.
April 13th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

What can be done about increase of piracy?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It was about time. The Navy SEALs ended that hostage crisis off the coast of Somalia yesterday with three fatal shots in the dark killing all three pirates aboard the lifeboat. But the military action came only after the band of ragtag troublemakers held Captain Richard Phillips hostage for five days as U.S. Navy ships floated and watched in the surrounding waters.

Cafferty: Piracy is getting worse because there hasn’t been a high enough price for pirates to pay to stop it.

It got to the point where a handful of pirates in a lifeboat were making the mightiest navy on earth look like little more than a collection of plastic bathtub toys. But President Obama authorized the use of lethal force if there was imminent danger to the captain's life; and the mission was a success.

Meanwhile the U.S. military acknowledges that its actions to rescue Phillips could now increase violence. And already Somali pirates are vowing revenge - saying they will kill U.S. and French sailors "if they happen to be among our future hostages." A French raid on Friday had killed two other pirates.

The piracy in this part of the world is getting worse because so far there hasn't been a high enough price for the pirates to pay to stop it. The first officer of the ship that came under attack is calling on the world to "wake up" to the dangers of piracy. He says it's a crisis and that the U.S. should be at the forefront of the fight.

Here's my question to you: What can be done about the increasing piracy on the high seas?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Billy from Las Vegas writes:
Jack, Two things will solve the problem quickly. First, put armed guards with the firepower to blow the pirates out of the water on the merchant ships. Second, halt any suspected Somali "mother ship" trawler for inspection. If they refuse to be inspected, sink 'em. No "mother ship" and the pirates have no way to get to the deep water Indian Ocean shipping lanes. That leaves the Gulf of Aden in the north which is a lot less area to patrol.

Charles writes:
The threat of violence has always been what pirates have used to intimidate shipping management. It’s interesting that these criminals take umbrage at us when that same violence is visited upon them. Until shipping owners refuse to pay ransoms and demand actions from their own governments, piracy will continue.

Matt writes:
I believe the U.S. Navy should use what appear to be easy targets for pirates, but in reality would be decoys with armed soldiers instead of civilians. If pirates know that such things exist they will be more reluctant to charge at unsuspecting vessels.

Alberto writes:
Jack, We have air marshals that go in planes. We should do the same with ships. A contingent of armed security personnel will become a deterrent. If it comes to a confrontation, our weapons and training are superior. For piracy to take place, you need a pirate and a vulnerable ship. All you need to do is take one element out of the equation.

Brian from New Creek, West Virginia writes:
When piracy was a problem centuries ago, the British would hold public executions of pirates. "Hang 'em high!" as they used to say... we probably wouldn't hang them but a more public show of force against pirates would make them realize the benefits do not outweigh the risks.


Filed under: Piracy
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Ryan Armstrong

    First, I think yesterday's recovery operation of Captain Phillips is a great symbol of American fortitude, and I hope it sends a bold statement to the pirates that the U.S. will not tolerate such acts of hostility.

    As for future run-ins with these despicable foes, we should be fully prepared and expect them to step up their defiance with more targets of U.S. (and French) vessels. To that end, our merchant ships need a regular presence of armed guardians when entering those pirate-infested zones. This could be accomplished by having Navy warships at strategic points to the north and south in the Sea of Adan. When our mechant ships enter that zone (both northbound and southbound), they would stop to have the guardian security team (which may entail just 3 or 4 sharp-shooters with rifles or even an RPG launcher) board and chaperone the ship through the high-risk zone. Once through the zone, the security team would deboard and stand-by on the opposite warship until the next merchant vessel going in the opposite direction comes along.

    With this security presense in place, we'd make an official announcement to the pirates that hostile advances toward our ships would be considered terrorist attacks, and those attacking would be eliminated proactively - before any pirate vessel gets within, say, 100 yards.

    Yes, it's one more mission our already over-stretched military would have to take on; but I believe after these pirates see 5, 10, 20, however many boats they want to see get blown out of the water, they'll realize "their ship has sailed" - and sunk.

    -Ryan

    April 13, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  2. S, Michigan

    Option 1- Nothing- avoid where the pirates are!! It's like asking "what can be done to avoid getting mugged or robbed in downtown"? Well, avoid the streets that are known to be dangerous! (especially when there are a 100 other streets to take or 1000s of sq miles of ocean available). Option 2- let all ships have heavily armed security- we'll need to change maritime laws for that.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  3. Ali - Toronto

    The scourge of piracy which was once seen as a nuisance has blossomed into full blown violence and loss of life. The only logical deterrent is the training and arming of the crew on these ships so they may defend themselves. What’s more, the rest of the world needs to understand that young children as old as 14 and 15 are being recruited, manipulated and exploited by older pirate chiefs who are usually not the ones executing these heists.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  4. Theresa in Atlanta

    Mount machine guns to the decks of the merchant ships. If threatened, fire some warning shots across the bow followed by dead aim shots at the pirates' bridge. Problem solved.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  5. Tony, in NY

    If the US and the rest of the world would stop trying to be politically correct and just blow these pirate ships out of the water and destroy their bases then 4 pirates with rifles in motorboats would not be able to tie up several ships and hundreds of sailors of the worlds most powerful Navy for several days..

    April 13, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  6. John Taylor

    Concerning the arranged marriage of an eight year old in Saudi.
    well America you wanted Diversity. Welcome to the rest of the world's ideas of religion, culture, political correctness etc. You buy the dog you get the fleas.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  7. Diane in PC Florida

    I say we need a three-pronged approach:

    1) Shipping companies should provide security and protection for their vessels.
    2) A multi-national effort to end/minimize piracy.
    3) Begin a process of stabilizing Somalia's government and economy through international efforts. Much of the piracy stems from lawlessness and abject poverty within Somalia. Right now piracy is a criminal matter, and the international community should respond accordingly.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  8. Frank

    Put a security crew (minimum of five) on each of these large vessels. Arm two of them with high-powered night vision scope sniper rifles. The rest with machine guns, rifles, and pistols. If pirates know this, they will think twice about invading a ship!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  9. Larry

    Jack,
    Wouldn't it make sense and save money ( over sending the navy, for example ) to fit these vessel with warning systems, appropriately mounted guns, and trained marksman to get these guys "before" they get onto a ship. Costs might be recovered by lowered liability insurance premiums for protected vessels.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  10. Jenna Wade

    What can be done about the increasing piracy on the high seas?

