12
   

Hostage captain rescued

 
 
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 07:18 am
@mysteryman,
mysteryman wrote:
...................
I seriously doubt that the pirates have support facilities (ship repair, food, fuel, weapons, ammunition, etc) very far from their staging areas.........


That's exactly the kind of wrong thinking that led to disaster in Vietnam and is about to do the same in Afghanistan. Those Somalis are the seaborne equivalent of guerillas: they laugh at our concepts of supply lines and l0gistical support. It's like deploying heavy artillery to kill mosquitoes, you'll just be wasting ordnance and ruining the lining of perfectly good guns - never causing any harm to the mosquitoes in the meantime. Nor is "draining the swamp" a viable alternative - not our land, nor do we want to occupy it or take it over.

As to convoys, for years now France has been reprocessing Japan's spent nuclear fuel and sending the plutonium back on its 75-day journey on a plain cargo vessel; one just left from Cherbourg, France, earlier this month. If that ship cannot be afforded frigate protection - and it cannot - where will all the other transports find military escorts? George's numbers for the naval vessels required for convoys are, if anything, on the optimistic side, considering the vast numbers of permutations of ports of origin and destination, cargoes, flags, vessel types, their speed and seaworthiness, and so on.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Apr, 2009 10:18 pm
Interesting report on today's news about a Dutch naval vessel that intercepted an attempt at the hijacking of a Marshall Islands flagged tanker by Somali pirates. They successfully prevented the hijacking but released the pirates because "NATO doesn't have a policy on such matters" and the claimed "lack of jurisdiction" of the Dutch navy over pirates )or victims) from another nation. (This brings to mind memories the similar inaction of Dutch soldiers in the face of massacres done nearly before their eyes in Bosnia a decade ago.)

In a near simultaneous event a Belgian vessel was hijacked near the Seychelles (a long way from Somalia) by other Somali pirates and, enroute to Somalia, is being pursued by Spanish and French naval vessels that apparently claim to be similarly unable to intervene,

It is now clear that I was wrong when I asserted that it would take at least 40 modern destroyers to assure safe passage by merchant ships through these busy sea lanes, given the highly restrictive rules of engagement artificially and unnecessarily imposed on themselves by European nations (under the false and deceitful pretense that international law limits them). Clearly with these flabby, self-imposed limits it would require hundreds of such vessels to even make a dent in the continuing piracy there.

When there is no will or stomach for action, it doesn't take much to provide a sufficient excuse for inaction. Sadly, the timid and afraid are easily deterred.

I sincerely hope that the United States avoids any participation in these "NATO" pretenses. (it is probably time for Americans to ask themselves just what is the meaning or worth of the reciprocal guarantees our NATO allies provide us under this treaty.)

farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2009 02:41 am
It would take an international "memo" that would , under present rules, assume that any attack on American Ships would mean an attempt at kidnapping for ransom and theft . THus, with precedent established over 200 years ago, we will, by such rules of interdiction , going to intercept and destroy any pirate vessels and attempt to take the crews prisoner. The pirates will betreated like ordinary criminals and not POWs.
0 Replies
 
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2009 02:58 am
@georgeob1,
I'm always amazed by your bias when it comes to European countries policies (but I've a feeble for your obvious nationalism).

More often than not it flies in the face of evidence to the contrary, as any non-American news can show you:

French Navy arrests 11 Somali pirates
old europe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2009 07:42 am
@georgeob1,
I might be mistaken, but I think there's also an American ship participating in the NATO mission, presumably operating under the same rules of engagement. The criticism of those rules is valid, I'd say. The reason for the release of the pirates was apparently that they were seized by Dutch nationals, and neither the pirates nor victims nor the ship were Dutch. Which seems a bit silly. It should also be noted that the problems with the NATO mandate was one of the reasons for the EU to launch a separate mission with a stronger mandate.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2009 11:20 am
@Francis,
I have accurately noted the more aggressive and beneficial long-term role of French naval forces in the region on many occasions, including an earlier reference to this very incident a page or so back on this thread. You are indulging in a rather sweeping and quite inaccurate generality.

I have also made the point that piracy, like non-national guerillas, involves clear violations of long-established international law which does not provide either the protections of either the Geneva Conventions on warfare between states or in many cases those of domestic national law. In a novel reinterpretation of past practice and precedent, European and liberal American political parties have argued to the contrary, inplying that the most restrictive elements of domestic law and the Geneva conventions apply to them. We are now being entertained by an example of the absurdity that results from this. Much, of course depends on whose ox is being gored. Europeans generally have been very critical of reasonable actions the United States took to defend itself following 9/11: moreover they and like-minded American political forces have now reversed some of these policies (though president Obama is already beginning to fudge a bit, now that he feels the cold hand of responsibility on his shoulder).

