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Piracy and American Intervention

The_Jimmy

War Hero
Been a quite week for emails from home..until this email below turned up...



"I received this from a friend who is highly placed in the US Intelligence community. We believe it should be widely disseminated.

...Having spoken to some SEAL pals here in Virginia Beach yesterday and asking why this thing dragged out for 4 days, I got the following:

1. BHO wouldn't authorize the DEVGRU/NSWC SEAL teams to the scene for 36 hours going against OSC (on scene commander) recommendation.
2. Once they arrived, BHO imposed restrictions on their ROE that they couldn't do anything unless the hostage's life was in "imminent" danger
3. The first time the hostage jumped, the SEALS had the raggies all sighted in, but could not fire due to ROE restriction
4. When the navy RIB came under fire as it approached with supplies, no fire was returned due to ROE restrictions. As the raggies were shooting at the RIB, they were exposed and the SEALS had them all dialed in.
5. BHO specifically denied two rescue plans developed by the Bainbridge CPN and SEAL teams
6. Bainbridge CPN and SEAL team CDR finally decide they have the OpArea and OSC authority to solely determine risk to hostage. 4 hours later, 3 dead raggies
7. BHO immediately claims credit for his "daring and decisive" behaviour. I'm downgrading Obama's performace to D-. Only reason it's not an F is that the hostage survived.

Read the following accurate account.

Philips’ first leap into the warm, dark water of the Indian Ocean hadn’t worked out as well. With the Bainbridge in range and a rescue by his country’s Navy possible, Philips threw himself off of his lifeboat prison, enabling Navy shooters onboard the destroyer a clear shot at his captors — and none was taken.

The guidance from National Command Authority — the president of the United States, Barack Obama — had been clear: a peaceful solution was the only acceptable outcome to this standoff unless the hostage’s life was in clear, extreme danger.

The next day, a small Navy boat approaching the floating raft was fired on by the Somali pirates — and again no fire was returned and no pirates killed. This was again due to the cautious stance assumed by Navy personnel thanks to the combination of a lack of clear guidance from Washington and a mandatefrom the commander in chief’s staff not to act until Obama, a man with no background of dealing with such issues and no track record of decisiveness, decided that any outcome other than a “peaceful solution†would be acceptable.

After taking fire from the Somali kidnappers again Saturday night, the onscene commander decided he’d had enough.

Keeping his authority to act in the case of a clear and present danger to the hostage’s life and having heard nothing from Washington since yet another request to mount a rescue operation had been denied the day before, the Navy officer — unnamed in all media reports to date — decided the AK47 one captor had leveled at Philips’ back was a threat to the hostage’s life and ordered the NSWC team to take their shots.

Three rounds downrange later, all three brigands became enemy KIA and Philips was safe.

There is upside, downside, and spinside to the series of events over the last week that culminated in yesterday’s dramatic rescue of an American hostage.

Almost immediately following word of the rescue, the Obama administration and its supporters claimed victory against pirates in the Indian Ocean and declared that the dramatic end to the standoff put down questions of the inexperienced president’s toughness and decisiveness.

Despite the Obama administration’s (and its sycophants’) attempt to spin yesterday ’s success as a result of bold, decisive leadership by the inexperienced president, the reality is nothing of the sort.

What should have been a standoff lasting only hours — as long as it took the USS Bainbridge and its team of NSWC operators to steam to the location — became an embarrassing four day and counting standoff between a ragtag handful of criminals with rifles and a U.S. Navy warship".

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(granny)

RIP
Book Reviewer
Pete_N said:
AfterSSE said:
Hmmm they get to keep their property, as in they are not paying the shipping company the full amount of what the ship is worth if the pirates decided to keep/sink/sell the thing...which in turn would increase that shipping companies premiums as they would be a risky business to cover insurance wise.... :wink:

I'm assuming Granny intended to point out that paying a few mercenaries on the biggest and most lucrative ships will reduce premiums below their current level because of the reduced likelihood that ransoms need to be paid, which does seem to make sense.

However, I've got to question whether or not the insurance companies want a massively reduced risk of piracy; they're making a healthy profit as things stand (because otherwise they would pull out of the market and stop insuring ships on the most dangerous routes), and with the increased media coverage of piracy they are able to charge far higher premiums. I'll have to make some figures up to help in making my point, so if they take $20m per month in premiums and pay out $10m in ransoms, why would they want piracy to stop? Paying a ransom that they can afford and bringing all of a ship's sailors home safely isn't necessarily a bad thing for the insurers - having a shipping company take on mercenaries and stopping their insurance payments, or providing a case to reduce premiums because of the use of armed personnel would potentially hurt an insurance company more in the long term than having the odd vessel captured here or there.

