Friday, September 17, 2010

Piracy Update

Lately, there have been several interdictions of pirates in the piracy plagued waters of the Gulf of Aden. Here is one recent report. All of these reports have one glaring thing in common, no arrests were made. International naval forces catch pirates in the act of hijacking vessels, discover weapons and equipment used in hijackings...and then let the pirates go free. The effect is to deprive the pirates of a few thousand dollars worth of equipment whereas one successful hijacking probably earns a pirate crew $1-$3 million. The only conclusion is that we do not want to stop piracy. We are pussy-footing around with these pirates. Ideally, we should be sending them to watery graves, but at a minimum there should be some sort of an international zone established where probable cause or evidentiary criteria are suspended or drastically reduced so that combat forces can arrest and hold interdicted pirates. We have the zone setup already to delineate where ships can sail under naval protection, why can't we grant special legal status to that zone? I can understand why European powers and the US even are being such pussies, but why are the Egyptians, Chinese and the Saudis, who rely so heavily on transit through the GoA, not taking a tougher stance?


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