Piracy and American Intervention

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by Pete_N, Apr 16, 2009.

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  1. I know the story on the kidnapped American captain from the Maersk Alabama has been well publicised for a while now, but what is the general consensus on RR regarding the USN decision to shoot and kill three Somali pirates in order to rescue him?

    On the face of it I completely agree with taking a hard line against the pirates and showing them that holding people and ships to ransom is not always a licence to print money, but I can't help feeling that courtesy of an itchy Yank trigger finger, Somali pirates have been galvanised and given more impetus to prove their mettle, thus the RN and other navies taking part in counter-piracy operations have got a far more difficult task and face far greater risks. I know the Americans have never been accused of adopting a subtle approach and as soon as a US ship was involved in a pirate capture it was only a matter of time before shooting the baddies took preference over negotiation, but are there any realistic alternatives to risking the lives of hostages by firing on pirates? Or would the decision not to use force increase the chances that hostages would end up being killed?
  2. Since leaving the mob I spent 2 years in the merch before doing my present job. Now me personally, i think they should shoot a lot more of the scum. If they know they are going to stand a real chance of ending up dead, no matter who they pick on they may go and do something different. Too much political correctness and human rights issues. just shoot the feckers! Would your oppo getting shot galvanise your decision to follow in a life of international crime?
  3. I'm not sure if the loss of an oppo would be encouraging but I can only speak hypothetically, and in my opinion when the only real money to be made is through crime, and when that 'real money' is millions of dollars then all it would do is persuade me to arm myself more heavily next time I went on the rob.
  4. I am for the large shipping companies paying for and carrying a small band of ex soldiers complete with weapons. these weapons to include grenade launchers and anti tank missiles.
    I'm fairly certain that once a few pirates had been blown out of the water they would think twice about attacking ships.
  5. (granny)

    (granny) Book Reviewer

    Are you suggesting that we should always roll over and pay the ransom?
  6. Shoot the bloody lot of them. If they don't like it then don't become a pirate lol
  7. It should be a private sector decision, not a public sector one. the shipping companies pay insurance and the insurance companies are prepared to pay the ransoms, and charge premiums accordingly.

    Given the waterspace area to be covered, there is little real risk of the pirates actually being shot up, so there is little disincentive given the returns available.

    The main focus at the moment is Horn of Africa, piracy is as much a problem in West Africa, the Atlantic coast of South America and others. The Somali base area is particularly well established and operating on an industrial scale, so is grabbing the headlines.
  8. Whilst it's a reasonable suggestion it would be interesting to see what the insurance companies would do to the premiums if that became more routine than it is now. Essentially some companies choose to do it now anyway, but there is little information available about the actual cost and the cost/ benefit.
  9. Not at all, I'm asking if there are alternatives to using force when there are hostages to consider. The idea of employing security teams to protect ships is a decent idea; I appreciate that this still advocates the use of firepower but at least the guns are firing to prevent pirates from boarding, as opposed to allowing them aboard and giving them the upper hand.

    How about paying a ransom and leaving tracking devices embedded within the loot? Once the pirates disembark they can be picked up by naval forces once the civvies are safe and sound.
  10. Paying ransom's doesn't always mean the hostages will be released or will be safe and sound though.
  11. the general experience with HoA piracy has been that they are. The motivation for the piracy is the ransom, if they get a reputation for not fulfilling the release then there is less incentive for the insurance companies to pay the ransom, so the revenue stream dries up.

    the nature of piracy is quite regional, South America it tends to be about straightforward robbery, hence a high likelihood of killing.

    The main reason that the EU and UN are interested HoA is that the disruption from piracy has significant financial implications.
  12. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    I would have thought that there is merit in the idea of a relatively small force embarking on one ship to take it through the danger area(s) and then picking up another ship for the return journey.
  13. ...and then I suppose if ransoms were paid and pirates were regularly tracked and captured after releasing hostages, there would be a trend for not releasing captives until priates were able to escape the clutches of the law their ill gotten gains. That entirely dismisses my suggestion but hey ho, it happens.
  14. Noooo surely not convoys?!
  15. Why don't the task group down their escort the vessels like the old Atlantic convoys instead. When ever a military ship goes through the Malaca straits the merchant ships hug the warship for protection. I've experienced this a few times transiting that strait
  16. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    There are insurance problems involved if official convoys are formed, so I am led to believe.
  17. Insurance is one thing, lifes at stake are another... Shoot to kill!
    The pirates themselfs KNOW human rights will make them take a chance in doing what they do but killing them will make them think twice as well, I agree.
  18. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    I think you'll find that once you are dead thinking stops :roll:
  19. I'm very surprised no human rights lawyer hasn't jumped on the band wagon hear banging on about "shoot to kill policy" etc ad nauseum
  20. Pete_N, do you think that as hostages get released a big suitcase with millions of dollars in it gets handed over? These pirates are well organised groups not a few opportunist individuals. I'm betting any ransom will be wire transferred to a bank account somewhere and then laundered. Very difficult to trace or it would already have been done.

    As Karma points out, the Somalian pirates tend to release the captured vessels and their hostages unharmed once a ransom has been paid, and I've not yet heard of any instances yet that show this not to be the case. It is big business for them.

    Having said that, they are carring out major crimes and to ignore them just because the insurance companies are paying out, which as a result affects you and I as the consumer paying higher prices for the goods, is not acceptable. You can't turn a blind eye to major crime because no one is being deliberately harmed.

    It is costing all the countries involved in anti-piracy quite a bit of money to keep ships on station, I'm not sure what assets we currently have in the area in that role but I'd bet the MoD would prefer to use them elsewhere.

    As for using lethal force, what's the point of sending in large military assests if you're only going to wag your finger at them. If you've got a big stick you need to show that you are willing to use it. I know the Yanks are considered a bit trigger happy but I think they got it right this time. Let's face it, if you go out to work and think you have a better than average chance of not coming home because some well trained military person has put a fcuk off big lump of lead in you at speed quick, it might make you consider a different form of employment.

    Again, as Karma points out, there is one hell of a lot of oggin for the pirates to hide in, so I think that once a navy gets it's teeth in it shouldn't let go. The pirates should get the choice of surrendering peacefully or receiving that lead sleeping tablet.

    Slim mentions the idea of using ex-military security teams which I agree would be a good idea and probably very cost effective for the companies involved. Anybody fancy starting up a business partnership?

    One of the things that might be worth considering is what the money that the pirates obtain is being used for?

    Somalia is largely under the control of a group with links to al-Qaeda

    Somali is a vital new base for Al-Qaeda

    Somalia pirates shuttling al Qaeda terrorists and weapons for al-Shabab, sharing ransoms

    Although not everyone agrees

    “I do not have any evidence that the pirates have links with Al-Qaeda...â€

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