    I am opposed to arming the merchant ships, but I wouldn't mind if they got an escort by military naval ships from all over the world to protect them – shared protection

    This is not an act of terrorism, but a criminal act and should be handled accordingly.

    Bravo to President Obama for acting like a true LEADERin this matter, negotiate and when that failed show a firm hand. Funny you don't hear anyone on the GOP praising him.. Wonder if we would have dropped bombs on the innocent people of Somalia with GW Bush or John McSame in power?

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    April 13, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  11. jack frost

    Probably time for the civilized nations of the world to take the pirates out of the game.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  12. Cecil M. Lopez/Portland,Oregon

    More of the same, and these knuckleheads will get the idea.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  13. MG

    Pirates especially the ones off the coast of Somalia have no allegiance to any country. They are Pirates. There is no difference from the Pirates of the 18th century that we tend to mythologize. Pirate back then and now are ruthless savages who feed on money and death. They have no regard for the law. Since they have no allegiance to any country than I say all bets are off. Do they actually think threatening the U.S. and France will help them. I believe that the only way to stop them is to continue to fight back with military force. The more they are deterred by killing them one by one, I believe they will think twice. I also think that cargo ships should hire security or arm themselves. There are plenty of cowboys such as blackwater that would jump at the chance to kill someone. Nothing wrong with hiring mercenaries.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  14. Oliver

    Kill them all and show no mercy, it's as simple as that. You threaten or try to board a US vessel and you will pay the ultimate price. The only way to stop piracy is to make it not worth the risk.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  15. charles, Brooklyn

    The answer is not as simple as bombing some camps. Remember these pirates are still holding over 200 capitives from other nations. If you start bombing you could put there lives in danger. Perhaps some sort of convoy system could be worked out to protect these ships. The shipping companies can give there schedules to the military so that they could escort these ships.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  16. Richard New Hampshire

    When a person points a loaded gun at another,a life is threatened.It does not matter if all they want is money.It is still lethal force.
    The US and the other nations threatened need to face the pirates with lethal force.These pirates do not want to die,they want money.We need to make piracy not worth the risk.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  17. Juan Nieves

    Jack, I believe we are already doing what must be done in order to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia. We need to keep confronting these so called pirates and come hard at them.

    Honestly, they must be confronted with force since they represent a serious threat to other ships. They must know and understand that the rest of the world will not tolerate their actions; play time is over. These are armed men willing to take anyone's life and therefore need to be treated as criminals and if the case demands for it, their operations need to be shoot down with force. Since the government in Somalia is unable to deal with this issue, the international community must do it and be aggressive while doing it.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  18. Kevin Denver Colorado

    Exactly what President Obama did.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  19. Steve - Mich

    Wipe out all their boats.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  20. Olivier, Harlem, NY

    If it's possible to have US marshalls( or somehting similar to that) on board to prevent such attacks i think that might help or at least discourage the pirates from attacking ships.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  21. Alex - Boston

    According to UN reports, in the past, there has been a systematic dumping of nuclear waste material–by some European countries–along the coast of Somali. I say the pirates are getting a little bit of payback.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  22. Craig- Hastings, MN

    Short term a convoy system and providing merchant vessels with ARMED security forces may at least stem this rash of piracy. Long term- A world wide agreement to treat pirates like they should be treated. By swinging from a yard arm and refusing to pay ransoms. Take the money out of the equation. I understand that this could have some tragic results but until the world says ENOUGH IS ENOUGH the problem will persist.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  23. Edi Son

    Hello there Jack:

    I am in the military. but in my unbiased opinion. I believe that the United States should form a coalition and have a force that will prevent pirates from taking hostage a ship. I think this piracy is like a illness that needs a cure.. BY that I mean, it will be cured once this piracy acts become a rare occurance.

    The medicine would be to have a coalition team with enough firepower to defend the ships and prevent pirates from taking over.
    IF this is done for a while, at some point the pirates will figure its not worthy. that it is too risky to take on the unknown and mighty. I know the power of a .50 cal. A team of 3 people can man that weapon. And for the pirates to be successful would take a lot more than just being thugs. Believe me, Once the .50 cal starts popping pirates will start dying and the word will spread. those who survive will pass the message. DO not come near. Any other solution in that part of the world is bound to fail. Hopelessnes doesn allow for reason.. let the bullets do the talking.

    Ed

    April 13, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  24. Sandy in Arkansas

    A lot more of what the French and Americans did this last week. It was costly in lives with one hostage being lost in the French case but it pirates are no different than terrorist...they have to be stopped. If they get recognition and reward for their actions those actions will only escalate.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  25. Jasmine in Germany

    Change the routes. Take the long way. The insurance companies and ship owners are not absorbing the ransoms paid as a "cost of doing business", the people are paying. The longer route will be cheaper in the long run and will create more jobs. When the authorities in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden figure out that they are losing a lot of money, they might come up with some new ideas which offer better "customer service". And the whole world should be involved in eliminating the bug (pirates).

    April 13, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  26. Dan in Frisco, TX

    Jack, I'm just wondering how long it took George Clooney's agent to call about getting him cast to play Capt. Richard Phillips in the sure-to-be-made-into-a-movie story!

    And think about these two guys as a duo on the speaking circuit: Capt Richard Phillips and Capt Chesley "Sulley" Sullenberger.

    Where can I buy a ticket?!

