Sunday, January 22, 2006

Avast!

It's fun to celebrate International Talk Like A Pirate Day, sure (just 239 days to go!), but it turns out that real pirates aren't quite as fun. The romaticized swarthy villians are nothing compared to the ruthless, bloody criminals of today.

The International Chamber of Commerce's Commercial Crime Services publishes a weekly piracy report. Current hot spots include the Horn of Africa (HOA), Indonesia (particularly the Strait of Malacca) and the South China Sea, and the Caribbean. Anywhere they can find a safe haven, like thousands of uninhabited islands and lawless or corrupt states. If you're looking for some interesting reading, there is an all-but-ignored assessment of modern piracy by Michael S. McDaniel from 2000 with an update for November 2005.

One of the primary functions of the U.S. Navy is to secure sea lines of communication. Bravo Zulu to the USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) for apprehending pirates off the Somali coast (HOA). We've recently been focusing our efforts on stopping piracy in that area, and it's good to see it pay off.

The Navy's resources are stretched, but this is a good mission for us to which I don't think we've paid enough attention. After all, we could be conducting patrols with other regional naval powers in the Straits of Malacca, though I don't think the Chinese like us projecting power too blantantly into their sphere of influence. The Chinese, Indians, Pakistanis, and Australians need to step up the efforts. Also, I really don't think enough is being done abotu piracy in the Caribbean or eastern Pacific, despite U.S. naval presence in the area. We're devoted pretty solely to building relationships with other navies and counter-drug interdiction. I think the mission needs to be expanded to included deterring and apprehending pirates.

EDIT: Charlie Munn at The Officers' Club thinks this is essentially terrorism. I have to disagree here. The meaning of the word "terrorism" has been diluted over the years; I think there is a distinction between piracy and terrorism. Piracy, human and drug trafficking, and other illegal activities may fund terrorist activities in whole or in part, but that does not make them terrorism in and of themselves.

Also, thanks to this post, I have a whole folder in my bookmarks labeled "Pirates". And please welcome your new favorite blog, dedicated to exposing liberal bias (media or otherwise), RightWinged to my sidebar. Clickety-click!

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2 Comments:

Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon bloody well said...

The pirates of yesteryear probably weren't very nice either.

23 January, 2006 20:57  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox bloody well said...

It amazes me that we still have pirates but my kids and I have read about this for school so I know it's true!!

24 January, 2006 17:59  

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