There may well be different, more permissive rules of engagement in place for the EU effort in the Northern Arabian Sea. If so I applaud it. If the action of the Dutch Navy was truly a consequence of NATO imposed rules, then I deplore them and sincerely hope the United States stays out of it.

I don't think I am any more biased with respect to Europe that are you and many Europeans with respect to America. I do, however, have a good understanding of the several centuries of our mutual histories and cultural attitudes as reflected in literature & art. There are indeed differences between the prevailing viewpoints of many Europeans & European institutions and those of many Americans: moreover these differences are of long-standing and very likely to continue.

It is merely amusing that some European governments claim international jurisdiction for their laws when they might apply to the politicians of other countries they don't like, and, at the same time, become extraordinarily timid in the face of pirates and kidnappers.

When the hell are you coming to San Francisco? (Hell is south of Pt Conception: paradise it to the North).
0 Replies
 
old europe
 
  2  
Reply Tue 21 Apr, 2009 01:41 pm
Seems that, like France, America is shipping captured pirates back home to bring them before a national court:

Quote:
Somali pirate arrives in NYC, awaits court hearing

NEW YORK " A Somali teenager arrived to face what are believed to be the first piracy charges in the United States in more than a century, smiling but saying nothing as he was led into a federal building under heavy guard.

Abdiwali Abdiqadir Muse, the sole surviving Somali pirate from the hostage-taking of an American ship captain, was to appear in a courtroom Tuesday on what were expected to be piracy and hostage-taking charges.

Handcuffed with a chain wrapped around his waist and about a dozen federal agents surrounding him, the slight teen seemed poised as he passed through the glare of dozens of news cameras in a drenching rainstorm. His left hand was heavily bandaged from the wound he suffered during the skirmish on the cargo ship, the Maersk Alabama.

A law enforcement official familiar with the case said Muse (moo-SAY') was being charged under two obscure federal laws that deal with piracy and hostage-taking. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the charges had not been announced.

...
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Apr, 2009 02:07 pm
@old europe,
True enough. However, I would prefer to see us both try them before military tribunals, just to avoid all the pitfalls with respect to the rules of evidence in domestic law.

I wonder why the Dutch didn't take this poisition. Was it a mattter of choice on the details of the incident itself, or the result of a broader policy directive?
old europe
 
  2  
Reply Tue 21 Apr, 2009 02:28 pm
@georgeob1,
It'll be interesting to see how that approach works out.

In regard to the way the Dutch and the French handled those incidents: the Dutch ship was part of the NATO mission, and neither the pirates nor their targets were nationals of NATO countries. Apparently that meant that the pirates couldn't be detained. A bit silly, if you ask me, but there you go.

The French frigate Nivose, on the other hand, is part of the European Operation Atalanta and operating under the rules of engagement of the EU NAVFOR Somalia, which seem to be similar to the rules of engagement for US-Mission "Combined Task Force 151".

(I tried to find a bit more on the NATO mission... this is the website of SNMG1, and this is the current force composition... Didn't find too much information about the current mission, though.)



georgeob1
 
  2  
Reply Tue 21 Apr, 2009 02:58 pm
@old europe,
Thanks for the cite. The ships are frigates - smaller than destroyers, but all helo capable. Interesting to observe the French logistics ship supporting them: makes sense, given the French naval base in Djibouti.

Interestingly I used to refuel (aviation fuel) & replenish Carl Vinson regularly from a French logistic ship, the Var, in the Northern Arabian sea in the late 1980s: very modern; very good. The French had women in their crews then: we didn't -- our sailors used to line the rails for some "eyeball liberty" during the alongside refuellings .

We also worked regularly with their carriers; Foch & Clemenceau in those days : conventionally powered so they couldn't keep up with us, but very capable. Good food too - invites to fly over for lunch were much prized.

When things got tough we could count on the French to send some ships and the Brits to send an Admiral.

The summer monsoon starts in just six weeks, so I expect the piracy issue will fade for a few months.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Apr, 2009 05:49 am
It seems to get worse now: the pirates (at least some) aren't only ectending their operation region (more than 400 nautical miles away from the coast was thought to be save until lately) but they now targeted a large cruise ship.
Quote:
MSC Cruises confirms that the Melody cruise ship was attacked by pirates near the Seychelles Islands on Saturday evening, April 25, 2009. The ship initiated avoidance procedures and quickly escaped the attack with no injuries to any of the approximately 1,000 passengers and 500 crew members onboard.

