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patriot45
04-13-2009, 10:55 AM
From Dr. Mike Adams, a confessed former lib. One tough hombre now! I agree about getting out there on an expensive boat without any defence, we carry when we go out althought not as well as he does!

Keep the powder dry! (http://townhall.com/columnists/MikeAdams/2009/04/13/the_solution_to_somali_piracy?page=full&comments=true)


The recent rise in Somali piracy confuses me. It confuses me because I cannot imagine entering waters near the coast of Africa without enough firepower to arm a small third-world nation. It confuses me as much as that home security commercial that features a burglar breaking into the home of a married couple. You know the one where the wife gets a call from another man at security headquarters who promises to send someone to help. Meanwhile the husband locks himself in a closet and hopes for the best.

When that husband eventually comes out of the closet he might as well have his genitals surgically removed. When his wife realizes he can’t defend her against an intruder she probably isn’t going to risk the possibility of procreation. Some genes just weren’t meant to survive.

I understand the media’s need to produce new heroes in an age of rampant metro-sexuality. I also understand that Captain Phillips’ intentions were good – after all, he was on a charitable mission. But he had no business endangering a crew of twenty by placing them in harms way without sufficient firepower. The image of these men locking themselves in a cabin to avoid the Somali pirates is simply embarrassing.

There are a couple of rules anyone must follow when venturing into potentially dangerous waters – and by “potentially dangerous waters” I mean anything but a small lake or pond. First, it is a good idea to bring a few friends. Second, it is a good idea to require every adult on board to remain sober and bring a firearm.

I don’t fish as often as I did in the Texas Gulf Coast in the 1970s. But I do get an occasional invite to go deep sea fishing off the Carolina coast with three good friends. Two of these friends work in a national security capacity for the federal government (please pardon the pseudonyms). So it should go without saying that we have the hardware and skills to defeat a small (or large) band of pirates whenever we venture into the Atlantic Ocean. We don’t have any evidence of piracy off the Carolina coast. But we all subscribe to the belief that it is better to have a gun and not need one than to need a gun and not have one.

Continued (http://townhall.com/columnists/MikeAdams/2009/04/13/the_solution_to_somali_piracy?page=2)

FlaGator
04-13-2009, 11:02 AM
I say we take off and nuke them from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.:D

megimoo
04-13-2009, 11:08 AM
From Dr. Mike Adams, a confessed former lib. One tough hombre now! I agree about getting out there on an expensive boat without any defence, we carry when we go out althought not as well as he does!

Keep the powder dry! (http://townhall.com/columnists/MikeAdams/2009/04/13/the_solution_to_somali_piracy?page=full&comments=true)



Continued (http://townhall.com/columnists/MikeAdams/2009/04/13/the_solution_to_somali_piracy?page=2)
Mike Adams is always good for a common sense story either bashing mindless feminists or the Mindless Administration of his Collage,They're Very,Very P.C. don't cha know ?

megimoo
04-13-2009, 12:05 PM
I say we take off and nuke them from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.:DA D5 five warhead ICBM set to airburst at one thousand feet would work !

signalsgt
04-13-2009, 01:28 PM
There are a couple of rules anyone must follow when venturing into potentially dangerous waters – and by “potentially dangerous waters” I mean anything but a small lake or pond. First, it is a good idea to bring a few friends. Second, it is a good idea to require every adult on board to remain sober and bring a firearm.


OK, guys. Set me straight here. Are the crew of a merchant vessel allowed to have/carry (whatever) weapons at sea or are the ships allowed to have weapons available to the crew to repel pirates or not?

I've heard it both ways and would like someone to give it to me straight!

Thanks!

:)

AHeneen
04-13-2009, 04:41 PM
OK, guys. Set me straight here. Are the crew of a merchant vessel allowed to have/carry (whatever) weapons at sea or are the ships allowed to have weapons available to the crew to repel pirates or not?

I've heard it both ways and would like someone to give it to me straight!

Thanks!

:)

As far as I've heard, the answer is no...the crew are supposed to abide by the weapons laws of the countries they dock in.

I think the larger shipping companies ought to build a few small heliports and buildings at the ends of this region, pay a few ex-military as security people, and fly them out to the ships as they enter the region. Four should be enough...2 at a time on 12-hour shifts and if trouble arises they can wake the other two. Sniper rifles, RPGs, & some machine guns should be enough to hold them off.

JB
04-13-2009, 06:49 PM
I say we take off and nuke them from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.:DThat never gets old. :D

expat-pattaya
04-13-2009, 07:25 PM
OK, guys. Set me straight here. Are the crew of a merchant vessel allowed to have/carry (whatever) weapons at sea or are the ships allowed to have weapons available to the crew to repel pirates or not?

