Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pirates of the Gulf

An op-ed I co-authored on the subject, for your consideration.

good article..i believe your voice will be heard in Washington and Brussels..piracy has to be eliminated ... unfortunately, in XXI century it can be a threat like terrorism..
Another op-ed on the topic (narrower point): http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/aug/08/germany.somalia

Andrew - The Guardian link didn't work for me. What was the comment about?

Nikolas - The countries of east Africa will surely need to develop the infrastructure of maritime law enforcement someday. But the problem right now is mainly the Somali coastline and the lack of government in that country. If action needs to be taken in the short-run, it may need to be taken without Somalia as a partner.

I still don't understand why the U.S. Navy and other navies can't escort convoys. Is there some threshhold that piracy must surpass before such measures become thinkable?
Actually the link is to a piece I wrote with a friend about precisely one of the legal reasons why convoys can't be escorted... by the Germans in this case.

It should work though...
Andrew - You're right. My comments window was set too narrowly and cut off the last word of the link when I tried to cut and paste it in my browser :)

Your article should be more widely read as it explains why the Germans can't escort maritime convoys. But if that is the case, then the Germans shouldn't have this responsibility. Anti-piracy operations should be done by the United States or other countries that aren't in such a bind. Is there a reason why countries with the means and flexibility to do this task couldn't replace the Germans?

Unless recent events have blown the problem out of proportion, the interim solution seems to me for the world's navies to escort convoys of merchant ships through the area until the longer-term causes of piracy can be addressed on land.
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