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Old 09-11-2011   #661
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Troops from a Spanish warship stormed a pirate skiff in the Gulf of Aden and rescued a French hostage missing from her yacht but found no trace of her husband, the EU anti-piracy mission said.

As a helicopter kept watch overhead, naval commandos in a fast launch fired on the skiff to disable its engine. The boat sank, but the hostage was rescued and seven pirates were arrested unharmed, the Spanish defence ministry said.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-09-1...irates/2880136
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Old 09-14-2011   #662
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Default A problem that will not go away

CIMIC have published a comprehensive, short report on the impact of Somali piracy; behind a free registration wall via their website:https://www.cimicweb.org/Pages/cimicwebWelcome.aspx

Quote:
According to 18 August 2011 data presented by ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre, piracy in Somalia this year has led to 178 incidents, 22 hijackings, 362 hostages, and 7 deaths. IMB further found that pirates are currently holding 19 vessels and 377 crew members.
Using a convoy system:
Quote:
This convoy system would, in the opinion of the authors, O’Hanlon and Solarz, drastically increase the safety of merchant vessels transiting the Gulf of Aden, but would require the employment of approximately fifty military vessels. This requirement far exceeded the resources then available in 2009 which ranged from 15 to 20 vessels.
Armed guards:
Quote:
It is estimated by the ISS that approximately one out of every ten vessels transiting the Gulf of Aden employs private armed security personnel.
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Old 09-30-2011   #663
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Default Barriers to Prosecution: The Problem of Piracy

Yet again a hat tip to CIMIC for a short paper on the issues; access see previous post.

The bonus is a map on the last page of prisoners and prosecutions of pirates worldwide.
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Old 10-30-2011   #664
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Default Armed guards to protect UK ships

A BBC report on the PM's announcement whilst in Perth, for the Commenwealth meeting:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15510467

There are a number of logistical issues to resolve, especially that the licences will only apply in 'high risk' areas and where will the firearms be kept when not there?

Best of all (my humour) is this:
Quote:
Other counter-piracy measures being taken include offering support from Treasury officials to Kenya to help its officials track down pirates' assets.
When the UK has multi-billion VAT fraud and the Somalis use a variant of hawala banking this is weird. I am sure the pirates are investing in real estate and other areas across the globe, maybe Kenya too. Humbug!
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Old 10-30-2011   #665
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Default Private Navy

pirates have proved increasingly mobile and flexible in their tactics

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The Ministry has taken the decision after noting that about 35 per cent of merchant ships transiting through pirate-infested waters deploy armed security guards and that the pirates generally do not attack ships with guards on board.
Quote:
... ultimately the problem of Somali piracy can be solved only on land. That will take time. In the absence of a functioning Somali state, a better co-ordinated international naval force and patrolling larger stretches of water are becoming necessary.
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Old 10-30-2011   #666
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Default A guessing game for you

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Minimal tech-pirates are annoying Western nations off the Somali coast and the media is reporting on it.

Well, the typical reflex of politicians is like "We must do something about it!" and "Let's send some combat ships to hunt the pirates!"

I remember history accounts of many counter-piracy campaigns; combat fleets alone were never a solution, although they were always involved.

Pirates are most easily defeated by raids on their coastal bases, military history leaves no doubt about this.

Western combat ships (including a German frigate) have been there for months and collected a huge amount of intelligence about smuggling and piracy activities.
The problem should be easily solved once a Western nation is willing to do so (to raid some fishing villages, destroy the boats and seize weapons).

This annoyance doesn't deserve much attention. Let's focus our attention and energy on more relevant challenges.

Guess who wrote that 40 months ago!
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Old 10-30-2011   #667
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Default guess who ?

Hey Fuchs !
Well, that was an easy one having read your blog years ago

I really like your quote on piracy then (and now)...

Quote:
(determined people with annoying intentions are annoyingly resistant to influence
Very similar to your quotes on the Officer Selection thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
Stupid aggressors are stupid - some people only learn through pain.
Well said !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
Deterrence works also if a potential aggressor estimates that he will succeed to disarm and occupy the country, but concludes that it's not worth it because it would be too costly.
Kind of makes me wonder if you are correct with your theory of an
Quote:
Influence squadron
This last quote is for JMA and his missile theories...

Quote:
The problem should be easily solved once a Western nation is willing to do so (to raid some fishing villages, destroy the boats and seize weapons).

This annoyance doesn't deserve much attention.
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Old 10-30-2011   #668
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I wouldn't say I've got an idea for an "influence squadron".

