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Old 06-10-2011, 20:51   #1
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NY Times Article About Piracy

A rather excellent and thorough article about the situation off of Somalia appeared in yesterday's NY Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/09/ma...pagewanted=all

Apologies if this has already been posted.
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Old 06-10-2011, 23:32   #2
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Re: NY Times Article about Piracy

Thanks for the excellent article.
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:19   #3
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Re: NY Times Article about Piracy

The article describes $20,000/month expenses to keep hostages, $200,000 translator fees, $5.8, $9.5 mln ransoms... That's a lot of money flowing through Somalia.

I also found it interesting to learn that the article links illegal fishing in Somalia waters with birth of piracy. Not every country is as protective of their waters. If UK decided to protect their waters around Falkland Islands, world's fish supply would be reduced by a sizable 30% (?)...
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Old 15-10-2011, 12:13   #4
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Re: NY Times Article about Piracy

It's like the old west hiring hired guns to kill the other hired guns, either way it's about the money and the abiality to kill first without a conscience that will save lives.
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Old 16-10-2011, 14:23   #5
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Re: NY Times Article about Piracy

One word, one cure,
Homer: It's pronounced 'nucular'. Nucular.
I have been to Somalia,before it was cool...
Homer: It's pronounced 'nucular'. Nucular.
Yes, it is an easy cure.
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Old 16-10-2011, 19:26   #6
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Re: NY Times Article About Piracy

Thanks, good article.

I do firmly believe that all humans are pretty much alike and, given the right circumstances, the same behavior would be common elsewhere as well.
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Old 21-10-2011, 10:32   #7
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Re: NY Times Article About Piracy

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I do firmly believe that all humans are pretty much alike and, given the right circumstances, the same behavior would be common elsewhere as well.
Hpeer, that's the commonly accepted & politically correct verbiage. But having spent several years in Africa, I can say that it's totally incorrect.

As written in the book Guns, Germs, & Steel, sub-Saharan Africa (& several other areas of the world) did not have domesticatible plants or animals until they were brought from Europe. That means the Africans were (usually nomadic) hunter-gatherers until relatively recently. This isn't their fault, it's the hand they were dealt at birth.

Domesticatible plants & animals allowed the west thousands of years to develop socially, building towns, cities, & civilizations - learning to work & live together harmoniously. But now the west is assuming that Africa can catch up on our thousands of years of social development in just a few decades. That's just plain silly. But it's considered politically incorrect to state this obvious observation.

In truth, African cultures are fundamentally different from western cultures, in ways that the west just can't understand. To believe that they think or feel or will act the same as us is to invite failure in whatever you're trying to accomplish.
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Old 21-10-2011, 10:47   #8
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Re: NY Times Article About Piracy

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
Thanks, good article.

I do firmly believe that all humans are pretty much alike and, given the right circumstances, the same behavior would be common elsewhere as well.

That would be where you are wrong. In simular breakdowns of law and infrastructure the people of western society banded together and rebuilt, giving generously of their money and work to the comon good. And elected ad hoc leaders to enforce the law and direct rebuilding efforts until normalcy was re-established.

The people of this region engaged in tribal warfare, piracy, and slavery, throughout their history except the brief period of colonial rule by a western nation. The nation of Somalia had a working government until the people of somalia overthrew it.
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Old 21-10-2011, 13:23   #9
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Re: NY Times Article About Piracy

Oh, there have NEVER EVER been pirates who were English or French or ..............
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Old 21-10-2011, 13:36   #10
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Re: NY Times Article About Piracy

Let the games begin!
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Old 25-10-2011, 01:19   #11
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Re: NY Times Article About Piracy

Cruisers on small slow yachts will never be able to withstand a pirate attack any more than the average couple can withstand a carjacking. The problem might be mitigated somewhat if international law allowed the traditional piracy response of arming commercial shipping. It is interesting to see all the high-tech methods of using expensive sound and laser devices when old technology would be sufficient.

At the highest point on a commercial ship a special purpose weapon could be allowed and inspected for compliance - perhaps a maximum of two. This would be a recoil-less rifle for which the specifications are well known and there are many on the surplus market. Such a recoil-less rifle could be mounted so that its field of fire is restricted so that it could only engage boats within a specified range - perhaps from 50 meters to 5000 meters. The weapon could be mounted on an open tower on the superstructure which could be relatively light weight and (they could be mounted and operated from a small jeep) and have minimal windage. It could be kept, covered, with the muzzle locked in a vertical position so it could be seen to be harmless in peaceful waters by craft having inspection or law enforcement duties. In pirate waters it could be unlocked at the direction of the captain and prepared for use quickly upon the approach of suspected pirate craft.

The recoil-less rifle would only use special ammunition and fuzing optimized for the destruction of small boats. Since the recoil-less rifle would only be fired down, the back blast would be directed up away from the commercial ship. Probably the simplest fuze to use would be an update of the proximity fuze developed in WW II. As it neared the water surface at an optimum distance the fuze would function without the crew needing to make any setting changes. The shell would use two failsafes: 1) the thermal battery operating the fuze would only operate for enough time for the shell to travel the maximum 5 km set range and would then function; and 2) a separate 'burn through' fuze would also function the munition at its maximum range.

