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Old 17-11-2008, 21:17   #16
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realism

Determining whether or not to add weaponry to a merchant vessel will be up to the insuring agents, not the ship owners or operators, and not the governments of the ship owners. (Although the governments of the ports of trade will certainly have something to say.)

The various navies who are moving into the region are not about to use heavy calibre weaponry near a supertanker. The Exxon Valdez ain't nothing compared to what would happen if they sank the vessel in a fire fight.

The reality is the pirates are currently managing larger revenue streams than any previous government of Somalia had available to them. The UN estimated up to 2000 active members of pirate gangs a month ago, but that number has likely tripled in the past month But that money is moving internationally, which is why they can keep engaging in attacks.

The intelligent, logical step is to blockade the entire coast line, engaging in collective punishment for all of Somalia for the actions of a few. Which of course the international community will not actually do.
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Old 17-11-2008, 21:20   #17
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All the stuff we see in the media about the wonders of modern surveillance must be crap.
It's top secret! Don't be telling any one.

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I envision the installation of formidable firepower on these cargo ships, crew training in anti-piracy tactics, and even mercenaries who are hired on specifically to be an anti-piracy force.
I think they have enough to handle being sailors. If you saw the news tonight you would have seen the interview with a captain of a ship taken this summer. Shoulder fired weapons aimed at a tanker is an easier shot than against a small fast moving boat. They are not your ordinary sword carrying eye patch wearing pirates.

They use fast boats and military weapons. Automatics and grenade launchers are the standard fare. These last ones had rockets. I know of no country that allows the use of such weapons on any commercial ship. I doubt any of that will change. There is no where near enough crew on a tanker to defend against such attacks.
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Old 17-11-2008, 21:26   #18
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an interesting point

The announcement of this hijacking had a measurable effect on world oil prices. If Somali pirates are beginning to have a direct effect on global trade, I think we might expect that some of the international players will decide its time to take off the gloves.

If they ever stop eying each other, that is.
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Old 17-11-2008, 22:11   #19
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The reality is the pirates are currently managing larger revenue streams than any previous government of Somalia had available to them.
I'm not seeing the big numbers in that comparison. They may be making more than Haiti too. International players are not going to decide anything. The moment in history would be noteworthy. It's international significance is not likely to rise beyond an odd pirate attack or two. It's old news in a few days.

In the spectrum of large scale criminal activity and violence piracy isn't even on the bottom of the list of the important issues.
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Old 18-11-2008, 00:51   #20
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The announcement of this hijacking had a measurable effect on world oil prices. If Somali pirates are beginning to have a direct effect on global trade, I think we might expect that some of the international players will decide its time to take off the gloves.

If they ever stop eying each other, that is.

Just a thought….OPEC arranging one of their VLCC tankers to be hijacked so as to boos oil prices……Nah…too farfetched!
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Old 18-11-2008, 06:44   #21
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I agree with some of the other sentiment mentioned here already, however, cargo ships being armed is really not going to do much. Private security force on board? I dont see that being very effective due to the size of arms and weaponry that would be required to handle the job effectively.

A squad of private security (ex. special forces or SAS) with M203's and M16A2's still are out gunned by a military style speed boats armed with RPG's, and turret mounted .50 cal automatic on the bow. The scale of weaponry that would be required on the cargo ships is problematic to multinational vessels having to dock in numerous different countrys who would staunchly object to a foreign vessel arriving at their port with a CWIS or .50 cals mounted all over it in the hands of some sailors who have been given some training.

Temporary solution may be for U.N personell to station posts on the vessels through the zones at high risk, and if attacked, proper military support can come to the aid. Obvious problem here, is that the U.N. forces are a joke in many respects when it comes to their Rules of Engagement but.... we have to start somewhere.

Until the pirates themselves are faced with an acute case of death, and destruction of all of their hardware each and everytime, I dont see any improvement. You know these guys, and their backers are having the party of the century right now with their score. Even more so when they get their bank wire or ransom paid out for releasing the crew and the ship. Then they can go buy better boats, more weapons, and recruit more crews to do more of the same.

Im all for making artifical reef structures out of the boats that are attacking.
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Old 18-11-2008, 07:00   #22
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NPR this a.m. said the cargo was Saudi and worth over $100 million, making it not only the largest vessel in the area yet attacked, but also--by far--the richest cargo siezed. With the numbers becoming this large, it seems that OPEC and/or the Saudis would have an interest in underwriting air patrol of the airspace. It blows my mind that this boat was actually off of Kenya and 450 nm's offshore.

The alternative, I guess, would be to take Eyl--where all of the boats are taken--but it is apparently full of pirated vessels and crew, heavily fortified, and has a very large civilian population. In other words, it would be at best a massacre of pirates and civilians and hostages, at worst another failure like Mogadishu.