I've heard it both ways and would like someone to give it to me straight!

Thanks!

:)

They are NOT allowed to arm themselves. Insurance for the boat stipulates who can have what arms. The carriers in their wisdom must have calculated it is cheaper to pay an occasional ransom (and lose an occasional crew member (sniff)) than the risk of losing a ship to a firefight.

I had a conversation with a guy who works shipping in that area and he added it sure as hell was not his job to get into a fire fight to protect someone else's boat and goods. He was hired to make the boat work. He made some good points. Such as, the oil tankers which are the easisest targets are also difficult to defend as they are huge floating fuel sources awaiting ignition. Imagine a RPG penetrating the oil cargo and it looks bleak. These are also the boats with low decks and move slowly.

I spoke with the captain of a container ship and he didn't worry too much. He said his boat had a high freeboard (like 80 feet) and could move pretty fast. Getting a grappling hook on his boat and not getting run over is tricky. Especially as he would be changing course rapidly to make it harder.

IMO the issue is making the concept unprofitable. Or too expensive in terms of risk. I understand the govts and corporations that hesitate to escalate the problem from where it has been. I mean for years, they took a few ships, ransoms were paid and pretty much no one died. But as the profit increased so did the number of innocents getting killed by the pirates. For example, the supposed pirate mother ship destroyed by the Indian navy was actually a thai fishing boat. But most of the thais were already dead and the crew was Somali pirates. At at some point you have to man up and say enough and I think we are there.

IMO the answer is NOT to arm every merchant vessel. Not their job. The solution is to actively pursue every pirate with a vengeance until it is too risky a job. Stalk the motherships, harrass the raider boats, kill hostage takers. Pursue into port and beyond and attack the organizers behind it. And only pay ransoms in the last resort.

FlaGator
04-13-2009, 10:09 PM
That never gets old. :D

That and "Game over, game over" will never get old.

malloc
04-16-2009, 06:54 AM
I've been doing a little bit of reading into this subject, and there is no simple answer. I don't claim to be an expert on the subject, but I think I'm beginning to understand the ins and outs of maritime law and self-protection.


They are NOT allowed to arm themselves. Insurance for the boat stipulates who can have what arms. The carriers in their wisdom must have calculated it is cheaper to pay an occasional ransom (and lose an occasional crew member (sniff)) than the risk of losing a ship to a firefight.

I didn't read anything about insurance being a factor, but it makes sense that it is in this day and age. Besides insurance, apparently there are several layers of international law and treaty which deal with the legality of armed merchant vessels. A lot of this legal theory was founded at time when the U.S. wasn't even it's own country yet, and the idea of arming a merchant vessel meant installing cannon and carrying a combat crew. This made a merchant vessel impossible to distinguish from an enemy vessel or a privateer unless it was flying the proper colors. In true, Napoleonic tradition, factions who wished to kill each other demanded that the lines were clearly drawn.

Maybe a lawyer with an understanding of maritime law among the members of this board can chime in and enlighten me, but from what I gather, we are left in a condition wherein an armed merchant vessel, without the proper credentials, could be considered by other nations an official Navy vessel, a sanctioned privateer, or a pirate themselves. However, there is a legal tool which can be utilized to give a merchant vessel the proper credentials to arm themselves.



I had a conversation with a guy who works shipping in that area and he added it sure as hell was not his job to get into a fire fight to protect someone else's boat and goods. He was hired to make the boat work. He made some good points. Such as, the oil tankers which are the easisest targets are also difficult to defend as they are huge floating fuel sources awaiting ignition. Imagine a RPG penetrating the oil cargo and it looks bleak. These are also the boats with low decks and move slowly.


This is very much the case. Back when piracy on the high seas was common, merchant ships recruited 'able bodied sailors'. The definition of 'able bodied sailor' has changed over the years. Back in the day of high seas piracy an 'able bodied' sailor was expected to man the decks and run the ship, but he was also expected to help out in a fight, and be a soldier when the situation was called for. Nowadays, an able bodied sailor might be a computer specialist, an educated radar operator, or a logistical engineer. The danger that was once present within traversing the seas has been largely mitigated, so the free market has dropped soldiering from the list of skills necessary to serve on a maritime merchant vessel, and has added specialization skills which increase efficiency and thus profitability.