The munition would mainly be filled with inert steel disks which were pre-cut into quarter inch cubes (except for the filler pieces near circumference). A base charge of high explosive would be detonated by the fuze at the appropriate distance which would propel the steel shrapnel out the front of the rapidly spinning shell into a wide dispersal pattern (think of a flying shotgun with a wide dispersion pattern). The amount of high explosive used will also stop the larger shell body in its forward flight so it will drop into the sea without further danger to the crew of the commercial ship.

One now needs a simple method of targeting a fast boat from a relatively stable larger ship. Some years ago the USMC fielded a light anti-tank tracked vehicle called an 'Ontos' which mounted six 106mm recoil-less rifles. To aim this array they had a modified .50 caliber Browning heavy machine gun which fired a round which matched the ballistics of the recoil-less rifle. The crew was then able to fire the smaller round until they could see that they were on target and then fire the larger weapon. One could simply update this system by using one of the current .50 caliber sniper rifles that use this bullet and load it to match the ballistics - likely using a bright tracer. Such rifles typically come with optical scopes, infrared, and thermal imaging sights to make it useful day or night. As an added advantage, the spotting rounds would act as a 'warning' shot to encourage pirate attack craft to disengage prior to using lethal force.

So there is a relatively inexpensive system, usable by minimally trained commercial crew, which could be rapidly retrofitted to most commercial craft. Once commercial ships were able to protect themselves, much of the money would fall out of the piracy enterprise and the then, being unprofitable, the piracy problem would likely fade away as it has done several times over the last several hundred years. Not optimum perhaps but doable if international law could be modified to allow it to happen.
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Old 25-10-2011, 06:14   #12
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Re: NY Times Article About Piracy

seems a strange international system where lawabiding cruisers can't carry weapons because such possession and use is illegal in some civilized countries, thus leaving said cruisers defenseless when attacked by uncivilized pirates, against whom the civilized countries seem to be ineffective .

i think i'll stay on the great lakes ..
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Old 25-10-2011, 07:45   #13
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Re: NY Times Article About Piracy

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Originally Posted by Bruce626 View Post
Cruisers on small slow yachts will never be able to withstand a pirate attack any more than the average couple can withstand a carjacking.
Actually there have been numerous cases were a carjacking was aborted after the carjackers found out the cars occupants were armed.

There have also been documented reports including someone on this board that has successfully repelled pirate boarders armed only with a shotgun.

Realy your idea of a recoiless rifle is a good one, but any weapon permanently mounted on the ship, and manned by at least one military trained crewman would be an effective deterrant.

It has never been that we didn't have the weapons or technology to end piracy. It has always been the rules favor the bad guys, as the good guys are disarmed victims.

No one, not even the most desperate pirate wants to engage in a fair gun battle where either side can take casualties. As soon as there becomes a pirate body count, it will stop.

As far as those saying using force will cause it to escalate, balony. What are they going to do? start using F-16 fighter jets to straif the freighters??? No they don't have any. If they did, they would already be using them.


Using RPG's and automatic weapons is pretty much the end of any escalation they are capable of. If they kill the hostages they lose any bargaining power they have.
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Old 26-10-2011, 08:04   #14
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Re: NY Times Article About Piracy

"Actually there have been numerous cases were a carjacking was aborted after the carjackers found out the cars occupants were armed." ==> Yes, but precisely why I said 'average couple' who are typically not armed - like the average cruising couple in third country areas (the rule seems to be that the more you need firearms, the less likely you are legally allowed to have them).

Carjackers are relatively easy though - you know they are going to the driver's side window. Some years ago I developed a simple anti jacking retrofit which was nothing more than a powerful spiral spring with a sharp metal bar attached. A simple release lever at the driver's left hand pulled the restraining pin which allowed the sharp steel bar to smartly snap forward and cutting off the jacker's legs at mid calf as it impacted against a heavy board bolted to the car frame. Pirates are a bit more of a complex problem as their boats are faster than the typical cruiser, there are more of them than you, and they typically are much better armed with a lot less to lose. Personally, I would not care to go up against a boat load (or two) of pirates even if I were armed with the Mossberg Mariner.

"If they kill the hostages they lose any bargaining power they have." ==> Perhaps, but I believe that there have been recent instances where pirates have killed hostages despite the loss of bargaining power. In any event. this is not an academic discussion for me as I will be cruising in the Philippines where foreigners are not allowed to have firearms (or even air guns).
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Old 26-10-2011, 09:11   #15
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Re: NY Times Article About Piracy

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... a special purpose weapon could be allowed ... The recoil-less rifle would only use special ammunition ... A base charge of high explosive would be detonated ... Personally, I would not care to go up against a boat load of pirates even if I were armed with the Mossberg Mariner... this is not an academic discussion for me as I will be cruising in the Philippines where foreigners are not allowed to have firearms.
Bruce - a personal request: could you please tone down the weaponry discussions? OK, you know your stuff, but you can't carry, we can't carry, & discussing it as you do gets folks all hot & bothered, which often results in otherwise useful threads getting shut down.

You & I both monitor most of the piracy threads & with good reason - we're both out on the sharp & pointy front line of this whole issue. Our perspectives are useful here because we're some of the very few who have to deal with these issues personally instead of hypothetically. But rather than getting threads shut down, perhaps we can use these forums more effectively. Thanks!
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