This is a complex issue.
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Old 18-11-2008, 07:29   #23
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My friends (and others) would certainly consider my politics to be quite far left but not here. Piracy is not a new problem and history has shown it requires an aggressive military response rather than paying ransom. In fact "history repeats itself" seems at work (the following comes from Wikipedia)

In 1783 the United States made peace with, and gained recognition from, the British monarchy, and in 1784 the first American ship was seized by pirates from Morocco, which in 1777 had been the first independent nation to recognize the United States. After six months of negotiation, a treaty was signed, $60,000 cash was paid, and trade began.[13] But Algeria was different. In 1785 two ships (the Maria of Boston and the Dauphin of Philadelphia) were seized, everything sold and their crews ordered to build port fortifications....

...American ships sailing in the Mediterranean chose to travel close to larger convoys of other European powers who had bribed the pirates. Payments in ransom and tribute to the Barbary states amounted to 20% of United States government annual revenues in 1800.[15] In the early 1800s, President Thomas Jefferson proposed a league of smaller nations to patrol the area, but the United States could not contribute. For the prisoners, Algeria wanted $60,000, while America offered only $4,000. Jefferson said a million dollars would buy them off, but Congress would only appropriate $80,000. For eleven years, Americans who lived in Algeria lived as slaves to Algerian Moors....

...On Jefferson's inauguration as president in 1801, Yussif Karamanli, the Pasha (or Bashaw) of Tripoli, demanded $225,000 from the new administration. (In 1800, Federal revenues totaled a little over $10 million.) Putting his long-held beliefs into practice, Jefferson refused the demand. Consequently, in May 1801, the Pasha declared war on the United States, not through any formal written documents but by cutting down the flagstaff in front of the U.S. Consulate. Morocco, Algiers, and Tunis soon followed their ally in Tripoli.
In response, Jefferson sent a group of frigates to defend American interests in the Mediterranean, and informed Congress. Although Congress never voted on a formal declaration of war, they did authorize the President to instruct the commanders of armed vessels of the United States to seize all vessels and goods of the Pasha of Tripoli "and also to cause to be done all such other acts of precaution or hostility as the state of war will justify."

Enterprise capturing Tripoli


The frigate USS Enterprise defeated the 14-gun Tripolitan corsair Tripoli after a fierce but one-sided battle on August 1, 1801.
The American navy went unchallenged on the sea, but still the question remained undecided. Jefferson pressed the issue the following year, with an increase in military force and deployment of many of the navy's best ships to the region throughout 1802. USS Argus, USS Chesapeake, USS Constellation, USS Constitution, USS Enterprise, USS Intrepid, USS Philadelphia and USS Syren all saw service during the war under the overall command of Commodore Edward Preble. Throughout 1803, Preble set up and maintained a blockade of the Barbary ports and executed a campaign of raids and attacks against the cities' fleets...


There's much more in Wikipedia that offers jaw dropping parallels to today - and this was by no means just an American battle. Most of Europe was involved.




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Old 18-11-2008, 08:01   #24
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I have no doubt that a deck mounted Vulcan gun or similar could chew a pirate boat to scrap metal in seconds. The other side of the coin is that you are sitting on thousands of barrels of flammable liquids and one good hit on your vessel would incinerate a fairly wide radius. At the other end of the spectrum, if you are out with your family on a cruising sailboat and a well armed group assails you, your fear for your family's safety would make you want to avoid a shootout. Maybe sending in a few armed to the teeth decoy vessels would work.

Something tells me that causing grief for the ports of call that the pirates frequent may be in the cards as well as adopting a more robust military response, even at the risk of innocent lives and cargoes.
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Old 18-11-2008, 09:30   #25
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Humm.......
Let it make port. Give them three days to return all stolen vessels and hostages or else. In three days drop about 400 pounds of white phosphorus right in the middle of the tanker if they don't comply. They will not profit from the theft of any of the vessels in the port, will need new pirates, boats, and even a new base harbor maybe. Piracy pays right now. Spend their ill-gotten funds for them. No profit or even expensive rebuilding costs and most of them will quit. They exist because idiots pay them. If the money stops, so does piracy.
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Old 18-11-2008, 09:37   #26
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Announcement

A norwegian shipping firm Odjfell SE has decided its entire fleet of nearly 100 vessels will no longer use the Suez, but by way of the Cape of Good Hope.

CBC.ca
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Old 18-11-2008, 10:16   #27
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YEP,

They have to depart for somewhere, and eventually go home. That's the place to use those smart weapons.
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Old 18-11-2008, 10:27   #28
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YEP,

They have to depart for somewhere, and eventually go home. That's the place to use those smart weapons.
Hmmm...that might put us at war with Somalia. Think we could win?
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Old 18-11-2008, 10:35   #29
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David,

I am completely in question about that. It doesn't seem like we have done much winning recently, but it's not always about winning. Sometimes if you just get a piece of the enemy they will think second thoughts.
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Old 18-11-2008, 10:54   #30
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Hmmm...that might put us at war with Somalia. Think we could win?

With the current president or the president elect?
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