    Dan in Frisco, TX

    April 13, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  27. Independent for Obama

    Here is a good start: Guns on transport ships, an actual government set up in Somalia to enforce laws, and stiff international laws for unlawful acts off shore.
    katie, Springfield MA

    April 13, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  28. Ed Woodbridge,Va.

    Jack,

    Some cruise ships are equipped with a system that employs a very high pitched sound, that when aimed at an intruder causes them severe cranial discomfort, and drives the intruders away. Perhaps freighters ought to employ this technology, and the money they spend doing it, will be far less than the ransom they pay to get their boat back!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  29. Matt V, IL

    You fight piracy on land not the sea. As long as they have a safe haven in Somalia or Indonesia piracy will continue to thrive. Take away their safe havens, places they can refuel and hideout and you cut off their ability to function. Until the governments can be stabilized we will have to deal with piracy.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  30. peteinny

    The historical way to deal with piracy is to root it out. Piracy is not a social ill to be corrected by education and aid. Piracy has always been a hanging offense and it stops only when the costs outweigh the benefits,

    April 13, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  31. Pete (St. Louis, MO)

    This is a problem that the shipping industry needs to solve. For example, the ships could be physically modified to cause the prospect of piracy to be much less attractive. A little barbed wire and a few armed guards would probably resolve most of the threat.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  32. Brian - Trinidad

    Here we go again, Obama the saviour.Because the president had the boldness to 'authorize the use of force',we saved an American life.What-a-load-of-old-rubbish! The pirates are allowed to ply their trade because Western governments turn a blind eye to it,just like the turn a blind eye to the drug trade,the child labor trade,the sex trade and on and on and on.Too many governments and Fortune 500 companies make good money from these countries and the priracy costs are just the cost of doing business.USA had to use force because they were embarrassed into doing so.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  33. Rick Barry

    One thing would be for commentators and their "retired military experts" and even active duty military leaders who should know better to steal themselves from having their day in the sun by talking about mlitary operations and tactics publicly, and in the process alerting our enemies of ways and means to neutralize those tactics. It also helps them to decide what of our new weapons should be targeted for theft for their own purposes. How the Navy Seals "did it" which is the latest thing that the commentators seem to want to be the first to unveil is saddening. Think about the next hostage and how revealing tactical details publicly could make the difference between life and death. It could even be one of our own dedicated front line correspondents. The questions always start with "Without revealing anything confidential..." but too often they wind up with answers like we heard yesterday by one eager retired expert saying words to the effect: "Well I can't get into the details about how the shooters' weapons are stabilized in rough waters..." and how the pirates were fooled into being taken to calmer waters, etc. In the end it's all about the now story with little care about the future stories.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  34. Sherry Bays

    As far as I know, there are no international laws to cover the piracy practiced off the coast of Somalia. Knowing this, contractors continue to send and risk their ships, crews, and cargo. It must be worth it to them to pay higher fees for insurance that covers pirate demands. It must also be worth it to the crews to accept these assignments. Everyone has gone into this knowing the risks, so let them dangle. If the pirates are not breaking the law, then why use our military to intervene? I think they have other things to do. Don't you wonder what it cost the American taxpayer to move these ships and specialized personnel? I thought we were done with all this cowboy stuff.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  35. Brian, Columbia, Md.

    For starters, we need to stop being afraid to call pirates terrorists. They vowed "revenge" because the United States Military had the temerity to rescue an American citizen being held hostage by desperate gunmen? Sounds a declaration of war to me.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  36. N. Manetavat

    Amazing, the super power can not solve the pirate problem, seven years of fighting terrorists and Replulicans still want to build more weapons.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  37. Mark from New York

    It is simple Jack. Every ship that is passing through pirated waters should have a portable rocket launcher with an authorized military person who can use it. The pirates approach to hijack a ship, a button is pushed and puff, no more pirates. No long-winded international treaty negotiations, no debates on legalities, no pirates don't pay a high enough price, just pirate-free waters. This will clear a path for these ships to get precious supplies to the people who are willing to humanely receive them rather than kill someone for them. If you have the straight up disregard to hold a weapon to an innocent person's head, then you should have the same disregard when steering down the business end of a rocket launcher. If you don't then stay out of the pirating business.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  38. Pugas-AZ

    It's time to bring in the drones and target the pirate enclaves along the Somalia coast.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  39. Mike Turjanica

    We should increase the recruitment of Navy Seal Snipers....God bless them. Mike Turjanica
    Delaware, Ohio

    April 13, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  40. Jolee A Fisk

    The United States needs to show we still have the power to rid the high seas of these pirates. These men are not Captain Jack Sparrow, they are in the business to rob , kidnap and murder and need to be removed from the high seas as well as the face of the earth by our Naval forces.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  41. Leo in Oakland

    Start attacking them on land.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  42. Kevin Carlin

    The rescue of Captain Phillips in the Indian Ocean is a huge success and a feather in the cap of the new President. No country's citizenry, except the Somalis could possibly have a detrimental thing to say about rescue of cargo, crew and captain. That makes this a diplomatic success too.

    Trying the pirate defendant minor in US courts would be a mistake in that regard. The Hague (if it has jurisdiction) or Kenya if the applicable treaty appears to apply, should be the place of trial. It wouild be easily perceived as arrogant of this country to ignore the terms of the treaty or international law. That type of trial could also possibly spark more piracy, hijackings, mayhem and death.

    thank you.

    Kevin J. Carlin
    Allentown, NJ

    April 13, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  43. Ron from SF

    How about addressing the root causes, instead of wring off these people as thugs? You know, the over fishing of Somali waters and dumping nuclear wastes off their shores. It would be nice if the fishermen could use their boats for fishing, instead of piracy, but right now—what choice do they have? It would be real nice for the media to cover that side of it for a change, but then again I’ve gotten used to Corporate Bias, packaged as news.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  44. Karen - Nashville TN

    Why are these Somali pirates being treated like honest business men? They attack, rob, kidnap, and murder. Something akin to a floating Blaster, a car equiped with flamethrowers which was invented in Africa to prevent these kinds of attcks on land, would be the perfect solution to the problem.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  45. jack

    Amazing how people suddenly come out of the wood work to recommend "pre-emptive attacks" such as "bring out the drones and target the pirate enclaves..."

