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Thread: More Piracy Near Somalia

  1. #101
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default When Private Interests Combat Piracy

    From ThreatsWatch RapidRecon...

    Into this breach leaps American entrepreneurship and straightforward seizing the opportunity.

    A Texas based private security firm is now engaged in providing armed security escorts to deal with “open water threats and provide an electronic command center for threat detection and response, leveraging their teams between many vessels across the region.” While the mission was made public a week ago, there is no current indication of deployment or any engagement with pirates.

    However, while the United Nations, NATO and the affected nations and shipping lines await decisions to be made, a private company has taken the initiative. Rash actions? It’s hard to tell. Effective actions? We may never know.
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  2. #102
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default How to Kick Pirate Booty

    Foreign Policy's Seven Questions: Lt. Gen. Paul Van Riper (The general who whipped U.S. forces in a famous war game tells FP how to crack down on Somali pirates. Ahoy!).

    What we’re really talking about is what kind of methods folks might use that are unconventional. You struggle with words because to the person doing it, it’s not unorthodox, irregular, any of those things; it’s very normal. If you think in history, the Japanese didn’t think that kamikaze pilots were unconventional, but the U.S. did and the British did. The insurgents don’t think that IEDs [improvised explosive devices] are irregular or asymmetrical. It’s in the eye of the beholder. I think [the tactics] you’re seeing with many of these pirates—it’s not something they’ve done deliberately with relation to more modern nations—it’s what they do normally.
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  3. #103
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default

    He is of course correct. The common derogative for Somali bandits who have long plagued Kenya and other neighbors is "shurtah" (also pepper or police in arabic). The pirates are merely seagoing shurtah and the ships are seagoing merchants, the same as a Bedord lorry rolling down a broken trail in northern Kenya or earlier a camel convoy snaking through the same area.

    But we cannot rename the Assymetric Warfare Group the Same Old ####e, now can we? What would the patch look like?

    Tom

  4. #104
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    He is of course correct. The common derogative for Somali bandits who have long plagued Kenya and other neighbors is "shurtah" (also pepper or police in arabic). The pirates are merely seagoing shurtah and the ships are seagoing merchants, the same as a Bedord lorry rolling down a broken trail in northern Kenya or earlier a camel convoy snaking through the same area.
    Tom. Is "shurtah" the same as "Shifta"? - cos that's what all the Kenya Ex-pates I know, call the Ethiopian Bandits up and around the northern boarders and especially near the Lake.

    But we cannot rename the Assymetric Warfare Group the Same Old ####e, now can we? What would the patch look like?
    It could be the Theatre Projects Group, as was originally suggested.
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  5. #105
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    Tom. Is "shurtah" the same as "Shifta"? - cos that's what all the Kenya Ex-pates I know, call the Ethiopian Bandits up and around the northern boarders and especially near the Lake.



    It could be the Theatre Projects Group, as was originally suggested.
    You are correct. It is shifta now that you put in front of me--but I think it is a swahili derivative of shurtah.

    thanks

    Tom

  6. #106
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default French navy actions

    French navy, part of EU task force, detain two groups of pirates and note hand them over to Somali authorities: http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L4679563.htm

    Note human rights law seems not to bother the French, unlike others NATO navies.

    davidbfpo

  7. #107
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default New Counter-Piracy Task Force Established

    Commander, Combined Maritime Forces Public Affairs

    MANAMA, Bahrain – The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) has established Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151) specifically for counter-piracy operations.

    The establishment of CTF-151 will allow CTF-150 assets to remain focused on those activities, giving CTF-151 the ability to focus solely on the counter-piracy mission.

    “Some navies in our coalition did not have the authority to conduct counter-piracy missions,” said Vice Adm, Bill Gortney, CMF Commander. “The establishment of CTF-151 will allow those nations to operate under the auspices of CTF-150, while allowing other nations to join CTF-151 to support our goal of deterring, disrupting and eventually bringing to justice the maritime criminals involved in piracy events.”
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  8. #108
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    Default New Task Force?

    The BBC News report: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7817611.stm

    Lots of questions to ask; are China and India partners? Sorry, this sounds like "spin" and a little odd for the USN to announce when an EU flotilla was announced late '08.

    Back to my faraway observation seat.

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  9. #109
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    One of my relatives was on the Nautica cruise ship that was attacked by pirates in the gulf of aden

    As the story goes, it was a skiff with 4 guys and they shot bullets into the air. The captain increased speed to 20 knots and outran them. they were prepared to defend themselves with LRADS (Long Range Audio Devices) and water cannons.

    My relative and his wife were so unnerved that they could only be calmed with a breakfast of pecan waffles and smoked salmon...

  10. #110
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default Pirate 'washes ashore with cash'

    Now this is too rich. When news of this hits the general public, the beaches will indeed be a sight to see

    The body of a Somali pirate who reportedly drowned soon after receiving a huge ransom has washed ashore with $153,000 in cash, his uncle says.

    A relative of the drowned pirate told the BBC the family was now trying to dry out the recovered money.

    The pirates' boat capsized when they were hit by rough seas as they were heading back to their homes in central Somalia, the leader of the pirates told AFP.
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  11. #111
    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beelzebubalicious View Post
    One of my relatives was on the Nautica cruise ship that was attacked by pirates in the gulf of aden

    As the story goes, it was a skiff with 4 guys and they shot bullets into the air. The captain increased speed to 20 knots and outran them. they were prepared to defend themselves with LRADS (Long Range Audio Devices) and water cannons.
    Multiple levels of my consciousness is disgusted that ship's captains are not prepared to defend themselves with 3 inch guns and .50 cals. This "be nice to pirates" game will end in tears, vis-a-vis free passage of the seas, if it keeps up.

