The problem of pirates

Ok, I’m not particularly qualified to discuss this issue but that’s the beauty of blogging.

There’s certainly been a lot of press over the past month or two about the Somali pirates who are running amok.

The Indians just blew up a ‘mothership‘ (hopefully E.T. got away) but it doesn’t sound like anyone has much hope this will have any long term effect on the problem.

This article (H/T State Failure Blog) tries to address some of the underlying issues fueling the problem (and this one from MSNBC), and there are lots of them.

  • The ocean is too big
  • Nobody wants to pony up the lion’s share of resources to patrol the area more effectively
  • There hasn’t been a plan of what to do with the pirates
  • The lack of a functioning government on land means there’s no enforcement coming from that side of the equation

“The American military’s solution has been to advise ships to hire private security. But many in the shipping industry have been reluctant, fearing armed guards will prompt increased violence from pirates.”

Blackwater is reported to be sending a ship out there to do escort duty but I’m not sure why the U.S. military can’t take a more proactive approach.

Would it be that expensive or resource intensive to create a small fleet of ‘Q ships‘?  Buy some old merchant ships, outfit them with some arms, good radar/sonar/reconnaissance capabilities, lure the pirates to them and blast them out of the water.  I’m sure you’d have marines knocking each other over to volunteer for that duty.

What am I missing to explain why this isn’t a good idea?

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