With that sort of reasoning maybe the Insurance companies run the pirates therefore keeping the ransom as well as the premiums?
 
Passed-over_Loggie said:
Well, Grey Funnel Tankers are being useful at the moment: http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/D...ations/RfaWaveKnightDisruptsPirateAttacks.htm

Royal Navy personnel on board Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Wave Knight thwarted two pirate attacks on merchant vessels in the Gulf of Aden this weekend resulting in the release of 13 hostages.

The opening line's a bit cheeky though. It wasn't just the 'Royal Navy personnel' on board who thwarted it; one would think (with the vast bulk of the crew presumably RFA) the RFA lads had a hand in it as well?
 

Karma

War Hero
(granny) said:
How can paying out ransoms keep premiums low? The cost to the shippers is an increase in Insurance premium to cover the amount of ransom.

I read at the weekend that it was something like £54M last year, in the grand scheme of things that's far less than the cost of replacing all the hulls, cargo and people that were affected.

A bigger impact is the cost of delay and additional distance sailed to mitigate for the piracy threat. The supply chain impact of that is hitting the headline prices in business to business and business to consumer transactions.
 

Karma

War Hero
alacrity174 said:
If a country has no functioning Government is it still an act of war if you progress into terrortorial waters?

Somalia has a functioning government, although Puntland is semi-autonomous. The Somali government is in a pretty shaky position though and their degree of control over Puntland is very questionable. You'll note from the material that I linked to that the UN have lifted the constraints around Territorial Waters in the vicinity of Somalia anyway, so breaking off pursuit at the margin is no longer an issue. The point I was trying to make earlier is that to really make a difference the shore support facilities, and the money flow, need to be prosecuted. Shelling Somalia would be an act of war. It has been in the public domain for a while anyway that much of the financial support for the piracy is being laundered through Dubai and there are probable links with organised crime in the former soviet states. You're not going to sort that out by shooting up a few small boats.

... there is no reason for any British troops to be in this part of the world.

I would say that there is a reason for us to be involved. The HoA is a major shipping route and forcing shipping to work around the threat area, or heading around South Africa, has a significant impact on the price we pay for products and services, therefore the operational cost of piracy has an impact on our economy.

I really think this needs to be looked at as a distinct posibility.

I think you're grasping at straws. There are real ideological differences between islamic terrorim and organised crime. Whilst some of the laundered money is almost certainly going into terrorism (islamic or otherwise) it is much more attractive as a criminal activity than terrorism.
 

alacrity174

War Hero
Karma

Sorry mate I think you are totally wrong.

Reasons below

Somalia has no functioning government, it has 2 groups of ex warlords who both lay claim to being ruler of this land, so yes they may have a government in name but it is not functional.

Yes the HoA is a major shipping route, this is whay the pirates exist and why it is such a big story, however having British troops on the ground would be a disaster, all you would achieve is a uniting of the warlords AGAINST the troops and be involved in a shooting war then, plus being accused by Islamic states of Empire building, something the UK isn't capable of right now or needs as we do not have troops available.

To say I am "Grasping at straws" is a bit rich, respected Intrernational Organizations have said that this situation is exactly the type of situations Al Quaida like to exploit, mostly for PR value and fundraising activities, most of the pirates themselves do not see the vast profits reaped from their activities, the local Warlords do, if Al Quaida parachuted in one of their people into a leadership role we could be in a much worse predicament and have Lloyds funding a terrorist organization. If as you say monies are being syphoned off to crime syndicates in Russia, what is to stop an Islamic group appealing to these young mens faith and getting them to do it for Allah instead of Ivan? After all they manage to get the dsame type of disenfranchised youth to blow themselves up as suicide bombers so the jump isn't that big.

Whatever I believe a show of force along the lines of ones I have suggested would act as a very clear detterant, for these pirates to see one of their boats/crews taken out by a drone within sight of one of the known pirates bases would make them stop and think. Plus I cannot see the current administration in Somalia having a problem with this as they do not have anywhere near the resources to police their own borders.

Karma said:
alacrity174 said:
If a country has no functioning Government is it still an act of war if you progress into terrortorial waters?

