Thursday, April 09, 2009

Where's Jefferson?

An American ship boarded on the high seas. An unarmed merchant vessel crew taken prisoner followed by a negotiation and botched prisoner exchange. A ship's captain held hostage and a Secretary of State blustering about what she will do.

Is this deja vu all over again?

The Lessons of History

Once upon a time we had men in America who believed that diplomacy had limits and military action was often the remaining alternative that could be relied upon. Other nations whine and plead, they send warships and then negotiate the conditions of payment of an exorbitant ransom. We've got a destroyer alongside now and I'd be willing to bet some other combat vessels close at hand. What are we going to do?

I'd start by issuing an ultimatum, similar to Jefferson's. I'd take advantage of the 21st century intelligence capabilities we've got. I'd ready some "special operators" and conduct a mission similar to those early "Leathernecks" in which those who conduct this piracy are rooted out of their ratholes.

It's possible that some innocent lives will be lost in the process. Lloyd's of London might have to pay off an insurance policy for a ship that was badly damaged or lost in the process. But, in the long run the outcome will be worth the battle.


Anonymous said...

There wouldn't be this problem in the first place if merchant ships under our (and many other) flags were permitted to carry ARs. Heck, they could even do it with .22s!

By my thinking, It isn't even a military matter. But if it should become a military matter, then damn it anyway do it fast. do it cheap, do it definitively, and devil take the hindmost.

Meanwhile, do you know about these guys:

Where does a soldier's responsibility fall on the question of obeying the orders of a superior or obeying their oath to the Constitution? And are soldiers trained to or capable of making such a distinction?

Anonymous said...

Hypothetically, of course.

Anonymous said...

Great parody here:

I heard the Secretary if State talking about it. She was laughing. "Pirates! How quaint. Ha ha ha ha!"

Apparently Israeli flag ships never get attacked. Everyone on the crew is issued a Uzi and knows how to use it. A cheap solution that works.

Meanwhile, the cost of the Somali pirates in terms of lost revenues, ships, undelivered cargo, pay-off, insurance, naval operations.... Billions?