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Pirates vs. Industrialized Nations

Posted in National Security by Ryan on the April 14th, 2009

I find the current situation off the coast of Somalia surprising.  It seems a lot of people are discussing how the US Navy is not going to be able to manage patrolling an area that large.  I don’t see how massing uber-powerful warships will do much more than simply provide a mechanism of response, as the recent episode with the Maersk’s captain shows.  To me, the simplest solution seems to be to put several well trained and heavily armed professionals on these cargo vessels.  Some indicate this would only escalate the level of violence and weapons the pirates would employ.  So match them.  At some point, the extensive wealth and power of industrialized nations needs to show that it is futile for puny thieves to take people hostage.

Instead of spending however much money to patrol with however many warships, use those resources to simply blunt any sort of attack right there on the ship.  If a few determined merchant sailors can disrupt a pirate attack, imagine what a dozen urban trained soldiers with firepower can do.

In the scheme of things, it seems like this pirate thing is like gnats and we’re a human.  Instead of trying to swat at them with our giant hands when they bother us, lets just put some insect repellent on and see how they like it.

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