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  #11  
Old 03-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcherBowman View Post

Forth - invade and occupy Somalia, and install a functioning government.
Yeah, that's the ticket - it's working so well in Afghanistan, after all...

Guess you've forgotten our little misadventure in Somalia back in '92, eh? Well, it made for a great movie, anyway:

YouTube - Black Hawk Down Trailer

Now, it's a popular video game...

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  #12  
Old 03-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Until there is a functioning government in Somalia, there will be no cost-effective way for the international community to protect small boats that are stupid enough to venture into range of the pirates.
I couldn't agree more. This all started when foreign fishing fleets, mainly European and Asian, laid waste to the coastal fisheries of Somalia. They did so with impunity, as there was no effective Somali government to either physically or diplomatically confront them . Then Somali fishermen started taking things into their own hands, attacking foreign-flagged fishing vessels, and eventually any foreign vessels. Again, without an effective Somali government there was nothing to stop them from doing so. Fairly quickly the Somalis turned to out-right piracy, as it was much more profitable than fishing for non-existent fish. Now, it appears that war-lords have taken over much of the piracy, or at least are a big part of the "administration" of it. Ironically, the fisheries are probably recovering nicely, since foreign fishing vessels don't dare get anywhere close to the Somali coast anymore.

If Somalia can form an effective government, with an effective Coast Guard or Navy, the piracy will disappear in short order. Short of a forced occupation of the entire country, that is just about the only way it's going to end.
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  #13  
Old 03-04-2011
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Any belief in this problem being solved without collateral damage is naive and counter productive. So firstly I fully agree with the philosophy of no ransom. All western governments have for decades held the view of not negotiating with terrorists and then these people get paid obscene amounts of money.

So my first move would be to blow the 300 000 ton oil tanker that is being held off their shoreline. That will provide them with a little alternative interest for a period. Then, once the tanker has done its work, systematically sink every other ship anchored there and the message will soon enough get through that we don't care that they have foreign ships under their control and that when they take the next one their headache will not improve.

I would probably have a rather different opinion of this if my son was the first engineer on the tanker.
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Old 03-04-2011
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It may be useful to consider that ransom is only one goal of most 'pirates'. Consider that a cockpit winch from a 30' boat could sell for about 3 years salary for the average Somalian.

Just taking the sails and making a water catch basin isn't a bad approach, for instance. What would we suppose a halyard can be traded for to a guy who needs to reinforce his fishing nets? Or those fancy electronics sold across the boarder to all the rich folks in Kenya...

There is a lot more going on than just capturing white people. It's just that the captured white people are a lot more interesting to talk about than the other stuff.

Piracy doesn't start or stop with killing people. At least, it hasn't yet.
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Old 03-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwaltersmi View Post
Stop the paid ransoms = stop the pirates. Pirating occurs for one reason and one reason only: money.

Stopping ransom payments either means hostages will suffer or cruisers/merchants must avoid the Indian Ocean all together. This is much easier said than done and is the crux of the issue.
You said a mouthful there. The problem is that it isn't governments that are making ransom payments. It's corporations wanting to avoid the hardship and drama of having employees murdered in the Indian Ocean; it's families who empty their bank accounts to try to get loved ones back. It makes perfect sense to us sitting comfortably at home, but when your father or daughter or brother comes up on some grainy video at gunpoint in some God-forsaken village in Somalia, it must be hard to justify not paying the ransom. Similarly, the bottom line for a large multinational shipping corporation is that it's cheaper to pay X million dollars to these creeps than to lose a ship, its cargo, and its crew.

I do know one thing that absolutely is not going to solve it, and that's bringing the pirates to court. Doesn't matter if it's US military court or US criminal court or UN court or municipal court in Walla Walla, WA. It is totally ineffectual. Hanging/Keel-hauling them on the spot isn't going to be an instant cure-all either, but it (a) reduces the number of potential and actual pirates by one each time you do it, (b) may (or may not) act as a deterrent to potential pirates, and (c) makes me feel a whole lot better about the whole thing. It does make it a war of attrition, though, and that's a God-awful mess.

Stopping the ransom money? Sounds good, if you can make it happen. But this namby-pamby slap-on-the-wrist "diplomatic talks" route is for the birds.
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Old 03-04-2011
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It is all well and good to say don't pay ransoms......and most governments have a policy of NOT paying ransoms, but how do you stop individuals/private firms and organizations from paying ransoms???

