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The Great Pirates off the Somali Coast thread

scoolbubba

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
Better camera? Better operators who aren't as task saturated? I don't know, you're the one with all the answers, right?
 

A4sForever

BTDT OLD GUY
pilot
Contributor
.... But I guess we should just shoot now and worry about all that bothersome shit later, or maybe not at all! ...
No ... you plan an OP and actually make it work.

Nothing's perfect, but if you think we shouldn't fight unless we can guarantee zero collateral damage, then I suggest a 'real-world' reality check is in order for some members of our intelligence community. I really don't care about camp followers ... they've made their bed, so let them sleep in it. And, given the opportunity, those camp followers you referenced ??? They'd blow YOUR brains out in a heartbeat and not lose one minute of sleep over it.

But still, you make some valid points. I just don't and won't default to the " it's too hard" position ... that's a sure ticket to a certain defeat in the short or long term.

If we need an example of how to overcome "insurmountable" obstacles, why don't we ask the guys who planned and executed Entebbe how to deal w/ what's "too hard" ???
 

MrSaturn

Well-Known Member
Contributor
I for one am perfectly content on letting Ugandan military get its hands dirty fighting the crazies in Somalia. Dollar for dollar I think that is a better return on investment.
 

SkywardET

Contrarian
Okay, so maybe we hit a camp or two, maybe even three. What then? What about hundreds of hostages of the dozens of ships they have right now spread out all along the Somali coastline and apparently on land too? Are we going to rescue all of them? Not a simple undertaking by any stretch. And just how many are Americans? What if they start killing those hostages? How do you think our friends, acquaintances and allies whose citizens are among the hostages will feel about that? So far the pirates have killed only a very small handful of hostages they have held, the murder of the 4 Americans on the yacht appears to have been a result of a dispute among the pirates from what little info publicly available now. If we strike a land base expect the survival rate of the many remaining hostages to change. But I guess we should just shoot now and worry about all that bothersome shit later, or maybe not at all!
So here's a bothersome question: is the situation getting better or worse?

"Pirates once were believed to be disgruntled and financially motivated Somali fishermen angry that international trawlers were illegally fishing Somalia's waters. Now criminal gangs dominate the piracy trade, and have begun systematically torturing hostages, including locking them in freezers."
Source: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2011/02/23/1881751/pirates-add-ammo-men-to-ships.html#ixzz1EqXqlVQW

Hmm, it's a whole criminal enterprise now, involving systematic torture. It's getting worse. The best thing to do with problems that are getting worse is to address them head-on, something which is evidently not even being contemplated.

I guess here's another bothersome question: what are we going to do about all the future hostages, all thousands of them? Is it also going to be nothing?
 

mmx1

Woof!
pilot
Contributor
I for one am perfectly content on letting Ugandan military get its hands dirty fighting the crazies in Somalia. Dollar for dollar I think that is a better return on investment.
Because us funding the Ethiopians to fight in Somalia has worked out so well.
 

scoolbubba

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
Of course we could clean up Somalia - with enough troops, blood and treasure anything is possible. Or, maybe the freighters could transit a little bit farther from the coast.

So, could we clean up Somalia, probably, the question is WHY would we go clean up Somalia.


"I don't think our troops should be used for what’s called nation building". - G.W. Bush Jr. 2000 presidential election debate.

I don't give two rats asses about cleaning up somalia. I'd rather our government make up its mind to kill the people who attempt to choke the SLOCs...I thought that's what all the treasure we spent on a Navy was supposed to guarantee? And there aren't innocent followers in these camps. The piracy trade has become a rudimentary joint stock company: people pay in to supply the hostage takers and receive a share of the ransom.

Until it becomes too costly, they're going to keep at it, impeding trade and harming innocent people who are already making an honest living.

And as far as transiting farther? There's only two small problems with that: 1. The Freighters already moved further out to sea. The pirates adapted by using long range mother boats to move their attacks further offshore. and 2. The MVs have to transit the gulf of aden between yemen and somalia, not exactly functioning states by any sense. These aren't down on their luck fishermen, these are thugs who are out to make a quick buck.
 

MrSaturn

Well-Known Member
Contributor
Because us funding the Ethiopians to fight in Somalia has worked out so well.
Constructive... what is YOUR solution to the failed state?

Uganda and Burandi already has troops in Somalia working with the AU as we speak. We already fund them as well as the UN, EU, and League of Arab states.

In my opinion increased funding would be better than having the US come in and take military lead or make tomahawk strikes.
 

Flash

SEVAL/ECMO
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
No ... you plan an OP and actually make it work.

