Somali Pirates seize super tanker

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  • #301
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The Battle of Mogadishu was more of a failed attack by American forces it was a heavy battle but that's not why America took a lot of flak for it.
 
  • #302
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The area to be covered is also non-trivial - a few million square miles.

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http://www.maritimeterrorism.com/20...aritime-piracy-doubled-in-first-half-of-2009/

There are about 50 cargo vessels passing through the Gulf of Aden every day. Most of them going from or to different parts of Asia. They travel through the active piracy area for about 4-10 days. If each vessel has an escort for an average of 5 days, that's a total of 250 escort vessels.
I don't know much about pirate strategies, but my guess is they like good weather and calm seas? It also seems as though they don't travel very fast from shore to the point of attack AND once engaged - it's a LONG way back to shore.

Unless my assumptions are very wrong, it seems to me that with improved spotters/communications a single (high flying) fighter and a couple of strategically placed attack choppers (maybe ride along with a group of cargo vessels) could defend the entire area?
 
  • #303
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Why should the United States spend so many resources on this task. Economically, and according to US interests, I see little motivation for much, if any more involvment than is already taking place. Correct me if I'm wrong, but so far, the U.S. has lost very little, if anything to Somalian pirates. Spending U.S. rescources to police the area full time would be a waste of money. I know a lot of you get all excited about the thought of seeing the vastly supperior Navy go kick some pirate a**, but as it is, the U.S. seams to be doing enough sending Navy ships in here and there, the CIA says they might be going in after the on shore aspect.

Let's face it, the world is riddled with international crime. Other than these pirates, there are drug smugglers, human traffickers, arms smugglers, etc, etc, etc. There is injustice being commited against civillians all around the world. We have the occasional mass genocide. Why is this Somalian Pirate issue so much more important to take care of than the countless other world problems we are either already overwealmed by, or completly ignore out of rational self intrest?
 
  • #304
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Why should the United States spend so many resources on this task.
Actually I'd like to see all of the affected countries Navies pulling together on this one. Share the cost so to speak.

We're all affected in some way, whether it's directly by the pirates or indirectly due to insurance / shipping cost increases. So we should all work together to deal with the problem.
 
  • #305
Somali Pirates, Black Hawk Down, Somali Terrorists, Al Shabab...Don't we have enough Hollywood movies to make money out of the suffering of these poor Somalis? Let me dig to the bottom of the issues and at least, make an attempt of clearing the gray areas that seem to have overshadowed the reality on the ground -Somalia, Africa.

Somalia has been a lawless country since 1991. Did you hear any piracy on the coastal lines of Somalia before 1991? Never. Did you ask yourself what caused piracy? Nothing is born out of no where; everything has a root cause. According to the pirates, though I don't agree with their criminal activity, they call themselves the coastguards of Somalia.

Do you know that Somalia has one of the longest coastal lines in Africa, almost ~6500 Km? From the strategic location of Somalia, it has always been a rival zone for world powers. During the cold war, Somalia paid the price of going to war with the Ethiopians in 1977, who were backed by the US at that time, and Somalia by the USSR. The disintegration of Somalia began soon after they were defeated at the battle of Dir-Dawe in Ethiopia at the peak of their great hope of bringing Addis-Ababa under the Great Somali rule. It didn't work out, instead it generated massive number of casualties that were captured in the sides fighting under the weaponization of the great powers (indirectly of course). Since that time, Somalia has been gradually weakening till the real symptom of the 1977 war erupted again in the form of civil war in 1991.

Somalia has been crippled by both natural and man made disasters since time immemorial. And being a part of the so called 'Global Village' where political interference has become like a meal, the scars of colonialism and its effects are still evident in Somalia. Although Somalia has enjoyed a little 20 years of self-governance after independence, the imminent poking of external powers in the affairs of Somalia has been a threat to the thrive of a successful government. The whole political dilemma of Somalia needs sufficient time to write about it in black and white...let us postpone it to another time.

What do you know about the pirates terrorizing the ocean? These are folks that were fishermen (initially) before they turned to be 'pirates'. But the lure of the ransoms paid can attract even innocent people to take part in this 'lucrative business' eh? I bet many Americans are biting their lips and wished if they could get a way to get into piracy (I hope not). Are they pirates or, as they call themselves, coastguards?

Soon after the collapse of the Somali government in 1991, every tribe weaponized themselves and took control of their respective part of the country. Imagine where everyone is struggling to win a bread and yet the resources are so limited that very few options are available, what will you do? All means possible, right? Somalia disintegrated into zones controlled by warlords loyal to tribes who were basically fighting to win the bread of their families and also, to take control of a larger territory so as to get a larger portion of the bread. Doesn't this correspond to the theory of Behavioral Biology, " Principle of Allocation"?

Next part, coming soon...
 
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  • #306
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I agree - we should stay out of their affairs - and let the fishermen fish. On the other hand, we should blow the pirates out of the water - then they might not be as tempted to steal.
 
  • #307
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Frigates are absolutely the most appropriate ship for this task.
Except that we don't have all that many left. The Knoxes, Garcias and Brookes are all gone, and maybe we have half of the Perrys still in commission. They are the first casualties of the LCS, I guess. You could use a Burke, but it would really be overkill.

I don't see why you would need missiles, though. A 3"/62 would certainly make short work of a pirate vessel.

But as I said before, so long as this is considered a law enforcement issue, a naval solution is out of the question. As of Friday, the number of convicted pirates in the last 200 years is...six. Personally, I think a more effective technique would be to convince the Somalis that piracy is dangerous.
 
