Hell-in-a-handbasket has a post up about the military use of less lethal weapons.
Throughout most of history military weapons development has tried to make them more lethal. Changes to the rules of engagement and media coverage have driven the development of this. Historically, if you attacked the soldiers they would kill you. This has the advantage of eliminating the troublemakers and the disadvantage of creating a lot of animosity among the occupied population. I would say that there is a lot more historical precedent for this plan working than there is for a kinder, gentler, less lethal military.
Posted by – December 15, 2008
Pirate problem needs ’strategy’
“So we’ve got to look very carefully at what we can do to tackle the problem in the way the problem is manifested, and also what lies behind the problem.”
There is no doubt that there are some big problems in Somalia, but before we figure out just what sort of aid programs the international community is going to set up can’t we just start by sinking pirates?
Talks On Armed Security Teams To Deter Pirates
However, most countries do not allow the arming of merchant vessels which sail under their flags and insurance companies are opposed.
There are several ways around this, but the easiest is to pass a law allowing the arming of merchant ships. I am sure that either a new insurance company will spring up, or the old ones will change their policy (the first company to do so will probably get a lot of business.) Alternately, if the world is unwilling to deploy naval resources to protect this shipping lane any number of private companies would be happy to do so.
I do not see how handing hundreds of millions in ransom is any sort of a solution. How long before the ransom money begins being dispersed to fund other terrorist activities?
Posted by – November 18, 2008
Here There Bee (More) Pirates … and Might the Obama Administration Take Them Out?
We currently have a very blurry line between what is a crime and what is an act of warfare. In a world where all aggressors are not necessarily state sponsored actors there is a tendency to treat these acts as crimes rather than acts of war. Rarely are we presented with an opportunity to simply deal with perpetrators, because suicide bombers can tell no tales.
In the case of pirates, blowing them out of the water is a time honored solution. In order for pirates to be successful they need to take control of ships, get them to harbor, and off-load their cargoes. This requires some level of complicity on the part of whatever nation is providing them a harbor. Who is to say that Somalia doesn’t have such an arrangement with the pirates? What would be necessary to “prove” such an allegation? The third world is not as enamored with paper trails as we are, and it wouldn’t take an edict from the Somali government to sanction piracy, simply a harbor master who was getting a cut of the profits.
I don’t believe we need a judge to adjudicate when we have a Navy Captain on the scene and his ship is taking fire. I don’t believe that we need to risk the lives of his crew or Marines in taking pirates into custody, and pay for the expense of trying them. This wouldn’t even require a change in the rules of engagement, but simply a climate where confronted with pirates the commander has the broad lattitude to command.