Nothing's perfect, but if you think we shouldn't fight unless we can guarantee zero collateral damage, then I suggest a 'real-world' reality check is in order for some members of our intelligence community. I really don't care about camp followers ... they've made their bed, so let them sleep in it. And, given the opportunity, those camp followers you referenced ??? They'd blow YOUR brains out in a heartbeat and not lose one minute of sleep over it.

But still, you make some valid points. I just don't and won't default to the " it's too hard" position ... that's a sure ticket to a certain defeat in the short or long term.
Reality check? The reality is that there are approximately 712 hostages from the 33 vessels spread up and down the Somali coast and beyond now held by the pirates, a huge problem I think escapes many here. Do you think striking a pirate base camp or two is going to make things better for them? I am aware that zero collateral damage is usually unrealistic but you don't want to spark a bloodbath either. I would be more than happy to let our rotary winged brethren here go nuts with Hellfires on motherships, let SOCOM start knocking off the pirate chieftains in their mansions and even have a CVBG do slow cruise up the coast.....but then reality intrudes. With this latest incident we may change our tune a bit but I would not be surprised if we don't.

If we need an example of how to overcome "insurmountable" obstacles, why don't we ask the guys who planned and executed Entebbe how to deal w/ what's "too hard" ???
Entebbe, Prince's Gate and Lufthansa Flight 181 were all damn hard but all were single target ops that were over and done with fast. The scale of what faces us, our allies and others off the Somali coast would stretch our capabilities during the best of times, it would overtax them during the wars we now face. All against pirates who don't hold one American ship or citizen right now. And finally, instead of one Dora Bloch we could face scores of instances like hers.
 

A4sForever

BTDT OLD GUY
pilot
Contributor
Reality check? .....
Right ... butit seems you always suggest the 'zero sum' position ... i.e., if it costs "innocent" lives or is "hard", then it shouldn't be done. Accommodation and inactivity ALWAYS costs more lives in the end ...

What would I do ... ??? I wouldn't do pinprick attacks. For starters, I'd 'take' the families of the pirate chieftains to hold as collateral. It wouldn't be the first time this has been done and it's worked in the past. Dora Block is a red herring ... she didn't make it ONLY because she wasn't in the airport proper.

But I wouldn't bring the families to MSP to drive our airport taxis ... they might never want to go home.
 

Flash

SEVAL/ECMO
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
... but it seems you always suggest the 'zero sum' position ... i.e., if it costs "innocent" lives or is "hard", then it shouldn't be done. Accommodation and inactivity ALWAYS costs more lives in the end ...
While you seem to suggest the easy and unrealistic position.....

What would I do ... ??? I wouldn't do pinprick attacks. For starters, I'd 'take' the families of the pirate chieftains to hold as collateral. It wouldn't be the first time this has been done and it's worked in the past.
The US take hostages? Since when have we done that in modern times? And what do we get in return? None of our citizens are now held. Talk about unrealistic......

Dora Block is a red herring ... she didn't make it ONLY because she wasn't in the airport proper.
With hostages are held in scores of locations up and down hundreds of miles of Somali coast I would argue that Bloch's case would certainly be applicable.
 

A4sForever

BTDT OLD GUY
pilot
Contributor
...you seem to suggest the easy and unrealistic position.....

The US take hostages? Since when have we done that in modern times? And what do we get in return? None of our citizens are now held. Talk about unrealistic......

With hostages are held in scores of locations up and down hundreds of miles of Somali coast I would argue that Bloch's case would certainly be applicable.
No ... my 'position' is to opt for action -- vice talk, bureaucratic inertia (the resting part), and hand wringing. I've seen enough 'talk' over the past 45+ years and it only costs lives. Lots of lives. If something is currently going on 'back channel', then forget everything I said ... otherwise ???

QUESTION: Where did I say the U.S. took hostages in 'modern times' ???
ANSWER: Nowhere ... you made your 'challenge' up out of whole cloth.

It would be helpful if you did not make up your 'talking points' as you go along and put words in others' mouths ... but then -- if you didn't -- you wouldn't be S
(f)lash, would you ??? Ah, yes ... we've come to 'know you', Slash ... and not in the Biblical sense ... :)

Who cares if the hostages are not 'ours'?? We go all around the world rescuing 'other' people from a variety of situations. They are hostages, period. They come from friendly and allied countries and the situation threatens lives, commerce, and free and open passage on the high seas -- which affects us all. UNREALISTIC ??? That didn't seem to matter 225 years ago when the US Navy stepped up (w/out our 'modern' self-imposed limitations) and moved on the bad guys.