    I thought that the liberal point of view was wait until someone dies and then attack...well maybe attack...well let's talk about attacking...well let's find a "moderate pirate" and talk with them then maybe we will attack.

    What a world, it's okay when the liberals are in office but not with a conservative in office.

    Politicians, they should be put on boats and told to guard them.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  46. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.
    It's high time we give those pirates some.
    We'll pillage those scalliwags, we'll plunder and loot,
    we'll kidnap the bandits and not give a hoot.
    Drink up me Cafferty yo ho, it's time to attack.
    It's time to filch, pilfer, rifle and sack.
    Draw your sword Matey and kick some pirate arse Jack.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  47. IndyVoter

    "somali pirates are vowing revenge"....REVENGE??? Revenge for what? Keep your butts at home and find a way to make a living that doesn't involve stealing, endangering other people's lives or lethal weapons and you probably wont get killed by Navy snipers! Plleease! US Navy, keep doing exactly what you did. An attack on a US ship should equal a very high likelihood of death or imprisonment. When it does, I guarantee the piracy will go away. Its called SELF-DEFENSE! How can you declare revenge on someone for defending themselves against your aggression?? That is lunacy. Chewing too much kot!

    April 13, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  48. Don in Boca Raton

    Jack , It's basically simple, while the Navel ships patrol they should seize all of the boats that the pirates use and destroy them if they aren't accounted for by another country. All countries should have a extreme measure mandate to take out "any" pirate that tries to board the vessel.

    We can't toy with these guys any more, either take action against them or put them on public assistance.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  49. T.E. from OK

    It looks like the Navy will be busy.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  50. Patrick D. Slack

    Jack This is very simple,

    When a cargo ship is in Somali waters or nearby, simply hang a Large Visible Banner on each side of the boat that says
    "Somali Pirates Beware"
    "THIS SHIP IS HEAVILY ARMED and PROTECTED BY U.S. NAVY SEALS"

    April 13, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  51. jack

    I forgot. Now what did we do to really scare the North Koreans from launching intercontinental ballistic missiles? Oh, nothing yet. Asked the UN to write a memo...now that's good.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  52. Jon Gill,philadelphia

    I love what Obama did. This is the right way to handle these thugs. Obama has shown the world that we will take steps to protect our own.
    If this make things worse in the short run then so be it. I think we should arm these merchant ships with at least a couple of guys with machine guns. That would make these animals think twice.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  53. striker

    "It's about time?" Come on, Cafferty. It seems you and the other "boys on the bus" love making the tired statements about "ragtag" pirates holding "the big Navy" hostage. What about the amazing accomplishment of knocking off these culprits without a scratch to the hostage? How often has that been done before? So it took five days. Mr. Cafferty, as much as you love to be an entertainer more than a journalist you should realize that life is not an action movie. Or perhaps the next time this happens, we should just send you and the rest of your above-it-all, know-it-all friends on the media bus.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  54. Ken in NC

    Get more ammunition for the SEAL snipers to cull the pirate population.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  55. Ken in NC

    When the pirates leave Somolia and go out to sea, bury them at sea.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  56. Dan - Peabody MA

    Escorted convoys were used in WWII. Why wouldn't they work now?

    April 13, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  57. Barnaby from Studio City, CA

    Jack,

    How about establishing a "no sail zone" , say 50-100 miles offshore. If any vessel crosses it without a 'floatplan' filed with an international maritime authority, then it's sunk.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  58. chris mohr

    What's wrong with armed convoys? Pirates who attack armed convoys will stop coming home. Education is a wonderful thing.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  59. Jim Blevins

    Canons!

    Jim, Craig, CO

    April 13, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  60. Linda in Arizona

    Get a functional government in Somalia for a start. That's another country we stuck our big noses into, and ran away from. Mogadishu? War lords? Somalia is giving the pirates safe harbor. It and any other countries doing so should be "persuaded" diplomatically, or by force to stop it. Ending poverty would also be a huge help, but we can't even do that here in the US. Face it, the world is breaking down, it will get worse, and we are going to see the end of "civilization" as we thought we knew it soon.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  61. Pete R

    The only think a bully understands is someone standing up to them (like they just did in Somalia).

    The pirates are punks with guns, and there is only one solution – take them out if and when they show up.

    Taking any kind of lessor action will just keep this kind of insane activity going on forever.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  62. Cathy

    Oh yeah, let's open up a war on another front...go in there and indiscriminitely kill muslims....that'll help our nation tremendously. This is the shipping industry's problem. They need to solve it with their own resources. Either continue to pay the ransoms or arm their ships.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  63. Ted, Toronto

    The ultimate pirate Jack Sparrow aboard the Black Pearl has to be laughing at the US Navy now. I am. Whether in fantasy or century old real pirate times, the first rule of high seas treason or sudden ambush has always been 'shoot first, ask questions later'. Why in the name of Davey Jones Locker is the Navy getting weaker as Somalian pirates get tougher?

    April 13, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  64. Dicky Neely

    Hi Jack,
    The various nations involved in these shipping lanes should begin convoys as against the U boats in WWII. These convoys would have military warships as support ships, carrying Cobra gunships and Harrier jump jets.
    These shipping lanes shopuld be declared no sail zones for all but registered shipping. Any intrusions would be met by force.
    A UN organized land force should clean out the pirates land bases and the UN should begin an effort to restore stability in Somalia.
    Dicky Neely
    Corpus Christi, Tx.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  65. Rowan NM

    We cannot put the US military in Somalia. Let's not forget what happened last time we tried to get involved in Somalia... You probably know about it from the movie.

