Monday, November 17, 2008

Bad Bad Bad: Somali Pirates Capture Supertanker

It's the early years of the 21st Century, we're living in the future, people, and while I can deal with the lack of flying cars, it's a bit surreal to me that open-seas piracy is reemerging as an international issue. I understand that as long as there are desolate stretches of ungovernable wasteland, there will be people who seek to profit off of chaos. I just didn't think they'd get to the point that they can capture supertankers.

UPDATE: Kenneth Anderson at Opinio Juris suggests that Somali pirates could be low-hanging fruit for an Obama administration eager to gain some serious security credibility while simultaneously demonstrating its commitment to internationalism. He also notes how Great Britain, once the lonely guardian of shipping lanes worldwide, has abdicated any responsibility to fight pirates:
Meanwhile, the British have instructed their navy to ignore pirates, out of the remarkable fear that any captured Somali pirates might have asylum claims on metropolitan Britain. I am not alone in thinking this an ignominious day for Britain.
Not alone, indeed.


Elephantschild said...

The best thing, [the Navy officer] said, would be for Somali pirates to attack, and then be aggressively counterattacked, in a battle, not the serving of an arrest warrant - sink their vessel and kill as many pirates as possible. It would send a message to pirates that they could not know which apparently civilian vessels might instead instead counterattack.

Sort of like concealed carry on a ocean-sized scale. Cool.

Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake said...

Yeah, I love that idea, too. I have a feeling a lot of Marines would find it pretty entertaining, too.