By the way ... the Barbary pirates are EXACTLY the spark that created the USN from the get-go ... and the financial gain derived from the slave trade (hostages??) is what motivated the 'pirates'. Powerful western navies and land operations are what finally brought the Arab slave-raiding to an end after a long slog.

BTW, some of our citizens just got killed, others would have w/out DIRECT Navy/SEAL action, and more will get killed if we do nothing ... QUOTE:
"it wouldn't be the first time this has been done and it's worked in the past" ... where's my refrence to 'us' taking hostages??? I wish we had the determination to end this situation, no matter what, but have you never heard of our 'clients' and 'allies' doing what we want to pretend we'd 'never do' ... because we'd like to fool ourselves that we're 'above it' ??? Others have done our dirty work over the past 45 years so we can still pretend to be righteous and 'clean'.

Take their families?? With the prospect of the scum-pirates getting THEIR rice bowl upset, it's amazing how quickly the most radical 'pirate' can 'get religion' ...

Oh ... this is good. Slash is back and still in form.
 

Flash

SEVAL/ECMO
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
No ... my 'position' is to opt for action -- vice talk, bureaucratic inertia (the resting part), and hand wringing. I've seen enough 'talk' over the past 45+ years and it only costs lives. Lots of lives.
Unfortunately without a realistic plan to secure the safety of the 700 or so hostages now held by the pirates your position for 'action' is nothing but bluster.

QUESTION: Where did I say the U.S. took hostages in 'modern times' ???
ANSWER: Nowhere ... you made your 'challenge' up out of whole cloth.

...... It would be helpful if you did not make up your 'talking points' as you go along and put words in others' mouths ..."it wouldn't be the first time this has been done and it's worked in the past"
.....For starters, I'd 'take' the families of the pirate chieftains to hold as collateral.......
but then -- if you didn't -- you wouldn't be S(f)lash, would you ??? Ah, yes ... we've come to 'know you', Slash ... and not in the Biblical sense ... :)
Ah yes, you know so well from........my musings on the internets, talk about going off half-cocked. And from some of your recent comments you are flying blind anyways......

Who cares if the hostages are not 'ours'?? We go all around the world rescuing 'other' people from a variety of situations. They are hostages, period. They come from friendly and allied countries and the situation threatens lives, commerce, and free and open passage on the high seas -- which affects us all. UNREALISTIC ??? That didn't seem to matter 225 years ago when the US Navy stepped up (w/out our 'modern' self-imposed limitations) and moved on the bad guys.
We stepped up after US citizens and ships were taken, not others. And thus far we have not paid a penny of ransom or an ounce of tribute keeping in line with our longstanding policies, even with the capture of US citizens.

Again, it is easy to suggest we go in with guns blazing but when you step back and take stock of the challenge that the pirates present you have to ask whether or not it is worth it. To eliminate the pirate threat we would have to conduct extensive combat operations against a variety of targets, using resources that are now heavily engaged in active combat operations in two theaters of war (okay, 'advising' in one......). What's more important?

And while Somalis might not be the most disciplined of fighters they certainly put up a fight the last time we were there in significant numbers. And unlike the Dey of Algeris or Bey of Tunis there isn't much in the way of organized government, criminal or not, that we can hit to make them stop and sue for peace like there was for 'Preble's Boys'. The pirates operate in what comes closest to a anarchists paradise as you can find in the world nowadays. Like I said earlier, a grown up version of whack-a-mole........
 

A4sForever

BTDT OLD GUY
pilot
Contributor
That's O.K., Slash ... we'll just agree to disagree on this ... and probably 99% of what else goes on in life.

I'll opt for 'action' vice 'talk' anyday, anyway. I learned that hard and valuable lesson 40 years ago ...are you even 40 years old, yet ??? :)
 

armada1651

Hey intern, get me a Campari!
pilot

If we need an example of how to overcome "insurmountable" obstacles, why don't we ask the guys who planned and executed Entebbe how to deal w/ what's "too hard" ???
Those guys did have the benefit of all the hostages being in held in one place - a place that happened to have been designed by an Israeli construction company, giving them access to full blueprints of the facility. And of course, inconveniently for those terrorists, it was a place immediately adjacent to an undefended runway on which C-130s full of Sayeret operators could land and practically taxi to the gate. An extremely impressive operation, don't get me wrong, but I think an American mission into Somalia might look less like Entebbe and more like Munich...or, well, Somalia.

Still, I agree - it would be very interesting to see how the Israelis handled this situation...but I don't think the pirates are stupid enough to attack a ship flying the Star of David. Sad that the Stars and Stripes apparently no longer strike that fear into pirates.
 
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