Thursday, November 20, 2008
Why Not Storm the Ships?
When it comes to the SS Faina and the MV Sirius Star (the arms ship and the oil tanker, respectively)--there are also environmental concerns. Especially with the oil tanker, no one wants a major oil spill contaminating the Red Sea and/or Gulf of Aden, or to have the ship vent oil and then to have it ignited. So the strategy is one of patience, at this point.
Going ashore to attack the pirate haven itself? Politicians will have to decide if they want to commit ground and air forces for such an assault.
It is interesting to note that the historical comparison with the Barbary Pirates gives us both models--force and accommodation. President Washington, for instance, did negotiate tribute arrangements to protect American shipping. Even after the "shores of Tripoli" incident, the U.S. would alternate between using the stick and the carrot.
There has been some interesting discussion about the possible applicability of the Petraeus model--an approach to tribal elders in the coastal villages about forming "sons of Somalia" groups that might be paid to act as "coastal security"--whether there might be impetus for such a move remains to be seen.
Oops! My bad, I was aiming for the wall next to you. Sorry for the accidental bullet wound!
At this point would Somali notice a short armed incursion that DIDN'T stick around to "rebuild" i.e. a purely search/destroy/punitive?
And what is Puntland saying about this? I understand some of pirate bases are there. Should we assist the Republic of Somaliland?