Friday, April 10, 2009

Maritime Piracy Continued

As the world woke up today, the might of a U.S. Navy destroyer facing off against a small lifeboat continues as a handful of armed thugs continue to hold Captain Richard Phillips. A worrisome concern is that the pirates holding Phillips could soon be joined by other confederates.

What we need to realize is that the manner in which the U.S. handles the attempted takeover of a U.S.-registered merchant vessel and the resolution of a hostage barricade situation, will be watched very carefully by pirates around the world. We should not forget that Somalian pirates are not the only ones committing acts of maritime piracy: Pirates are taking over vessels and yachts in Asia, Latin America and Africa.

Knowing that there are tactical solutions to neutralizing this hostage crisis readily available... before the situation worsens, such measures should be taken promptly before the situation escalates into loss of life. Admittedly, the only card the pirates have to play is Captain Richards, so keeping him alive is critical to what happens next.

I personally find it ludicrious that that the nations whose vessels and yachts have been seized by pirates, and those that own these vessels, seem to be impotent to put a stop to these seizures when there are workable strategems and solutions to do so. Many of the initiatives I proposed yesterday WILL work in putting a stop to maritime piracy, if only decision makers would exercise some backbone.

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