Thursday, August 20, 2009

New Strategic Concept: de-romanticize?

Yes, I understand INFO-OPS/STRATCOM, etc; but I also understand its limits as reported by Andrew Scuto at NavyTimes.

First, in your mind I want you to capture your MK1 MOD0 Somali pirate or his ilk elsewhere. These people don't give a d@man what you think of them. Most are functional illerates who are just trying to find a buck the best way they can -- and some even thing that their religion allows it.

Do you think they give a donkey's a55 about this?
“Part of our message is to de-romanticize piracy,” said Rear Adm. Scott Sanders, commander of counter-piracy Task Force 151. “Pirates are bad people. They are holding over 100 people against their will.”
What are you going to do, run PSAs on "Pimp My Ride?" MSNBC?

New flash - these are not First World Westerners. They don't care what their international image is - and they don't even know what it is anyway.

What is the only thing worse than sociologists running Strategic Concepts? Ah, yes -- LAWFARE.
The number of opportunities for a ‘legal finish’ — the term we use for a successful prosecution — those avenues are expanding all the time. So I’d fully expect to see more successful legal prosecutions,” said Capt. Keith Blount, of the British Royal Navy and chief of staff for 151. “If we frame a good case, that case will go to Kenya, it will go to the Seychelles, and these criminals will be put behind bars. Absolutely.”
I know this isn't popular, but this is what we know from a few thousand years of dealing with pirates. It works every time.

You kill them and you destroy their bases and support structure - rinse, repeat. They then go away to the point they only need occasional spot cleaning.

That simple. Unless, of course, you had no top cover politically to do what needs to be done. Then you do a bunch of ineffective steaming until the pirates find a better economic model to make a living off of, you take 10 years to do a 2 year job .... or you just go away and let someone else solve the problem for you.

Interesting stats here though --- maybe we are on the 10 year slow boil.
And while 2008 and the first half of 2009 saw high levels of hijackings, including several high-profile situations, Blount said the pirates are indeed working harder for the money.

“In 2007, there were 19 attacks, and 12 were successful. That’s a pretty good strike rate. There are a number of people who became pretty rich in that particular year,” he said. “The year after that there were 130 attacks, of which 44 were successful. This year alone we’ve seen 137 attacks, but only 28 of those have been successful.”

According to 5th Fleet, 199 small arms have been captured, along with 85 rocket-propelled grenades, 41 RPG launchers, assorted climbing gear and communications devices have been captured since last August.

Of the 514 pirates “encountered,” in that time, 10 were killed and 235 were turned over for prosecution in Kenya, France, U.S. and Seychelles.
Faster please.

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