    Washington should try to make Somalia a better place to live–not a country run by warlords where piracy is the only way to support your family. How we do that is unclear.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  66. alex

    I think there should be security among these vessels, as well as increased naval presence in the hostile areas. I think there sould be no comprimising with these pirates: Find them and take them out.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  67. Joe

    Sounds like several hundred new Jobs were just created to me. U.S. Sea Marshalls sounds about right.

    Joe – Virginia

    April 13, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  68. Ted

    Hire former Military or Veterans for security, supply the weapons and the right amount of pay... Heck if the price is right I'd pull the security...By the way, I am a Veteran!!!!

    April 13, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  69. Mike

    The snipers in this case had 3 well placed shots and hit their intended targets. However, when you attack a U.S. Owned ship you should pay the price. These people think they can take stuff without conseguences. Among a massive blockade the best way to defeat these people is to use UAV to find them and tomahawks to take care of them. simple soultion with out the risk of american lives.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  70. Bob Schlemmer

    You must go to the root, In other words if we are going to fight them, get them in the nest. Take it to their home safety zone !!!!

    April 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  71. Keith

    I have 2 friends who graduated from Point Park, NY and are merchant marines. I never heard a compliant, or any concern from them when they sailed the same waters or anywhere in the world. Why? Possibly because they were sailors but also trained marines. Their ships were armed with .50 caliber machine guns and a small onboard armory. Not sure why analysts talk about an arms race if boats are armed, the pirate boats are exactly that big and can only hold so large of a machine gun.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  72. john christopher - saskatchewan

    This is another example of how uncivilized our society has become.
    In Somalia there are zero opportunities for young men to earn even a meagre living. When people are left to survive this way...what the hell do we expect? Are these pirates more criminal than the Wall Street buccaneers? Why aren't we talking about putting the Wall Street gangs out of business? The pirates directly effect fewer lives certainly. Let's face it Jack, we've become our own reality series and pirates are a minor subplot.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  73. Than Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

    I always assumed (there's that word again) that these cargo ships had some or ANY defensive weapons aboard. I'm surprised this is the first ever American vessel to be pirated in that area, but I don't think most people realize the highest piracy rates take place in the Malacca Strait between Malaysia and Indonesia. A story I read a few years ago in a magazine said 2/3rds of all piracy takes place there!

    So I'm wondering if Somalia is getting more coverage just because of our history with Somalia during the Black Hawk Down incident?

    April 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  74. djsmith

    Time to send in the Marines! Eyl, Somalia, is their hangout, the news says, so let's start there, with the objective of installing a government in the country. When Somalia has a government, the pirates may disappear.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  75. Gay Collinsville, IL

    Shipping companies must arm their crews and train them to defend themselves.
    If pirates know that the shippers will fire back, they will curtail some of their activities.
    Otherwise shippers may need to pay for military escort into these waters.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  76. brian from cleveland, ohio

    This one's easy. The pirates declared war on the world. We should declare war on them. Even though the maritime area is as large as half of the United States, we should at least patrol the shipping lanes, in conjunction with other countries, to put a stop to this backwards nonsense.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  77. T. Santana

    First, I believe that our president, military, and other government agencies handled this situation masterfully.

    With that said, it will be very difficult to fight a problem that is rooted in a country with no real government structure. Furthermore, piracy is big business in Somalia. We as Americans know as well as anyone what the bottom line can mean to a country.

    I suggest that the shipping companies take extra security measures to protect their ships, and America should continue to do exactly what we did. Show the thugs that we are the wrong people to engage!

    April 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  78. gary

    jack
    they need to do more of what the seals did have to protect there selfs maybe a job for blackwater hummm and also put razor wire not barb wire go navy seals

    April 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  79. Jay Hanig

    These pirates are the only wealthy people in an extremely poor part of the world. It would seem that any expensive home along the coastline probably belongs to a pirate. Target the homes with Predators. Make it too risky to use those homes or show any outward signs of wealth. After all, what good is wealth if you can't exercise it?

    April 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  80. Ray

    Jack,

    Not being an international shipping expert I wondered the same quesiton. But during WWII we shipped across an ocean filled with hostle submarines by using convoys. It would seem that there would be safety in numbers. It doesn't really make sense for the navies of the world to patrol this massive ocean and not ride shotgun for the Merchant ships that are also going through the area.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  81. Chuck Anderson

    Identify the pirate ships, and then sink them on sight! Blow them out of the water, even if they aren't actively engaged in acts of piracy.
    The world should say "No more Mr. Nice Guy"

    April 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  82. Frank - South Dakota

    Re: Increased Piracy... Shoot to kill anything that acts like a pirate and so much as twitches the wrong way. End of discussio.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  83. Ken

    Why not establish a zero-tolerance, no-pirate zone, in which Predator and other types of drones fly 24/7 for surveillance and interdiction, along with an international air presence. If a pirate attack is reported, jets from such an international "air force", as it were, can be on-scene faster than any other means, to both assess the situation and take action if needed.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  84. Agnes D. Reid

    I in no way condone piracy but until the infra structure in Somalia is fixed it will continue. The pirates need something in place to keep them from piracy...like jobs, health care, their country's stability etc.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  85. Ken

    Blow every boat – including the motherships- out of the water and send every pirate to Davy Jones' locker! And do before they seize another ship or hostage.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  86. phil kohn

    These pirates are Somalia custom agents in reality! Somali waters have been robbed for decades and no one ever paid taxes for the fish taken or for the traveling through with tankers caring oil etc. How to stop them? Stop colonialism in Somalia and pay taxes.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  87. Jari Satola

    Very simple: The problem is the international code of conduct, and lack of ability to take pre-emptive action. We should declare war on piracy and pirates, locate the motherships and blow them up. Treat them like we treat Al Queda.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  88. John Worden