Especially when in the majority of cases, the ransoms do actually lead to the realease of the hostages??? If someone I cared about became a hostage, and I had reason to believe that a wad of cash would get them released then why wouldn't I pay???
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Originally Posted by jcalvinmarks View Post
Hanging/Keel-hauling them on the spot isn't going to be an instant cure-all either, but it (a) reduces the number of potential and actual pirates by one each time you do it, (b) may (or may not) act as a deterrent to potential pirates, and (c) makes me feel a whole lot better about the whole thing. It does make it a war of attrition, though, and that's a God-awful mess.
This is the chest thumping rambo stuff I asked we avoid in my first post.....It sounds great....but come on, really keel haul the pirates?????

It is 2011, how is any western country......especially yours(US) going to start hanging/keel people in the en masse, without any judicial process and get away with it???

I could get a response like that from a group of 11 year old school boys....what I want to know is what can be done, that would actually make a difference??
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  #18  
Old 03-07-2011
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what I want to know is what can be done, that would actually make a difference??





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Quote:
Originally Posted by chall03 View Post
It is 2011, how is any western country......especially yours(US) going to start hanging/keel people in the en masse, without any judicial process and get away with it???
What do you mean, "especially" the US? Or what? We'll be regarded as bullies? We'll be denigrated and berated in front of the UN? People in other, smaller countries will make snide comments about us?

The point was that no, executing them on the spot isn't going to solve it. But we'll do no worse that way than pussyfooting around with them, trying to figure out where to bring them to court.

If I had said "kill them all and let God sort them out," that would be one thing. That would have been absurd (case in point, see the post directly above this one). But the question was what can be done that would make a difference. Take a harder-line against pirates when you find them, that will make a difference. It may not solve the whole issue, but nobody seems to have an answer that does.

Incidentally, why is it the default position of the "educated" community that force is never an acceptable solution to any problem? You say "War is not the answer" (I don't know if you've ever said that, but I'm playing the odds here by guessing that it's a thought that has crossed your mind, if not your lips), and I say "that depends on the question."

And by the way, the idea of executing pirates apprehended in the act while in international waters is not so unreasonable. If I'm not mistaken, there was a similar problem with piracy a few hundred years ago. How did they solve that, I wonder? Is it barbaric? Yes, it is. But if playing patty-cakes is so damn effective, why is this problem not already solved?

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Old 03-07-2011
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Originally Posted by chall03 View Post
I am interested in thoughtful responses on what people REALLY think is a practical/realistic/workable approach to again allowing shipping and yachts to transit in the Gulf of Aden/North Indian Ocean???
This is opinion only (obviously!)

I don't think the solution is that quick.
You Americans can put your guns away as that isn't on your Foreign Policy and won't happen.

That third of Somalia is lawless and the long term solution is stabilising a government there. Unfortunately it will be a fundamentalist Islamic government. 'Unfortunate'... thats just our 'view' of a lack of separation of powers.

Until then I think what we are doing is slowly begining to show dividends.
19 captured/killed with the 4 dead Americans is a good outcome purely on the numbers.
Every pirate killed or captured will show them its better to go back to fishing or to surrender when a navy ship approaches. I daresay the US ship offered the pirates a very amiable resettlement in the USA if they had given up. I'm sure thats what was happening when the hostages were shot.

The 'don't pay ransoms' philosophy is the correct one, however its the insurance companies that have been paying out - They don't care how much they pay out, nor how much the premiums go up as they just benefit from the extra profit on the increased premium at their same margin.

As large companies like MSC (who must be Self-Insurers due to their size) start to bring out their own patrol boats, and force Insurance companies to do the same, and assist in their own dilemma it will aid the navy's ability.

One must remember that piracy is NOT a local thing: Its Al Qaeda or similar. Bombing local fishing communities will not help. Its organised crime - not a few dumb-bum fishermen now rich beyond their wildest dreams who inexplicably keep on doing it though richer than all their country-mates.

The only military action that could be useful is small level incursions to rescue hostages/ships. But the loss of hostages lives would be significant. It hasn't been tried yet. Targeted executions have worked in a number of countires by the USA, Russians, Isralies etc

The oxymoron in my statements is that if Al Qaeda is involved to the degree that I think they are then any new government (Of Puntlannd, not the whole of Somalia. Somalia will be disected into 3 parts) there will be pro-pirate. But new governments quickly learn they have to toe the world line.... Though a country can do without money or aid or government is understandable, but a Government can't do without money, aid or an economy

So for the next 2 or 3 years yachts should have a look at Captain Cook's routes from Batavia to the Cape of Good Hope.



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Last edited by MarkofSeaLife; 03-07-2011 at 03:05 PM.
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