Diplomacy belongs to politicians and diplomats, technical assistance to project managers and technical experts and when you really need to do something from the sea in peacetime then charter a ship.


Back to pirates; Pompey is rollin' in his grave.

Quote:
In the law of ancient Rome, the Lex Gabinia (Gabinian Law) of 67 BC granted Pompeius Magnus ("Pompey the Great") extraordinary proconsular powers in any province within 50 miles of the Mediterranean Sea. The law was passed by the tribune Aulus Gabinius.

The command came with a fleet of 500 warships, 120,000 infantry and around 5,000 cavalry to fight the growing problems of pirates disrupting trade in the Mediterranean Sea. Given three years to solve the problem, Pompey managed to defeat the pirates in just three months.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lex_Gabinia

THREE (3 !!!) ####ing months!

German frigates pointlessly patrolling the Somali coast in order to blockade it against AQ (one of the most idiotic ideas in military history!) turned the collection of intelligence on Somali pirates into a hobby for killing time - long before the problem took over the mainstream news in 2008.
Back then there were iirc only three small villages the core of the problem. Three light infantry companies could have solved the issue over night, even without any navy.

Politicians turned the whole piracy issue into just another get-together happening where even U.S., PRC and Iranian ships patrol side by side for a common cause.
That's not security policy, that's a demonstration of incompetence and ignorance.


Three months. *sigh*.
Today's politicians world-wide are inferior to some plutocrat who died 2,000 years ago.

I need to distract myself real quick now...
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Old 11-08-2011   #669
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Default Lest we forget and ranging further

Hat tip to CIMIC brifeing on Armed Guards on Merchant Vessels. Via:https://www.cimicweb.org

As of 07 November, 2011 the IMB, part of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), reported the following statistics for 2011.

Table 1. Incidents Reported for Somalia

Total Incidents 217
Total Hijackings 26
Total Hostages 450
Total Killed (hostages) 15

Table 2. Current Vessels Held by Somali Pirates

Vessels 13
Hostages 249

Link:http://www.icc-ccs.org/piracy-report...cynewsafigures

A long report on the economics of piracy has a superb map, showing the spread of Somali piracy, on Pg.4:http://geopolicity.com/upload/conten...89_regular.pdf

I know we have a few sailors aboard, but how do the Somalis reach so far? I know we've heard of "mother" ships.
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Old 11-08-2011   #670
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Default Mainly Somali piracy and a little off West Africa

From an IISS Strategic Comment, which ranges widely and one selected passage which is not unexpected:
Quote:
This highlights another trend: a growing synergy between the pirate gangs and al-Shabaab, who still control much of central and southern Somalia. Although they remain very different groups with separate aims – one purely commercial, the other political/ideological – overlaps occur in their interests and activities. The crippling famine in Somalia and al-Shabaab's withdrawal from its strongholds in the capital, Mogadishu, in August, have created a funding shortage for the group, which they have been trying to fill by taking a percentage of pirates' ransom money. In February, Reuters reported al-Shabaab seized several pirate leaders in Haradhere and forced them to agree to hand over 20% of future ransoms. An investigation by the news agency found large payments going to al-Shabaab's 'marine office' after lucrative ransoms were handed over for released ships. Pirates' growing use of the insurgent-controlled port of Kismayo has allowed for taxation and limited cooperation between the groups.
Link:http://www.iiss.org/publications/str...den-their-net/
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Old 01-25-2012   #671
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Western hostages freed in 'US military raid'

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The rescue party is said to have landed close to a compound where hostages were being held.

A local security official, Mohamed Nur, told AFP news agency that several of the pirates had been killed.

The freed hostages were believed to have been flown to nearby Djibouti by the rescuers, he said.

They were named as American Jessica Buchanan, 32, and Poul Thisted, 60, of Denmark.
Quote:
WASHINGTON -- In a daring nighttime raid Tuesday, U.S. Navy SEALs rescued two hostages, including one American, who were being held by kidnappers in Somalia, U.S. officials tell NBC News.

American Jessica Buchanan, 32, and a 60-year-old Dane, Poul Thisted, were working for a Danish relief organization in northern Somalia when they were kidnapped last October. U.S. officials described their kidnappers as heavily armed common criminals with no known ties to any organized militant group.
According to the U.S. officials, two teams of Navy SEALs landed by helicopter near the compound where the two hostages were being held. As the SEALS approached the compound on foot gunfire broke out, the U.S. officials said, and several of the militants were reportedly killed. There is no word that any of the Americans were wounded.
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Old 01-25-2012   #672
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Chatham House, 12 Jan 12: Treasure Mapped: Using Satellite Imagery to Track the Developmental Effects of Somali Piracy
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There are increasing pressures to develop land-based approaches to Somali piracy. By making use of non-traditional data sources including local market data and satellite images, this paper is intended to be an objective analysis of who benefits from pirate ransoms.

