Piracy and Lunacy

The lunacy of Somalia being without a clear government the past 20 or so years is bad enough, but couple that with Piracy and you get a dangerous but equal harmony to paraphrase the smarmy McCartney / Jackson song of the 80’s. Since I’m the guy who likes to look beyond the next news cycle, I’ll add my thoughts to the many news articles you’ve seen on the topic, because there is a clear and imminent danger to this piracy.

It’s not a question of more patrols, there’s only so much open space you can protect. It’s a question of cutting off the bases, and stopping the ransom payments. The point in any attack should be to make piracy dangerously unprofitable. Right now it’s pretty lucrative, and the danger in the many multi-million dollar ransoms grows with compound interest.

The headlines today talks about pirates in rubber rafts and broken down trawlers, but if ransoms continue to be paid how long before we see speedboats or cruisers? Today we see AK’s and RPG;’s, how long before we see .50 cals and C-802’s?

Since it is profitable piracy is likely to increase, not decrease, and the outcome could be disastrous. The other day a loaded cruise ship outran the pirates, but the day will come when ships attempting to flee will be targetted with missiles.

Advanced tech is not that hard to scrape up, and the Falklands war and the Israel-Hezbollah conflict of 2006 showed us the clear danger of underestimating the weapons your foes might have. Maybe all the piracy is really for show, maybe they are trying to sucker a military vessel in, who knows? I do know that I support the current initiative for attacks on the pirate bases, because you must wipe out their capabilities to defeat them, not increase them by continued ransom payments. Like America’s first war with pirates, we must go to the source and tear out the roots.

Al Qaeda in Somalia Leader Dies in Air Strike

Aden Hashi Ayro, Al Qaeda’s named leader in Somalia, was Killed in an air strike. AP was called by an Al Qaeda source who gave them the information:

The American military launched an airstrike Thursday targeting the head of al-Qaida in Somalia, a U.S. defense official said. The head of an Islamic insurgent group said the attack killed its leader.
Islamist leader Aden Hashi Ayro, believed to be the head of al-Qaida in Somalia, was killed when the airstrike struck his house in the central Somali town of Dusamareeb, about 300 miles north of Mogadishu, said Sheik Muqtar Robow, a spokesman for the Islamic al-Shabab militia.

Another commander and seven others were also killed, Robow said. Six more people were wounded, two of whom later died, said resident Abdullahi Nor.

“Our brother martyr Aden Hashi, has received what he was looking for—death for the sake of Allah—at the hands of the United States,” Robow told The Associated Press by phone.

Aden Hashi Ayro killed four aid workers, was trained by AQ in Afghanistan in the 90’s, and this is a major blow against the Islamic Courts and Shabab terrorist organizations in Somalia. In other exploits he dug up an Italian colonial-era cemetary and erected a mosque in its place, and sheltered Al Qaeda transiting the region.
More at The Long War Journal
More here at Reuters.