    We should try a strategy that would put the odds in our favor. Organize ships to follow routes well off the coast. Perhaps make convoys like in WW2. Have planes intersect pirates between the coast and the shipping routes and eliminate them with well-placed rockets.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  89. Libby, Greensboro

    I cannot understand why nothing has been done to date. These are low lifes that come scurrying out to sea in small, but fast boats and AK47s. Wow. What a threat. Why can't the companies that own the freighters or ships hire mercenaries like Black Water. At first report, the pirates are destroyed. It's apparent they care nothing for anyone but themselves. There's a lot of that going around in every corner of this very screwed up world. There should never be an opportunity for these misfits to get close enough to be a treat, not to mention board a ship and take hostages or kill anyone.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  90. Steve (Tacoma)

    If these mother ships are communicating with each other in an organized manner, then the NSA and others should be able to intercept the chatter. Then, blow the crap out of them! Isn't that what was done to the Barbary Pirates in the early 1800's? Then, maybe they'll get the message.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  91. Jonny cirus

    best route would be to continue what we have been doing. We started off by doing nothing, and now we have snippers taking out pirates.....if that continues, they will get the picture that its not gonna work anymore, Just like when a kid goes into a store and steals something, and gets cought...they do it again and get cought again, its over.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  92. Russell Shipp

    It is not practical for an international organization to police the million square miles where Somali thugs operate. It is vital that commercial ships be able to hire on security with night vision and plenty of fire power so if a speedboat with armed men come barreling toward a their vessel, it can be blown out of the water.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  93. Patricia Kelly

    What can be done?
    First, Somalia needs a stable government.
    The humanitarian aid that ceased after the "Black Hawk Down" incident should begin again.
    Somalia's history most people are ignorant of, but it would benefit us to cease the "pirates" reference.
    I lived there as a 'field student' studying the culture, etc.
    Somalia's known as a proud nation of 'bards' or poets.
    Siad Barre was president then, soldiers were everywhere but there
    was strict, 'law and order.'
    If America, and our allies want to assist, we can win in a multinational
    effort to rebuilding of homes, hospitals, schools, and basic human needs ignored by the world for years now.
    There is desperation, and greed. Some would argue, we are 'in their neighborhood.'
    Until the humanitarian, and lawlessness issues are addressed, we will continue to have problems.
    Queens, New York

    April 13, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  94. Patrick D. Slack

    Jack

    Just Paint the Cargo Ships the same color as US Navy Ships with the Navy Emblems and all. Then they will leave it alone.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  95. Jerry Wage

    Jack, very simple on how to stop piracy, shoot now, ask questions later.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  96. Duane Pauley

    Jack
    Sounds like an invation to Blackwater to me.
    Two 50cal's with green lasers could take them out over a mile away. That would do it.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  97. Don Peterson

    Jack,

    I think we should let it be known that this (lethal force) is our standard operational procedures against hijacking and kidnapping.

    Don
    Cramerton, NC

    April 13, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  98. David Beaverton Oregon

    Jack,

    The international shipping companies need to define stricter shipping lanes throughout that region. These tighter shipping lanes would make it easier for ours and other Navies to patrol. Any non authorized ships that enter would be sunk on sight.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  99. Allen Werneck

    The next time the pirates attack any ship, we should take out the mother ship or ships as well as send fighters to sink the attacking lifeboats. They will get the message.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  100. Rick

    Jack:
    You asked how to deal with the pirates. Let history be your guide. When piracy was at it's height in the 1700"s they hunted them down, hanged them and sank their ships when necessary...no more piracy.
    Rick
    North Carolina

    April 13, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  101. David Krause

    The solution is easy. The people on the ships should have their own armed guards on board. Fight fire with fire. Ak-47 to Ak47. If necessary, have some hand held missiles on board too. Take out a half dozen pirates with missile attacks and see how fast the attacks stop..

    April 13, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  102. Diane Graves

    These shipping companies are for-profit entities. They are responsible for protecting their goods and their crews. These ships are enormous in height and length and the fact untrained teenagers in small boats can commandeer them is proof the owners are not doing their jobs in protecting their assets. Trained security guards on board and, as some have used, barbed and razor wire along the decks are solutions. Then we don't have to have an international crisis and the U.S. Navy lift these companies, and their endangered crews, out of the holes they have dug for themselves.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  103. Rheo

    You get the MPAA and the RIAA to sue them for thousands of dollars. Oh wait, that piracy is different. And this kind of piracy is much more paramount than some kid downloading a song.

    There is not much the US and its allies can do about it. Sending warships there to protect the ships that pass through there it the most they can do at the moment.

    Unless the Somalian government gets its balls in the right place, piracy is going to continue.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  104. Oliver Tansi

    Hey Jack,
    I watch with total dismay and bewilderment on cnn how u and ur fellow American compatriots around the world are celebrating the wanton destruction of 3 lives by the American navy. Dont u Americans have sanctity and respect 4 human life? How there u celebrate with funfare and pageantry the avoidable killings of the so called Somali pirates? If for nothing else, the fallen pirates should be celebrated for having guarded and spared the life of Richard Philips. They had him under their custody for 5 days days and could have snuffed life out of him if they so wished. This tragedy and the resultant show of shame by the Americans in celebrating their crime has gone to show how the Americans view life. Am no Somali and am not sympathetic to their heinous course but only outraged by the avoidable destruction of lives that could have been saved if only the Americans cared about life as they always touted.
    Its so apalling! I weep for the world where the so called champions of the free world exhibit the kind of attitude being expressed by the Americans in this senseless killings.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  105. Hambone of Iowa

    The only way pirating will ever stop is if their government drastically increases the country's standard of living. Since that's a pretty tall order, the best thing we can do right now is make examples by killing pirates. This sounds ruthless, but it's the only way to cut down on the pirating for the time being.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  106. heath from ri

    We could move the kind of force we used in Iraq to Somalia to straighten things out there. Solicit the opinion of the population first to ensure they want an end to hostilities. Then move in peacekeeping forces UN sanctioned to create a government that could actually keep the peace there and prevent piracy thereby.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  107. Eric Hamilton

    A few armed security and trained ship crew with small arms on each ship. If 20 men with fire hoses can repel a pirate attack, then 20 men with assault rifles and grenades certainly can... It's not rocket science...

