Posted by Scott Malensek on 1 October, 2008 at 8:28 am. 1 comment.


The U.S. naval officers leading the anti-piracy efforts in the Gulf of Aden has warned shipping companies to take additional precautions, because the fifteen warships in the Gulf cannot possibly protect all the merchant ships passing through the area.

The key problem is that no one wants to go ashore and take on the Somali warlords responsible for the surge in piracy. No wonder, as the natural state of Somalia, over the last few centuries, has been violent anarchy. This would be bloody, mainly for the Somalis, and no nation wants to get accused of war crimes and brutality by the media.


The availability of speedboats, satellite radio and GPS have made it possible to conduct piracy deep into the Straits of Aden (a major choke point for international shipping). Many nations are sending warships to try and control the pirates at sea, without going ashore. This, and forcing ships to transit the area at high speed, or in convoys, will be expensive, but this is believed to be ultimately able to keep losses down and prevent insurance rates for ships from skyrocketing.

Russia, however, is sending a warship to join in the anti-piracy effort. The Russian frigate, however, will be acting alone, not as part as Task Force 150 (the international naval and air force patrolling the Gulf). The Russian ship is coming from the Baltic, so it won’t arrive until early October. Everyone is curious to see how the Russians will deal with the pirates. The Russians often go Old School in cases like this.

My thought is that the Russians are sending their Navy so as to ensure/protect their illegal arms shipments. QUESTION: Why doesn’t the UN stop the shipments that are in violation of the UN? Hmmm, perhaps-like Sen Obama suggested re the Russian invasion of Georgia-someone should take that to the UNSC and demand a resolution.


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