Well, this post is a little different than my typical health & fitness post, but I hope you'll all bear with me.
If you've been paying even scant attention to the news you should be aware that the Somali pirate attacks seem to be back on the rise in the last little bit. I don't know if that's because there is an actually "Pirate Season" or if they have just been kind of laying low since their last failure when three of their buddies ended up on the bad news end of some Navy SEAL sniper rifles.
Given my current employment in the field of national security and anti-terrorism, I was brainstorming the other day, and wondering what could the USA and her allies do to combat this problem. Let me first of all dispel any misinterpretations that may come from the picture I posted above. Let's be clear and identify this as the terrorism that it is. I think it's important that the UN and the USA classify them as terrorists instead of pirates. The word pirates in today's culture carries too much of a Hollywood branding of adventure seeking, peg-legged, hook-handed swash bucklers cruising the Caribbean in cool ships flying the Jolly Roger and drinking rum while singing, Blow The Man Down.
Alright, so here's my solution to the problem:
These terrorists are cowardly criminals, and it has been demonstrated they will tuck their tails and run if a crew demonstrates any form of a stiff resistance. So, if I happened to own a shipping company that was forced to sail in these dangerous territories, I would hold a meeting with all the other owners of similar shipping companies and propose the following: That we take a normal looking tanker and convert it into a disguised war ship. You could do things like have what would seem to be normal shipping containers on deck, that can actually collapse away to reveal 20mm cannons and .50 cal machine guns. Outfit the tanker with a small, fast and deadly attack boat. There's a lot of different options I'm sure.
Hire a regular crew to run the ship's day to day operations, but also have a secret crew aboard, maybe some guys out of Blackwater with special training to use the provided weapons as well as trained in close quarter combat and armed to the teeth that can deal with a boarding if it comes to that. Then just run the ship around through the normal shipping lanes, acting all innocent until they are attacked by pirates. When the pirates attack, strike back with no mercy. You fire on them and pursue until you've destroyed them. Maybe let one get away once in a while to spread the news. Change the appearance of the ship from time to time. I don't think it would take long for word to spread.
Right now the reason it has become so popular for these pirates to engage in their business is because companies and nations have been willing to pay ransoms much of the time. They have grown rich without little risk to themselves. At least until last year when they found out what a SEAL sniper can do from a fantail. But, if they knew that any ship they attacked could turn out to be heavily armed with experienced warriors aboard who will not only defend the ship and repel the attack, but will pursue them to their utter destruction, then my guess is you will see a sharp decline in these activities.
The problem is cost, but seriously, how much are they paying in ransoms and lost cargo every time a ship is hijacked? It would seem to be a cost saver in the long run. And if you're like me, the cost to benefit ratio wouldn't be all that important. I'd be willing to take some loss to be able to strike back at these cowards of the sea and send them to a watery grave.
5 years ago