  • #308
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Except that we don't have all that many left.
I know. By my count, we only have 31 left so if we want to do it purely with frigates, we must have international participation.
You could use a Burke, but it would really be overkill.
Yes, utlimately it would have to be a mixture of surface ships.
I don't see why you would need missiles, though. A 3"/62 would certainly make short work of a pirate vessel.
Range is the main reason. But then if we use helicopters, the range of a surface-launched missile becomes irrelevant.

[googles] The SH-60B, which is the most common helicopter used by the Navy, has a range of 450nm at 146kt and can carry 4 Hellfires.

And yes, it would take a pretty big "mothership" to be worthy of a Harpoon.
But as I said before, so long as this is considered a law enforcement issue, a naval solution is out of the question. As of Friday, the number of convicted pirates in the last 200 years is...six. Personally, I think a more effective technique would be to convince the Somalis that piracy is dangerous.
Agreed.
 
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  • #309
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When I visited Egypt in 2003, I found tourist security to be very interesting. Driving accross the country involved a caravan of tour buses escorted by military vehicles throughout, and armed guards on each bus as well. Even walking from the hotel to a market we had a "friend" that followed us around in a suit, carrying an MP5 under his jacket. They take security of their tourists very seriously after a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luxor_massacre" [Broken]...

It's my recommendation that a similar route is taken with commerce "convoys" off Somalia, but it could be the cost of such an endeavor would be much more than the ransoms currently being paid out. As a matter of principal, I think it best to blow the Pirates out of the water even if it costs ten times as much to support such a security force (but I'm not the one footing the bill either...)
 
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  • #310
mheslep
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  • #311
BobG
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The common sense solution is to go after the pirate bases on land. Without a home base, it's hard to operate and hard to spend the money they gain.

As dysfunctional as the official government of Somalia is, the Puntland region has a fairly functional local government. They may not have the resources to fight piracy, but they're not exactly fond of a pirate structure that exists completely outside the realm of the traditional political structure.

I think the international community should interact with the Puntland government directly to aid them in fighting piracy and perhaps should even build a joint naval base in the Puntland region to provide better coastal patrolling.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201005040003.html

Puntland to start construction of Navy base

All in all, piracy in 2010 is down from 2009. A side effect is that Puntland, a region that prefers to be an semi-autonomous state within Somalia, could become an independent country before its neighboring region, Somaliland, which wishes to secede from Somalia and all of the troubles in Central and Southern Somalia.
 
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  • #312
Mech_Engineer
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There's no need to go after the pirates on land, and it isn't a stretch to imagine how that can easily become an occupation of yet another country... all they need is some armed security guards. A few pirate ships go down, and pretty soon piracy is too risky and too expensive to be a viable "occupation" for people looking to make a living.
 
  • #313
BobG
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Good summary on Somali piracy: http://www.relooney.info/0_New_7596.pdf [Broken].

Nothing particularly new and just about all of the info comes from articles any one could find on their own, but it does gather them up in one article.
 
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  • #314
mheslep
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Good summary on Somali piracy: http://www.relooney.info/0_New_7596.pdf [Broken].

Nothing particularly new and just about all of the info comes from articles any one could find on their own, but it does gather them up in one article.
Thanks. Interesting take. Author's conclusion:
How can the international community begin to unravel the dreadfully distorted economics of Puntland piracy? Somali pirates are operating a business; their conduct may be understood by applying a neoclassical microeconomic model of rational utility-maximization. In order to arrest the growth in piracy, the costs and risks of engaging in the crime have to go up and the anticipated benefits must go down. The most effective (and efficient) way to increase the costs of engaging in piracy is to localize enforcement, and shift it from the sea to the shore. Any serious attempt to break the “Freakonomics” of Somali piracy should focus on building the capacity for policing and self-governing the Puntland region, which operates on a budget of $18 million per year.24 Merchant carriers should also implement both armed and passive self-protection measures, raising the risk to pirates. Shipping industry and insurance companies’ reluctance to refuse to pay ransom to free hostages and captured ships makes it difficult to drive down the expected benefits of piracy. The value of piracy in Somalia, however, is relative measured against legitimate occupations such as fishing. To the extent that the international community can help Somalia strengthen the rule of law in society, a healthy economy may begin to emerge. In a nutshell, in order to suppress the Freakonomics of piracy, the West does not need a piracy policy, it needs a Somali policy—one that recognizes the regional and tribal authorities that do the real work of bringing greater stability to a nation awash in hardship.
 
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  • #316
mheslep
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  • #317
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That's more like it. A bit more action, that's what we need.

Good on the South Koreans.

Personally, I wouldn't have captured any of them. On an operation like this, even 'execute with extreme prejudice' doesn't really do it for me.
 
  • #318
Lichdar
That's more like it. A bit more action, that's what we need.

Good on the South Koreans.

Personally, I wouldn't have captured any of them. On an operation like this, even 'execute with extreme prejudice' doesn't really do it for me.
I think we should let them go free.

Last year, Russia freed some Somali pirates they captured last year into the ocean. It was 500 km away from land. They were not very good swimmers, it seems. None of them were ever seen again.
 
  • #319
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I think we should let them go free.
I agree! Say, at 30,000 feet?

Last year, Russia freed some Somali pirates they captured last year into the ocean. It was 500 km away from land. They were not very good swimmers, it seems. None of them were ever seen again.
Ah, well that'll work, too. It appears you, Jared and I on the same sheet of music. Apparently others, as well.

All kidding aside, I'm still a fan of due process. However, under maritime law, unlawful borders can be forcefully repelled, and that falls squarely under due process.
 

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