"That, for 200 years, has been a deterrent factor. No US merchant ship has been successfully hijacked by pirates," he says. He adds, however, "This time around, if the pirates get away with having hijacked, even unsuccessfully, a US flag cargo ship, it sends a very strong signal of perhaps a lack of will, especially in the case of Somalia where we know where the pirates are. We even know where the leaders literally live because they've built huge mansions that were put up in the last 18 months because of the piracy ransoms and revenues they gained," he says.
He saysfour UN Security Council resolutions and agreements with the interim Somali government allow the use of force. "If we don't root out these nests of piracy or at least send a very strong signal, we will end up telegraphing is a very strong signal of weakness," he says." VOA
The situation with the Somali pirates/fishermen/tribesmen does not require sophisticated analysis. In fact, there is a danger of over intellectualization of the matter. Piracy is an "off season" business for tribal fishermen in coastal Somalia. A half dozen men in a fiberglass "whale boat" armed with rifles and rocket propelled grenades are a small "investment if the prize is a multi-million dollar ransom paid by a shipping company focused solely on its "bottom line." Tribal leaders are becoming rich and there has been remarkably little risk for any of the Somalis involved. This has been almost as good a business as credit default swaps were on Wall Street.
Piracy is crime. The profit in it must be eliminated. Until the profit disappears and the risk level is raised the Somalis will continue to "round up" the fat prizes passing by their shore.
People who think that the United States should "organize" Somalia so as to "drain the swamp" have very short memories.
The French did the right thing. We must do the same. There will be casualties. That price must be paid to restore order and law at sea. pl