Significant amounts of ransom monies are spent within Somalia, but conspicuous consumption appears to be limited by social norms dictating resource-sharing. Around a third of pirate ransoms are converted into Somali shillings, benefiting casual labour and pastoralists in Puntland.

Data analysis is complemented by examination of satellite imagery to establish where the beneficiaries are located. Pirates probably make a significant contribution to economic development in the provincial capitals Garowe and Bosasso. Puntland’s political elites are therefore unlikely to move decisively against piracy.

The positive economic impacts of piracy are spread widely and a military strategy to eradicate it could seriously undermine local development. However, coastal villages have gained little from hosting pirates and may be open to a negotiated solution which offers a more attractive alternative.
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Old 01-25-2012   #673
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There are some comments on my blog which insist that all the incompetence about getting rid of this piracy problem is really about using the piracy problem as an excuse for European navies to establish themselves in the Indian Ocean while the USN moves into the Pacific Ocean.

I am willing to consider this interpretation, but it smells very much like great power gaming of a long-term variety, and I don't think our few-years-term governments are really enough into the long term to do this kind of gaming.
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Old 01-25-2012   #674
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Quote:
There are some comments on my blog which insist that all the incompetence about getting rid of this piracy problem is really about using the piracy problem as an excuse for European navies to establish themselves in the Indian Ocean while the USN moves into the Pacific Ocean.

I am willing to consider this interpretation, but it smells very much like great power gaming of a long-term variety, and I don't think our few-years-term governments are really enough into the long term to do this kind of gaming.
Fuch,

Viewed from Kenya, it looks far more as a financial issue.
Kenyan troops entered Somalia not because of the shebab but because piracy impact directly and deeply the Kenyan economy and state tax collection. (Approximately 60 million$ lost/year, quite a deal for the Kenyans).

To me, this can be applied to the European (and not only them). Piracy is may be an excuse to be in the Indian Ocean but it's primaly a financial question. As long as it's cheaper to tolerate pirats in Somalia than solving the problem, Somaly coast/seas will remain a training ground. Europeans were already in the Indian Ocean through Djibouti.

The Indian and Chine navy might have the hidden agenda you describe. IMO, this would make more sense.
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Old 01-25-2012   #675
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I saw only very rough figures, but overall I'm quite sure that patrolling indefinitely is much more expensive than letting the shipping industry use private security teams and certainly more expensive than staging a few decisive raids on the ground + PsyOps actions.

Cost-benefit calculations certainly do not drive Operation Atalanta etc.
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Old 02-02-2012   #676
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As far as U.S. based vessels, didn't we refuse to offer letters of mark, or whatever they are, that allow merchant vessels to operate in an anti piracy role? So they could have private security on board? Probably in this thread somewhere. just seems like such a no-brainer, let ships fight off pirates.
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Old 02-21-2012   #677
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Default Shoot a pirate, go to court

Guarding merchant vessels has appeared here many times. This BBC report 'India court keeps Italian navy guards in 14-day custody' is not unexpected:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-17108995

India's courts are not known for their speed, nor does India make an easy partner to negotiate with.

There's a map showing the piracy within this separate report:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-16970982
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Old 02-21-2012   #678
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David,
How ironic considering late last year's report that the pirates openly stated they will concentrate on Indians and Indian vessels in order to secure the release of Somali pirates being held in Indian Jails.

Maybe we should gather our cash and enlist the US Navy again Seems they have a good handle on the situation.
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Old 03-01-2012   #679
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Quote:
Denmark piracy raid off Somalia leaves two dead
“Overnight Sunday to Monday, when the pirates tried to leave the coast, Absalon intervened and stopped the mothership, before it could pose a threat to shipping in the open sea,” it added.

It fired at the mothership and its crew was then able to take control of the pirate ship.

Two of the hostages were found badly injured, and the Absalon doctor was unable to save them, the statement said.
http://africadefensejournal.wordpres...aves-two-dead/
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Old 03-01-2012   #680
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Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
So they kill 2 of the 18 hostages on board but what of the 17 pirates?
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