    April 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  108. Fransz Murphy

    Well in the old way it was countries offering a sort of deputyship. The world has a ton of mercenaries that love to have a reason to make money. Offer rewards equal to what they demand to capture known pirates and if they resist well leathal force could be an option. I feel this old crime should be fought the old way. Fight fire with fire or better yet money with money.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  109. Don Baechtel

    Here's an Easy Solution:

    Offer 10,000 USD reward for each pirate that is turn over with proof of involvement and the pirates will turn each other in for the money.

    That would be far less expensive than having the U.S. Navy patrol the region.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  110. Johan BC Canada

    Big merchant ships could have a launch "hole" in their belly below the waterline section. This would then have one of those little one-man submarines ready to be launched. It would be outfitted with propellor or other small boat incapacitator equipment (without firepower).

    April 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  111. Bill, Buffalo, NY

    Something needs to be done about this. We already sent the message to these pirates that when they hold a United States citizen hostage the only ransom they get in return is death. In order to take this operation down we would need to hit these pirates at the heart of their operation: their bases in Somalia. It's only a matter of time now we will be back in Somalia in order to do so. Then we take out the "mother ships" and then on down the chain.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  112. Bob Field Toronto

    I am an ex Royal Navy World War 2 submariner. We won the Battle of the Atlantic with convoys and destroyer escorts. As an alternative station attack submarines in the area and sink the mother ships without surfacing.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  113. Robert Zimmer

    Hire some "good 'ole boys" from Tennessee to ride along on the cargo ships travelling through that region. The pirates wouldn't have a chance to board the ship, guaranteed! Bob Z

    April 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  114. Catherine of Easley, S.C.

    We need to arm these nice people. The ocean belongs to everyone. People should not have to live like this. We did the right thing. And these devils are going to retaliate! Come on. The word insanity is no longer strong enough for some!

    April 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  115. Buckeyegal

    First of all, all shipping companies from all countries should have the policy of not paying ransoms. But that should come with the additional warning that if the pirates kill any crew members, retaliation will be swift. All nations affected by the Somalian piracy should coalesce and raid Somalia with the intention of eviscerating the tribal pirate camps. But it has to be an international effort with the backing of whatever there is of the Somalian so-called government.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  116. don, Carson City, NV

    Jack:
    A solution to the Somalian pirate situation would be:
    Invade Somalia, doing away with any pirate in the way;
    Take hostage all of the women and children found;
    Bring them to the western world;
    Educate them in world affairs, business and legal
    enterpreneurship;
    Deprogram them;
    Send them back home.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  117. George

    Remember the no fly zones in Iraq? How about a no small craft zone in these pirate infested waters. If you are not in a large transport, cruise or freighter ship, then you just simply blow up with no negotiations and no questions asked. The only way to succeed here is to fight fire with bigger fire.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  118. John Pitcock

    Merchant ships should sail in groups escorted by armed vessels. The inconvenience of waiting a couple of days to get a group together is nothing compared to months of negotiating a ransom for the sailors. When the pirates realize that they are more likely to be blown out of the water than to get a big extorted paycheck, they will seek other forms of employment.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  119. Henry

    Despite the vast area to be protected, I believe the solution to the Somalian piracy crisis is relatively simple. We merely need to resurrect the convoy practices from WW I and WWII. Should the navies of a handful of major military powers agree to coordinate protective convoys in this region, no pirate would dare to even attempt to take a ship. The costs would be shared among many nations and the benefits would stretch far beyond the Horn of Africa.

    In a week's time, the United Nations could effectively announce the end of Somolian piracy.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  120. Steve

    Jack,
    Countries whose ships are being hijacked should man the ships with military personnel. The pirates might think twice about which ships to hijack. If their numbers start dwindling with nothing to show for it, they might get the message.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  121. James Philip

    Somalian act is not a piracy but a terrorism act. They are rebuilding themselves so that they buy more weapons to boost their act of terrorism. Navy should treat them just like terrorist. These are the same people who bomb US ambassador building in Kenya and Tanzania.

    James Lomor, Iowa

    April 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  122. Dan A. Baker

    The solution to the piracy problem is very simple. Take the ocean away from the pirates. Sink the mother ships at sea, destroy their skiffs on the beach, and declare a "No Go Zone" three miles from the Somali coast. Then seize and destroy any armed craft in that zone, intern the crews and call it a day.

    If they choose to kill some hostages it might be a nice flourish to surround the two priate enclaves, from the sea and from the ground, round up the pirates, take their money and march them into prison camps in some stinking hot, fecund, craphole. There are lots of them in the middle east. Obama could be a real hero here and send a very clear message to the world's criminals that messing with the US is a very bad idea.

    Dan

    April 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  123. Brian Baltimore, Md

    Its amazing that the British were able to conquer piracy with what they had available during their time, but with all the technology we have now, we are to scared to do anything about it. We should have some kind of military presence on board any ships that are going to pass through that area, just like we have air marshals on planes. Its very simple to end this problem, but nobody seems to want to.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  124. Michael Locke

    That's an easy one Jack .Do we need to tell the enemy too ?

    April 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  125. Gregg Paisley

    Stop routine patrols and commence intense hunting of "mother ships" and suspicious skiffs. Shoot across their bow. If they are legit they will heave-to. If they don't, sink them.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  126. Eric Zilling

    A skiff 300 miles off the coast is a pirate. A large boat towing multiple smaller boats the same distance out is a pirate. Blow these vessels up on sight. Pick a distance (300 miles, 75 miles, etc) and inform Somalia that any vessel further out, without a confirmed identity will be eliminated.