The pirates approached the ship in a small speedboat firing automatic weapons at 7:35 pm GMT while the ship was sailing 180 nautical miles from Port Victoria in the Seychelles. MSC Cruises immediately informed the Italian government foreign office (La Farnesina), the Maritime Security Center in London and the Coordination Center for Security in Dubai.

A military vessel from the international security forces in the region has been sent to escort the Melody as a precaution, and the ship is continuing to Aqaba, Jordan, on its scheduled itinerary.


Source: PRnewswire

Security guards opened fire on the pirates.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 06:31 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:

Security guards opened fire on the pirates.


Could that be the reason their attempt at piracy was unsuccessful?

The southwest monsoon starts in early June - steady winds at 25+ Kts from the southwest, with dust-laden, humid air and high seas throughout the northern Indian ocean. The piracy will drop off quickly until it ends in September.
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 10:20 am
@georgeob1,
I don't understand why this sudden interest in the Somalis; the straits of Malacca have been infested by pirates for as long as there have been boats, and so have waters offshore China and on the gold-silver arbitrage route between Dubai and India. Beautiful picture from National Geographic;
http://s.ngm.com/2007/10/malacca-strait-pirates/img/malacca_feature.jpg
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2007/10/malacca-strait-pirates/pirates-text
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Apr, 2009 05:23 am
@High Seas,
The Straits of Malacca experienced a surge of piracy beginning in the 1980s, possibly also linked with internal instabilities within Indonesia and political tensions among the surrounding states; Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia. However, it barely progressed to the point that large ships were systematically seized; their crews ransomed; and the ships themselves held in the process (there were a few cases of medium-sized ships seized. repainted and appearing again in the trade under new names and registry, but this was commercial piracy in a somewhat different form.) Rules were also a bit different then. For a while I commanded a large replenishment ship with a small crew operating there - the type sometimes targeted by pirates: we had automatic weapons installed around the superstructure and would have quickly and without warning taken out any small craft that attempted to come alongside.

Finally, in the late 1980s these nations, in the protection of their own commercial self-interest, began cooperatively patrolling the straits and deaing very firmly (and quietly) with the pirates. It soon stopped. Piracy is still a threat to fishing boats and small traders in the region, as you noted, but no longer a major concern for large shippers.

Nice photo. It reminds me of scenes from the Bay of Bengal - one frequently sees similar sea & sky conditions there. The most beautiful sunrises & sunsets, cloud formations and play of light in the tropical air are common there. ("Ship me somewhere East of Suez, where the best is like the worst....")
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Apr, 2009 11:04 am
@georgeob1,
Thanks very much; never having commanded any floating vessel bigger than a canoe, I get an entire new perspective from reading your post!

I've seen however vast numbers of shipping documents for items you KNOW cannot POSSIBLY be intended for their alleged destinations, and that's another reason I don't believe the convoy protection would ever work. Last reason is that every last seaman now has a cellphone, or satellite phone, so all it takes is one crew member to contact some shady confederates on the coast.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Apr, 2009 12:44 pm
@High Seas,
High Seas wrote:

Thanks very much; never having commanded any floating vessel bigger than a canoe, I get an entire new perspective from reading your post!

I've seen however vast numbers of shipping documents for items you KNOW cannot POSSIBLY be intended for their alleged destinations, and that's another reason I don't believe the convoy protection would ever work. Last reason is that every last seaman now has a cellphone, or satellite phone, so all it takes is one crew member to contact some shady confederates on the coast.

I agree with you about recent advances in communications completely changing the game for everyone - it wasn't that long ago that ships relied on HF radio transmissions or the then very spotty MARSAT telephone coverage. I have also seen enough anecdotal information about "dissappearing" merchant ships (generally > 10 years old and owned by strange 3rd parties) and others, strangely like them that "reappear" ujnder another registry a few months later.

After the logistics ship I had a Nimitz class carrier - no problems with pirates there.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

T'Pring is Dead - Discussion by Brandon9000
Another Calif. shooting spree: 4 dead - Discussion by Lustig Andrei
Friends don't let friends fat-talk - Discussion by hawkeye10
Before you criticize the media - Discussion by Robert Gentel
Fatal Baloon Accident - Discussion by 33export
The Day Ferguson Cops Were Caught in a Bloody Lie - Discussion by bobsal u1553115
Robin Williams is dead - Discussion by Butrflynet
 
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 10/15/2019 at 03:15:44