Somalia has a functioning government, although Puntland is semi-autonomous. The Somali government is in a pretty shaky position though and their degree of control over Puntland is very questionable. You'll note from the material that I linked to that the UN have lifted the constraints around Territorial Waters in the vicinity of Somalia anyway, so breaking off pursuit at the margin is no longer an issue. The point I was trying to make earlier is that to really make a difference the shore support facilities, and the money flow, need to be prosecuted. Shelling Somalia would be an act of war. It has been in the public domain for a while anyway that much of the financial support for the piracy is being laundered through Dubai and there are probable links with organised crime in the former soviet states. You're not going to sort that out by shooting up a few small boats.

... there is no reason for any British troops to be in this part of the world.

I would say that there is a reason for us to be involved. The HoA is a major shipping route and forcing shipping to work around the threat area, or heading around South Africa, has a significant impact on the price we pay for products and services, therefore the operational cost of piracy has an impact on our economy.

I really think this needs to be looked at as a distinct posibility.

I think you're grasping at straws. There are real ideological differences between islamic terrorim and organised crime. Whilst some of the laundered money is almost certainly going into terrorism (islamic or otherwise) it is much more attractive as a criminal activity than terrorism.
 

Karma

War Hero
alacrity174 said:
Somalia has no functioning government, it has 2 groups of ex warlords who both lay claim to being ruler of this land, so yes they may have a government in name but it is not functional.

It's recognised by the UN as being functional, although it's also recognised that the level of control that government has is pretty patchy, particularly with respect to the Puntland region. In legal terms landing in Somalia constitutes an invasion, however I'd reiterate the point again; you asked about entering TTW and that's currently permitted under the relaxations. The relaxation allow for pursuit, rather than pre-emptive extra-judicial executions on the basis of potential...

Yes the HoA is a major shipping route, this is whay the pirates exist and why it is such a big story, however having British troops on the ground would be a disaster, all you would achieve is a uniting of the warlords AGAINST the troops and be involved in a shooting war then, plus being accused by Islamic states of Empire building, something the UK isn't capable of right now or needs as we do not have troops available.

Indeed, which is why it's not something I would recommend. The issues need to be resolved ashore, and military action is not an option. Military action in the context of a policing action at sea has marginal impact.

To say I am "Grasping at straws" is a bit rich, respected Intrernational Organizations have said that this situation is exactly the type of situations Al Quaida like to exploit, mostly for PR value and fundraising activities, most of the pirates themselves do not see the vast profits reaped from their activities, the local Warlords do

Different analysts are saying different things. It's known that AQ have used Somalia in the past and it's highly likely that there is still a presence. I would agree that unstable or insecure states are exactly the kind of thing that any ideologically motivated group would be keen to exploit. In that context it's clear that the first movers were the organised crime syndicates, and they have now a well established presence and supply chain.


, if Al Quaida parachuted in one of their people into a leadership role we could be in a much worse predicament and have Lloyds funding a terrorist organization.

It's worth having a critical think about what AQ appears to be, it's not an organisation per se, more of a motivation and inspiration for other groups. Given that AQ have no credible history in this area I'd suggest that usurping an established hierarchy will be challenging.

...what is to stop an Islamic group appealing to these young mens faith and getting them to do it for Allah instead of Ivan? After all they manage to get the dsame type of disenfranchised youth to blow themselves up as suicide bombers so the jump isn't that big.

Have a look at the process of radicalisation. I would continue to contend that you're grasping at straws given that the profit motive is a very different beast than the desire to attack a culture.
 

alacrity174

War Hero
Karma

Some of your points are valid, however you do mention in an earlier post that you want British boots on the ground here, which now you say no to so I am confused on that.

As to the radicalisation process, why is it such a big leap. These young men are trying to feed their families, that is the motivation, what difference does it make to them if they are directed by a generic Islamic terror group or Ivan the Mafioso? The predominant religion in this region is Islam, so the difference in my opinion isn't so great, especially if they are still "earning" the same amount whether it's from :"generic Islam" or Ruski Mafia
 

Karma

War Hero
alacrity174 said:
Some of your points are valid, however you do mention in an earlier post that you want British boots on the ground here, which now you say no to so I am confused on that.

I think I can see why you might have made that leap, but to quote myself:

Karma said:
whereas dealing with the problem ashore would have a major influence on capability; that requires a Land Component, working with the Somali military. and as we've found in both Iraq and Afghanistan a Land Component needs to work with civil government agencies if it is to put in place a viable alternative.

I've also highlighted once or twice that to do so would constitute an invasion, the implication being that it wouldn't be a good thing(tm). Perhaps I could have been more explicit, rather than allowed you to infer it from the direction of the discusion.

That is not an argument for invading the place. Frankly I see the current effort as a political activity; be seen to be doing something. It's fiddling around at the margins and not going to have an enduring effect.

