April 13, 2009

Ending Piracy

A few off-the-cuff thoughts:

1. Good shooting by the SEALs on the fantail of Bainbridge. Three simultaneous head shots taken in failing light from a rolling platform at pirates who themselves were moving with the swells on the lifeboat. I could not have done it and do not know anyone who could.

2. Discussion about "bringing the world together" to end piracy is nice, but three pirates dying of SALP (Sudden Acute Lead Poisoning) sends a far clearer message and one which requires no interpretation, consultation witth allies, or diplomatic massaging: "Board an American vessel and someone is going to bust a cap in yo' head!" Short, simple, and unmistakable.

3. Negotiations (if that is what they were) with pirates sets a bad precedent--stalling for time so that the right assets are in place when the shooting starts is good.

4. Press reports indicate the President twice authorized the use of deadly force. Not sure why the skipper of Bainbridge needed anyone's permission--he is the captain of a U.S. Navy warship dealing with pirates, the scourge of the sea. He has all the authority he needs. Never having met the man, I like to think he would smoked the bad guys no matter what.

5. Arming merchant crews is a good first step but it is playing defense. Offense means you go after their bases of support on the mainland. It will require planning, decent targeting intelligence, and the willingness to use force. Fortunately, Somalia is not the type of place where the MSM likes to visit so the likelihood that anything "dynamic" will play out on CNN is minimal.

Posted by LMC at April 13, 2009 07:06 PM | TrackBack

Right you are, and on every point. Dead spot on. Ever since this went down, the phrase rattling around my brain is "No quarter".

Posted by: Boy Named Sous at April 13, 2009 09:18 PM