, 2008

Donald in Virginia writes:

8 December 08

This is my last comment on the matter unless a Ship Captain, Crew, Brokers, or countries would like more ideas on how to protect their cargo and crew! They can always write the State Department for my email address. Piracy will only continue long as people allow them too. They should be captured, brought to Justice and spend years behind prison walls for the consequences of their actions. It's a very serious situation and needs to be resolved SAFELY! Not people just trying to create gun battles because then the shooters can still end up in court one day defending their position why they fired a fire arm! You would always be accountable for where that round goes.

SALUTE!

Godspeed all!!!

Kirk
|
Kentucky, USA
December 9, 2008

Kirk in Kentucky writes:

While the general theme of this thread, namely- arm yourself to the teeth, has been entertaining, it seems that this will be a subject that only a multi-angled approach can tackle.

In times past, when piracy was much more rampant, there were several things that nations tried to varying degrees of success. The most frequent was to bribe the home base of particular "clans" of pirates. As today's solution, that is right out.

A naval presence in the area is required. While we once had a powerful navy, we are around something like 180 ships or so. Since piracy is a global issue, perhaps the UN or other regional security groups could collaborate to create an anti-piracy fleet and, like UN peace keeping missions, have ships and equipment procured from donor nations.

A some point something will have to be done about the area from which piracy is based. In some ways, crime is like water, trying to grasp it in the fist will only cause it to stream between the fingers, but at least dispersing the concentration of perpetrators to more remote areas will ease the strain. Somalia is a failed state, now that their problems are leaking out onto the world stage, action must be taken. We need to assist Somalia to take control of it's ports and wrest them from the grip of criminals. Since piracy fuels a lot of villages' economy, we must find a way to replace one source of income with another, otherwise the population will not embrace the changes.

Though the area is too vast for a small fleet to patrol, what about the hundreds of reconnaissance, remote sensing, weather, and search and rescue satellites? Within allied nations we need to coordinate our intelligence activities to track and eliminate piracy safe havens or at least intercept their attacks.

None of these have to be permanent, once piracy is down and the region has stabilized a bit, we can disperse the concentration and move on to other things.

Zharkov
|
United States
December 11, 2008

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

Piracy is a high growth industry off the coast of Mexico, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Less than half of all pirate attacks are documented because the ship owners don't want their insurance rates raised. In one case, a ship had a two man security team that shot one pirate, causing others to flee, and saved the ship.

Countries which prohibit the private ownership of guns must change their laws to make an exception for guns kept aboard ship. All private yachts should carry firearms for self-defense, as they are a common target of pirates. Our news media seldom mentions the frequent seizures of private yachts at sea, just as they never mentioned that two cruise ships were attacked by pirates last week alone.

All it takes to quickly stop this growth industry is for other nations to change their laws to encourage ships to arm their crews or security teams and immunize them from arrest for small arms storage on board while visiting foreign ports.

If all governments won't even do that little to help the situation, they lose the right to cry about their ships being taken for ransom.

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
December 14, 2008

Donald in Virginia writes:

13 December 08

I know nobody has come up with this idea, it might also be useful in removing the piracy threat. If the Pirates have no boats...they certainly cannot be involved in Piracy on the open seas...

Like I said before, "Place one of our Nimitz Class Aircraft Carriers at the Horn of Africa and run flight operations. Our pilots and crew should be able to identify these small craft way before they can attempt piracy on any Merchant Vessel. I agree with the Admiral, "Full Speed Ahead, Pull up any means that would allow the pirates to gain access to the ship""All the more reason the United States should reconsider my theory about the "Harrier Jet" if it can be modified to carry troops, and utilized in a ground strike aircraft, we would be way ahead of the game in fighting these problems in future. Just imagine a ground fighter with the ability to carry a special team to it's destination at very fast speeds!"

.

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