  12. #112
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Not their job, is it? Seems to me if they wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
    Multiple levels of my consciousness is disgusted that ship's captains are not prepared to defend themselves with 3 inch guns and .50 cals. This "be nice to pirates" game will end in tears, vis-a-vis free passage of the seas, if it keeps up.
    to do that, they'd be Navy Officers instead of Merchant officers.

    Boils down to dollars; cheaper for ship owners to pay the ransoms than to arm the ships, pay fighting wages to the crews, pay to train the crews -- and take a chance on losing a multi million dollar cargo due to a lucky RPG hit.

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
    Multiple levels of my consciousness is disgusted that ship's captains are not prepared to defend themselves with 3 inch guns and .50 cals. This "be nice to pirates" game will end in tears, vis-a-vis free passage of the seas, if it keeps up.
    If commercial ships carried these, they wouldn't be able to dock in many countries. The complexities of dealing with the very different firearms regulations of a hundred or more maritime countries would be daunting.

  14. #114
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    Default Navy Campaign Planning

    Information Dissemination has a great post that comments on a recent press conference with VADM Gortney, Cdr US Fifth Fleet and NAVCENT. http://http://informationdisseminati...us-report.html

    The post further links to the transcript itself. I recommend reading for good insight on the development of the US Campaign Plan, which was heavy on engagement to get international participation, and pursuit of legal authorities, to eventually support more effective operations.
    Gortney is clear that the real solution is ashore and all that can be accomplished at sea is disruption and deterrence. He also provides a good account of the tactical challenges of identifying and dealing with the pirates at sea.

  15. #115
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    Default Kenyan Government Agrees to Try Pirates Seized by U.S. Forces

    DoD News release "adds to the weapons to combat piracy"

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 29, 2009 – The Kenyan government has agreed to try pirates captured by the U.S. military, a senior Defense Department official said here today.
    The agreement came about earlier this month through a memorandum of understanding signed by U.S. State Department and Kenyan government officials, spokesman Bryan Whitman told Pentagon reporters. Britain also has a similar agreement with Kenya.
    I wonder what force this has in international law if the pirates are captured outside Kenyan territorial waters and/or are preying on ships with other than Kenyan registry and have no passengers/crews that are Kenyan citizens? More fun for international legal beagles to be sure.
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  16. #116
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    Thumbs up Pirates to have day in court?

    I know Somali pirates aren't quite the same thing as the Taliban, although I did recently hear the whole to-do with them being compared to an insurgency. Any-hoo, up until now, the big problem has been that the law was unclear on how to prosecute them, and that was at least part of what prevented the gaggle of ships cruising off the coast of Somalia from becoming more "proactive", shall we say, against the pirates. But there may be some progress in that direction. The U.S. and Kenya just signed off on an agreement that will have the Kenyans prosecuting the pirates in their courts. This may be good news. Hopefully.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/newsM...50S4ZZ20090129
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    4 Jan 09 testimony before the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee by Peter Chalk of RAND:

    Maritime Piracy: Reasons, Dangers and Solutions
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman and distinguished Members of the Subcommittee, for the opportunity to testify on this important subject. The rash of pirate attacks off the Horn of Africa and Gulf of Aden in 2008 has cast into sharp light an enduring problem that affects not only this part of the continent but many other areas of the world. This testimony aims to inform and put into context the current debate on piracy by providing an overview of the scope and contributing factors driving armed maritime violence in the contemporary era and the principal dangers associated with this particular manifestation of transnational crime. Given the publicity and unprecedented character of the international response to Somali-based piracy, the testimony also briefly addresses the appropriateness of the measures that have been instituted to deal with armed maritime violence off the Horn of Africa and Gulf of Aden.......

  18. #118
    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
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    Default Haven't read it yet, but....

    The Pirate Latitudes, by William Langewiesche. Vanity Fair, April 2009.
    When the French luxury cruise ship Le Ponant was captured by a raggedy, hopped-up band of Somali pirates last spring, in the Gulf of Aden, it looked as if the bandits had bitten off more than they could chew. But after a week-long standoff, they got what they had come for—a $2.15 million ransom. Describing the terrifying attack, the ordeal of the ship’s epicurean crew, and the tense negotiations, the author examines the ruthless calculus behind a new age of piracy.
    Haven't read it yet, but the author is excellent, and is a knowledgeable source on the subject having covered piracy and shipping in his book The Outlaw Sea: A World of Freedom, Chaos, and Crime.

  19. #119
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    Default Piracy article

    The Vanity Fair article is interesting and illustrates the difficulties posed to all parties involved. Attacking a luxury yacht, minus passengers, makes the incident magazine worthy; especially as the yacht often has US passengers aboard. The French military action - after the ransom was paid - is similar to the opening scenes in 'Blackhawk Down', which struck me as odd.

    davidbfpo

  20. #120
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Pirates make mistake

    Somali pirates by mistake attack a German Navy supply vessel, Germans fire back and chase ensues: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090330/...eXORo9.P9vaA8F

    I'd speculate this is the first time the German navy has fired shots in anger since 1945.

    davidbfpo

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