"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

Thomas Jefferson
Sept. 23, 1800

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Somali Pirates Too Big To Fail?

The pirate seizure of a supertanker carrying $100 million in oil has brought the usual response from the international defense think tank community. From The Times of London:

Analysts said, however, that the seizure of the Sirius Star exposed the use of foreign warships as “a sticking plaster” that would not solve the problem. “Maritime security operations in that area are addressing the symptoms not the causes,” said Jason Alderwick, a maritime defence analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Roger Middleton, a Horn of Africa specialist at the Chatham House think-tank, said that the capture was a crucial escalation. “Now that they have shown they are able to seize an enormous ship like this, it is beyond a military solution. You won’t fix this without a political solution.”

Surely the "political solution" will amount to sending loads of US dollars to the pirates so they won't have to go through the trouble of hijacking ships. We can hope our new administration will be cool to this idea, but Obama's rhetoric on the importance of following world opinion makes me have my doubts.

In happier news, the Indian Navy has experimented with the old fashioned, pre-think tank method of pirate disposal.

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