I believe that international maritime law needs to be changed. Under exceptional circumstances (transiting the Indian Ocean, for example), commercial vessels should be allowed to carry heavily armed security detachments from private security firms. This would aid in deterring these low-lifes from attempting their crimes. I also agree with a previous poster in that other countries need to step up to the plate and provide more naval support in the region.
Firstly Norsewind, The US is in effect one of the smallest players in the GofA, Most major maritime nations, including the EU, China
, Indiam russia
and others are present in significant force. If you look at pirates captured, the US Navy
hardly figures at all.
Secondly private commercial vessles now regulary hire armed protection. I have a commercial captian friend, who have transisted the area, protected by a private ex-Spetnaz force. Also the Russian Navy
has been chartered to provide close support to commercial vessels. Theres no need for any changes to martime law.
, is big business, EU NAVFOR has estimated that its costs $50,000 to bring in a ship thats pays $9 million in ransome. With those margins this problem will not end soon. There is even a "pirate " stock exchange operating that allows "financiers" to fund missions in return. These guys have access to all the latest equipment
and are regulary interviewed by the worlds news agencies.
In fact they recently announced a "sale", explaining that they were dropping the cost of ramsons in an effort to "move" some stock, !!. Really its true.
The locals, now see this as a legimate business, they get a cut too. Its long since moved on from the original fishermans complaints, Up and down the coast of Somalia, there are hostage boats. in fact one of the porblems is they are running out of space to berth this stuff and the manpowered needed to guard the hostages.
Its a fatal mistake to charactise these people as idiots. They have shown that they can take on the worlds navies, primarily becuase we have rules of engagement that are designed firstly to protect innocent crews. The pirates know that.
BTW, Religion has nothing to do with it, The somalian problem has nothing to do with Jihadism, Muslim,Christan and dissenter ships are targetted.
Until we are preapred to sacrifice, or potentially sacrifice, innocent crew, we cannot change the rules of engagement. Thats a debate that needs to had, are the lives of inncocent crew potentially forfeit in order to wipe out the scurge of pirarcy. In many conflicts decisions have gone either way, for example in Palestine innocents suffered in order to deter combatents, whereas for example in Northern Ireland
, wholesale military action was not taken, in order to protect the lives of ordinary citizens . ( mods- this is not a political statement merely an observation as its compares to GofA).
I think we are now close to the case where the lives of the hostages will have to be compromised in order to end the scurge. Its a position I am uncomfortable with, deeply so, sitting here in my armchair, but I am beginning to see that there will be no other solution.
of EU NAVFOR has stated that with the present RoE, they will merely supress this problem, not remove it. Also since the pirates has access to increasing large and self sufficient "motherships", they are expanding their areas of operations, We could be dealing with the whole Indian Ocean soon.