IMO the issue is making the concept unprofitable. Or too expensive in terms of risk. I understand the govts and corporations that hesitate to escalate the problem from where it has been. I mean for years, they took a few ships, ransoms were paid and pretty much no one died. But as the profit increased so did the number of innocents getting killed by the pirates. For example, the supposed pirate mother ship destroyed by the Indian navy was actually a thai fishing boat. But most of the thais were already dead and the crew was Somali pirates. At at some point you have to man up and say enough and I think we are there.



You are correct when you say that the solution is to make the concept unprofitable, because once the profitability of the venture has been ended, the venture will die out. However, making the obvious statement without a detailed game plan is a bit John Maddenish. John Madden will tell his audience that, "If this team wants to win, they have to toughen their defense, stretch their offense and put the ball in the end zone.". That's a great deal of explanation in regards to what needs to happen, but very little insight towards how it can be accomplished. The "how" behind the steps this nation takes to secure our trade routes is key. It will all be for naught if making the pirates' venture unprofitable costs the U.S. more than it costs the pirates. Under those conditions they will be able to wait us out.




IMO the answer is NOT to arm every merchant vessel. Not their job. The solution is to actively pursue every pirate with a vengeance until it is too risky a job. Stalk the motherships, harrass the raider boats, kill hostage takers. Pursue into port and beyond and attack the organizers behind it. And only pay ransoms in the last resort.

Who is to pursue every pirate with a vengeance? The U.S. Navy? It cost American taxpayers tens of millions of dollars, conservative estimates with no confirmation from the U.S. Navy, to mobilize a naval effort to rescue Captain Phillips. Was it worth it? Yes. Is it sustainable? No. With the U.S. in dire financial straits, and with war spending on two different fronts in Iraq and Afghanistan, coupled with the renewed domestic spending taking place under the chosen one, adding a swath of ocean the size of the Eastern Seaboard for the Navy to actively patrol, is just not possible. We don't have the money, nor credit, nor raw domestic materials, to pull this off. It would be effective, and it would completely destroy the profit these pirates reap, but the U.S. simply can't afford to effectively monitor the African coast with it's Navy right now.

Just to barely skim the surface of the morality argument, imagine the U.S. did have the funds and resources to protect these trading routes with the Navy. Wouldn't you then have a situation in which U.S. taxpayers were paying into national defense, only to have those funds fuel a Navy who ensures a private venture is not at risk? In other words, assigning the U.S. Navy to protect privately owned merchant ships from harm is, in fact, using public funds to mitigate the risk of a private venture, and it should not be tolerated.

The political tool which the U.S. needs to combat this piracy already exists, it just needs to be updated. Article I Section 8 of the U.S. constitutions allows the congress to issue a letter of Marque and Reprisal, this letter, when delivered to an executor allows him to:



A letter of marque is an official warrant or commission from a government authorizing the designated agent to search, seize, or destroy specified assets or personnel belonging to a foreign party which has committed some offense under the laws of nations against the assets or citizens of the issuing nation, and has usually been used to authorize private parties to raid and capture merchant shipping of an enemy nation.

Furthermore this Congressional issued letter of marque and reprisal is a binding contract between the government of the U.S. and the recipient. Basically the recipient agrees to be held accountable by the issuing nation for his actions, the recipient agrees to international laws of war, regardless of his global jurisdiction. The recipient benefits by being able to cross the boundaries of treaties as if he were were a U.S. Vessel during a time of war. Historically, the recipient also benefited by keeping the bounty of slain enemies. Which would be detrimental in the current situation because slain enemies have no bounty thus their boldness in acquiring wealth.

Now, if the government were to subsidize this lack of bounty by putting a per-kill or per-defense price up on the block, we would have merchants deciding that local fishing boats were pirates. However, if we were to modernize this practice within existing free market principles, well, it would just be awesome.

Imagine if you will, a scenario in which the Congress grants letters of Marque and Reprisal, not to shipping companies, unless they want them explicitly and have their own qualified recipients, and not to treasure seekers, but to America's favorite bad-boy mercenary group Blackwater, and their competitors. Now a shipping company has a choice, they can pay for government sanctioned private protection to legally allow blackwater or equivalent boys to be on their boat while in transit, they can pay a ransom if captured, they can pay higher insurance premiums, or they can risk it all and pay nothing and make run for it.


The private sector can very well deliver in this particular scenario, all it takes is the official government O.K., and anyone who wants his cargo safely delivered through disputed waters doesn't have to worry about the funding the U.S. Navy. My solution of granting letters Marque and Reprisal to security firms and then allowing the security firms to hire out to shippers is probably the cheapest and best solution the American taxpayer could hope for.