As to the radicalisation process, why is it such a big leap. These young men are trying to feed their families, that is the motivation, what difference does it make to them if they are directed by a generic Islamic terror group or Ivan the Mafioso? The predominant religion in this region is Islam, so the difference in my opinion isn't so great, especially if they are still "earning" the same amount whether it's from :"generic Islam" or Ruski Mafia

One of the biggest issues is that you appear to consider all Muslims to be the same. The historically predominant strand of Islamic thought in Somalia is reasonably esoteric, heavily influenced by Sufi'ism, whereas in the South there has been a growth of revivalist tradition; closer to Wahabi'ism but not significantly. AQ is very firmly Wahabi in nature, an Islamic school of thought that sees Sufi'ism as heretical, so to garner support in the North, Puntland, would require a significant shift in culture.

Notwithstanding that you're suggesting a transition of loyalties from criminal organisations that already have significant infrastructure to another organisation that has no infrastructure, no credible track record and no current influence. When people are interested in the cash then why would they take the risk?

I would suggest that it would be far more productive for any terrorist funding schemes to get involved in the financial side, rather than the practicalities of day to day piracy. Less effort, less risk and higher returns.
 
Karma, I feel your losing it a bit here. You seem to be putting religion ahead of profit. Being a staunch product of the lower decks the violence when provoked route works for me.
 

Pete_N

Badgeman
I can see the potential for AQ involvement in piracy but as stated by Karma, there is almost certainly a strong infrastructure in place already and a new entrant would find it difficult to make much of an impact. If AQ were to try and 'muscle in' then I'm sure Ivan and his merry men would have something to say about it, so despite the huge profits that are available from piracy, the prospect of getting on the not-so-friendly side of a Russian Mafioso may be all the deterrent that is required.
 

Karma

War Hero
wet_blobby said:
.... You seem to be putting religion ahead of profit.

That's exactly the opposite of what I've been saying. alacrity seems to think that dropping in an Imam is going to have them all falling over themselves to work for him, rather than ignoring him because they're making a tidy sum.
 

Bergen

ADC
Pete_N said:
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?

It could have been worse.





RM
 

alacrity174

War Hero
Karma said:
wet_blobby said:
.... You seem to be putting religion ahead of profit.

That's exactly the opposite of what I've been saying. alacrity seems to think that dropping in an Imam is going to have them all falling over themselves to work for him, rather than ignoring him because they're making a tidy sum.

Karma

Far from tarring all Muslims with the same brush, I know there is a difference between a Muslim in Somalia and say Afghanistan, however there are Chechen Muslims fighting in Afghanistan so they have a track record of relocating to fight Allah’s fight. Now again I realize that Piracy isn’t on the list of approved Jihads but these guys are very chameleon like and change with little to no notice to take advantage of a perceived opportunity. With all this in mind I would find it very hard not to believe that an Islamic group will take a chance on this. Also Al Qaeda is very much an umbrella organization who has franchises all over the world, so what is to say that one of the local Warlords wants a bigger slice of the profits and decides that Don Ivan is raping him so goes out to find another partner.

Of course all of this at the moment is pure speculation, but I still feel that a “surgical†strike on a group of boats as they leave harbour by an unmanned drone would go a long way in the PR world for recruiting new pirates. Might create a few one legged proper looking ones though ïŠ
 

Bergen

ADC
The_Jimmy said:
Been a quite week for emails from home..until this email below turned up...



"I received this from a friend who is highly placed in the US Intelligence community. We believe it should be widely disseminated.

...Having spoken to some SEAL pals here in Virginia Beach yesterday and asking why this thing dragged out for 4 days, I got the following:

1. BHO wouldn't authorize the DEVGRU/NSWC SEAL teams to the scene for 36 hours going against OSC (on scene commander) recommendation.
2. Once they arrived, BHO imposed restrictions on their ROE that they couldn't do anything unless the hostage's life was in "imminent" danger
3. The first time the hostage jumped, the SEALS had the raggies all sighted in, but could not fire due to ROE restriction
4. When the navy RIB came under fire as it approached with supplies, no fire was returned due to ROE restrictions. As the raggies were shooting at the RIB, they were exposed and the SEALS had them all dialed in.
5. BHO specifically denied two rescue plans developed by the Bainbridge CPN and SEAL teams
6. Bainbridge CPN and SEAL team CDR finally decide they have the OpArea and OSC authority to solely determine risk to hostage. 4 hours later, 3 dead raggies
7. BHO immediately claims credit for his "daring and decisive" behaviour. I'm downgrading Obama's performace to D-. Only reason it's not an F is that the hostage survived.

