Small Wars Journal

Here There Bee (More) Pirates...

Here There Bee (More) Pirates... and Might the Obama Administration Take Them Out? By Kenneth Anderson at Opinio Juris

Somali pirates strike again, this time hijacking a Saudi-owned tanker off the coast of Kenya. The running stand off with the hijacked ship carrying arms and a Ukrainian crew continues; Russia announces that it repelled an attack on a different Saudi vessel...

Might piracy be a relatively easy place for the Obama administration to demonstrate its approach to use of force, multilateralism, and international law? No use of force question is ever truly easy - law of unintended consequences always in effect - but clearly this is a rising issue, and one in which the vessels of many nations have been attacked and continue at risk....

Much more at Opinio Juris - Kenneth poses some good questions at this post and is seeking those with operational experience to comment.


Schmedlap (not verified)

Tue, 11/18/2008 - 8:41pm

These ships haul some pretty expensive cargo - certainly not pieces of eight or dubloons, but certainly some pricey booty. Why don't they have security? While the scurvy bilge rats in question may have been highly organized, I don't see how they would be much of a match for a handful of armed deck hands. The captured vessels are taller than the highest mizzenmast of any ship of scallywags that has boarded them. I would think that even a handful of lightly armed sprogs could send these corsairs to Davy Jones' locker, given the advantage of a higher deck and stabler platform.

Wouldn't this just be part of the expense of doing business? Just like security guards who drive a Brinks a truck?