Somali pirates strike again

Rick Moran
This is not going to end until the world resolves the chaos in Somalia.  It is one of those problems where dealing with the "root causes" is actually the only answer:
Somali pirates hijacked a chemical tanker with dozens of Indian crew members Friday and a helicopter rescued three British security guards who had jumped into the sea, officials said.

A warship on patrol nearby sent helicopters to intervene in the attack, but they arrived after pirates had taken control of the Liberian-flagged ship, according to Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center in Malaysia.

The ship master had sent a distress call to the piracy reporting center, which relayed the alert to international forces policing Somali waters, Choong said. No details about how the pirates attacked or the condition of the crew were available immediately.

Choong said the ship was being operated out of Singapore.

Still on board were 25 Indian and two Bangladeshi crew members, said diplomats who could not be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media. The British security guards escaped by jumping into the water, said a news release issued by their company, Anti-Piracy Maritime Security Solutions.

The company said it was aware of the incident on the chemical tanker it identified as M/V BISCAGLIA.

Unlike the problem of the Barbary pirates the US dealt with 200 years ago, this is not simply a question of landing some Marines and taking out pirate infrastructure while changing the government in order to put someone in charge who would crack down on the lawlessness (or paying off some potentate to keep his people from raiding commerce). First, there is very little in the way of infrastructure for the pirates. Secondly, there is no government to replace or bribe - none to speak of anyway. And if it were simply a matter of changing the government to settle the chaos in Somalai, we would have done it long ago.

Incredibly, this is the 97th vessel to be attacked and taken over by pirates this year. And they are doing it under the noses of a substantial international fleet that is supposed to be guarding the shipping lanes. But there's a lot of water out there and only the combined efforts of the largest navies in the world are going to make a difference.

No one has said we have gotten to the point where tankers and other merchant ships will have to convoy, guarded by a cordon of war ships. Such a policy would probably lead to local shortages in the west of oil and other items. But if the attacks continue to increase and unless the big navies of the world get involved in a big way, such a solution may be the only short term option.



This is not going to end until the world resolves the chaos in Somalia.  It is one of those problems where dealing with the "root causes" is actually the only answer:

Somali pirates hijacked a chemical tanker with dozens of Indian crew members Friday and a helicopter rescued three British security guards who had jumped into the sea, officials said.

A warship on patrol nearby sent helicopters to intervene in the attack, but they arrived after pirates had taken control of the Liberian-flagged ship, according to Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center in Malaysia.

The ship master had sent a distress call to the piracy reporting center, which relayed the alert to international forces policing Somali waters, Choong said. No details about how the pirates attacked or the condition of the crew were available immediately.

Choong said the ship was being operated out of Singapore.

Still on board were 25 Indian and two Bangladeshi crew members, said diplomats who could not be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media. The British security guards escaped by jumping into the water, said a news release issued by their company, Anti-Piracy Maritime Security Solutions.

The company said it was aware of the incident on the chemical tanker it identified as M/V BISCAGLIA.

Unlike the problem of the Barbary pirates the US dealt with 200 years ago, this is not simply a question of landing some Marines and taking out pirate infrastructure while changing the government in order to put someone in charge who would crack down on the lawlessness (or paying off some potentate to keep his people from raiding commerce). First, there is very little in the way of infrastructure for the pirates. Secondly, there is no government to replace or bribe - none to speak of anyway. And if it were simply a matter of changing the government to settle the chaos in Somalai, we would have done it long ago.

Incredibly, this is the 97th vessel to be attacked and taken over by pirates this year. And they are doing it under the noses of a substantial international fleet that is supposed to be guarding the shipping lanes. But there's a lot of water out there and only the combined efforts of the largest navies in the world are going to make a difference.

No one has said we have gotten to the point where tankers and other merchant ships will have to convoy, guarded by a cordon of war ships. Such a policy would probably lead to local shortages in the west of oil and other items. But if the attacks continue to increase and unless the big navies of the world get involved in a big way, such a solution may be the only short term option.