Read the following accurate account.

Philips’ first leap into the warm, dark water of the Indian Ocean hadn’t worked out as well. With the Bainbridge in range and a rescue by his country’s Navy possible, Philips threw himself off of his lifeboat prison, enabling Navy shooters onboard the destroyer a clear shot at his captors — and none was taken.

The guidance from National Command Authority — the president of the United States, Barack Obama — had been clear: a peaceful solution was the only acceptable outcome to this standoff unless the hostage’s life was in clear, extreme danger.

The next day, a small Navy boat approaching the floating raft was fired on by the Somali pirates — and again no fire was returned and no pirates killed. This was again due to the cautious stance assumed by Navy personnel thanks to the combination of a lack of clear guidance from Washington and a mandatefrom the commander in chief’s staff not to act until Obama, a man with no background of dealing with such issues and no track record of decisiveness, decided that any outcome other than a “peaceful solution†would be acceptable.

After taking fire from the Somali kidnappers again Saturday night, the onscene commander decided he’d had enough.

Keeping his authority to act in the case of a clear and present danger to the hostage’s life and having heard nothing from Washington since yet another request to mount a rescue operation had been denied the day before, the Navy officer — unnamed in all media reports to date — decided the AK47 one captor had leveled at Philips’ back was a threat to the hostage’s life and ordered the NSWC team to take their shots.

Three rounds downrange later, all three brigands became enemy KIA and Philips was safe.

There is upside, downside, and spinside to the series of events over the last week that culminated in yesterday’s dramatic rescue of an American hostage.

Almost immediately following word of the rescue, the Obama administration and its supporters claimed victory against pirates in the Indian Ocean and declared that the dramatic end to the standoff put down questions of the inexperienced president’s toughness and decisiveness.

Despite the Obama administration’s (and its sycophants’) attempt to spin yesterday ’s success as a result of bold, decisive leadership by the inexperienced president, the reality is nothing of the sort.

What should have been a standoff lasting only hours — as long as it took the USS Bainbridge and its team of NSWC operators to steam to the location — became an embarrassing four day and counting standoff between a ragtag handful of criminals with rifles and a U.S. Navy warship".

Back to Top

This email has done the rounds in the US and has been largely discredited. I have probably received it half a dozen times from various eedjits. Basically it's another attempt by the right-wing nutters to diss Obama, despite the operation being successfully concluded.

Some of the original information was reported by a US hack [Jim Miklaszewski] but the ever reliable Snopes concluded that most of the information in it is bullshit.

EDITED TO ADD LINK TO SNOPES > http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/pirates.asp

RM :angel7:
 

Redsailor

Lantern Swinger
Without going into the contentious coulda, shoulda, woulda, allegations of Obama's long distance micromanagement of this incident, I do think the point has been made that draconian measures are going to become the rule rather than the exception when dealing with these Somali pirates in future. I'm sure that the last thing America will want is another Gitmo Bay scenario with all its attendant bad publicity and inherant problems. Better to terminate them on the spot with extreme prejudice than intern them, only to have to release them at a later date with big compensation payouts after outcries from limp wristed liberal groups et al.


Red Sailor
 

alacrity174

War Hero
Looks like yon pirates bit off a tad more than they could chew this time.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090426/ap_on_re_eu/piracy

I see the hand wringers are off already saying that this has escalated the chance of a confrontation, but saying that is likening this to having someone throw a brick through your front window every week and just claiming off insurance instead of calling the plod and haveing saids ruffian arrested. To me it makes no sense, I do see that it was an Israeli security team though, so somebody is taking advantage of a skillset and making a profit at least.
 
The right wing Rethuglicans here put out so much crap and garbage you wouldnt believe the amount of emails I get about Obama this, Obama that, Pelosi this , Pelosi that. Now Gingrich, was against torture now he says he doesnt know about the gen Convention etc etc ..............People here are just feckin DUMB!
 

Ships_Cat

War Hero
A Russian warship has seized a pirate vessel with 29 people on board off the Somali coast, Russian news reports say.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8023951.stm

So who do you fancy being captured by less? Frogs, VSNski's (Russians), Elmers NSW seal clubbers?? I know the lads from M sqn dish out a fairly solid kicking, but I fear the frogs most, after all they topped a hostage and didn't even have a trial by newspaper...rainbow warrior whut?

That said, I wouldn't be a black man in russian hands near shark infested waters for all the khat in Puntland....float test anyone?
 
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