What to do about pirates: Great suggestion from a Merchant Marine Captain

From the “Letters to the Editor” section of the Star Ledger:

Being a merchant marine captain, I am totally frustrated by the actions or inactions of the various maritime powers, particularly ours, to respond to the scourge of piracy.

Most civilian police departments undertake undercover actions to eliminate organized crime syndicates, human trafficking, gangs, drug cartels, etc. Many of these operations are successful, resulting in the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators.

It is rather mind-boggling as to why the maritime powers do not do the same. They now are spending millions of dollars to have dozens of warships patrol, mostly unsuccessfully, a vast area. Instead, they should let three to four small cargo ships heavily armed with concealed weapons cruise the sea lanes. When the pirates get near, the ships should open fire and send them to the bottom of the sea. No need to arrest them.

When the remaining pirates see that their cohorts are not returning home with a prize, they will think twice before go out to sea again. End of piracy.

— N.M. Elliott, South Orange

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About marypmadigan

Writer/photographer (profession), foreign policy wonk (hobby).
This entry was posted in Africa, Ocean. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to What to do about pirates: Great suggestion from a Merchant Marine Captain

  1. Infidel753 says:

    Excellent idea.

    Even a private entity with enough money could do this. Perhaps the shipping companies should pool their resources and try it, if governments won’t.

  2. Mary says:

    If the government or a corporate group is doing this, we probably won’t hear anything about it – which is the way it should be…

    If there’s a significant decrease in pirate attacks in the next year, without any overt government action, I’d guess that’s what’s happening.

  3. Dave J. says:

    It’s an excellent idea, and in the US at least there’s an existing legal basis for it: Congress’s power to issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal. Keep in mind that the US is not a party to the mid-19th century treaties that abolished privateering; it’s simply a practice that’s fallen into disuse. But the resurgence of piracy calls for a resurgence of privateers.

  4. marypmadigan says:

    Are privateers similar to mercenaries?

  5. Pingback: Fausta’s Blog » Blog Archive » Paris, tea parties, and tires: Friends’ posts roundup

  6. Mark Higgins says:

    Since the U.S. Navy is spending so much time and money anyway, why don’t they put a few SEAL teams on random cargo ships off the Somali coast. The pirates would never know which ships had them and which did not. Of course if a few pirates got killed in the process it would only help.

  7. Jim Stilwell says:

    This is from a retired Master who routinely plied those waters on Tankers and Bulk Carriers – How about just sending a few special ops folks ashore at night and burning their boats – no boats, no piracy. Does this sound like one of the Hornblower epics. You bet’cha. …and it would work.

  8. missster Rushhh says:

    Ah! Splendid, simply Marvelous, comrade!…er. until they mistake your family/friend’s fishing activities on their motorboat for piracy…

    1-Question-pop-Quiz:
    Empowering civil servants with a license to kill is a good idea:
    a) when the populace is frightened
    b) when the populace is in danger
    c) as often as possible
    d) only if you’ve tried every other possibility and are still in check (read: NEVER)

    …I know, big mystery as to what I say the right answer is, right? Mister liberal-lefty guy, here. It’s all too obviously C…

  9. missster Rushhh says:

    Ah, but wait! Mary’s post has reminded me to make this little post script with the REAL answer:

    (*) Give the government all power to kill, imprison, and/or mutilate up front, stay as ignorant as possible about the results, and remind everyone else that this is the way it needs to be (in case their daily mind control dosage has had a.. um… detrimental effect on their memory ;)

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