    Its that simple.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  127. Steve Zoni

    I liked the way President Obama let the people he pays take care of business. He was clearly in charge and showed me he knows what to do and when to do it. My suggestion would be to patrol the area with un-maned drones and take out the pirates one by one.

    Steve, in Tampa

    April 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  128. former U.S. Marine

    This is an easy question. make an effort to solve the poverty and lack of a functional government in Somalia and you will not have pirates on the high seas. Like it or not where there is poverty, there is also crime.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  129. Lily

    Be proactive. Shoot the thugs. Maybe if pirates leave shore and never return, others might figure out that it's not such "easy money" any more and stop this outrageous problem in it's tracks.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  130. Mike C

    One thing -Accoustical Weapons– american technology

    April 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  131. josh

    Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea and now a bunch of rag tag teenage pirates in somalia, man china and russia must be loving this. There is no way of stopping these guys, just like there is no way of stopping gangs in Los Angeles or drugs coming in from Mexico. It is up to the corporations who own these ships to arm the men on these ships.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  132. Armand, Atlanta, GA

    i am a partisan of Zero tolerance on this issue because those pirates are the very people who put their state in total failure. This is a big deal!
    Piracy should be dealt with by an international effort to secure the Red Sea. this will consist in preventive bombing of the save heaven of the Somalian coastal city from which pirates organize; an embargo on any shipping to Somalia so that any ship moving toward Somalia should be arraigned. therefore they will be oblige to reorganize a state of law.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  133. James Lenon - Chuckey TN

    The only cure for piracy is to apprehend them in the act. Follow this with an immediate trial, sentencing, and execution. Evrey nation's warships should be authorized to hunt down pirates and apprehend them. "Up the long ladder, and down the short rope." It worked against the Barbary pirates and the Caribbean buccaneers. It will cut short the career ambitionsof Somali thugs and thieves as well.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  134. Chris Obodo, Atlanta GA

    These pirates feed off our fear i.e. we are scared to die. Lets take on them. Of course some sailors may get hurt. But trust me, the fight is worth it. It won't be different from any other war in which soldiers die, the only difference would be its on water and that civilians are exposed. This is insane, otherwise how is that individuals kidnap people bringing food to end their misery.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  135. Lesley, Washington, DC

    The US and its international partners need to explore the ways in which to integrate sea-based counterpiracy initiatives with land-based initiatives to establish law and order on land in Somalia. Piracy is a land-based problem, and as such, a purely military approach is not a sustainable solution to this problem. In addition, further militarization of the waters off Somalia's coast absent stability on land will further escalate the level of violence in this region and pose greater danger to global maritime commerce.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  136. Ted Johnson

    Give the pirates bailout, like we did with the pirates on wall street, and the big banks who still the hold the US middle class hostage.
    TJ
    Naples, Florida

    April 13, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  137. Wm Thygerson

    We had no-fly zones in Iraq, even free-fire zones in Vietnam. The Navy apparently can track the mother ships. Why allow them to leave port?

    April 13, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  138. Mai Ismail

    Jack I think That The World Should See that Somalia Is not the Somalia they knew in The late 80s but 2 Separate nations One SomaliLand in the north with Peace and A fully functioning government since 91 and Somalia in the south which make Afghanistan look like Willy chocolate factory, the only way to stop this is to Set up shop in land and Pick off the Bad apples hiding in one of the longest coasts in Africa, Obama Set up your Game

    Mai Ismail Toronto

    April 13, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  139. Tom Generous

    Aggressive prevention is needed. Here's how:

    In the waters off Somalia, station a carrier battle group - one CV, an Aegis CL, and two or three DDs - plus one AWACS aircraft. When the AWACS detects a pirate ship moving towards a merchant vessel, scramble a couple of F-18s and blow the pirate ship out of the water.

    The detection and ID should be easy, and the jets would get there a whole lot faster than any surface vessel, no doubt in time to prevent the piracy. The units are better there than in Afghanistan or Iraq and the pirates would diminish close to nil, so long as we did something good for the Somalian economy while we're at it.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  140. Mike

    We have Air Marshals, we apparently need Sea Marshals.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  141. Rose51

    The pirates should be destroyed at all cost. It does not make sense that the rest of the world is fearful and is being held hostage by a bunch of bandits. Their nation 's government is broken and their society apparently supports and thrives on this behavior.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  142. Brock, Toronto

    We should train a crew member of each ship to use an RPG or stinger. Have 2 or 3 weapons on each ship, if the ship gets in trouble with Pirates than they can deal with them. Shoot first ask questions later. It is time to realise that water cannons and alarm bells aren't cutting it. We are beyond the age of throwing hot tar over the side of castle walls to deter the barbarians. We have the ability to eliminate them so lets use it. The amount of money invsted into these ships and their cargo is worth far more than the lives of 4 or 5 punk pirates.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  143. Cordale Johnson

    THe U.N. should patrol the waters with a peace keeping navy and control the Somalian waters of what come in and what go out.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  144. Dennis IsBell in Vista

    Simple, set up a plethora of sting operations. Send merchant ships loaded with special forces troops into the shipping lanes where these guys hang out. Make the ships appear as "normal". Once the thugs board the vessels let the SWAT / Special Forces personnel take them down. A few of these events will send a clear message that the pirates need to look for another line of work. END OF STORY

    April 13, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  145. Brent Densham

    Other than enhanced collaboration among the countries that use and depend on those particular shipping lanes, I'd say our best option would be to assemble a devestatingly effective attack-team lead by the likes of Steven Seagal, Orlando Bloom, and Wolf Blitzer. Mission, Accomplished.

    Brent Densham,
    Grand Rapids, MI

    April 13, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  146. Ted Wade

    A simple solution for a simple problem. Put up a couple of drones up, one flying Northeast and one flying Southwest off the coast of Somalia and when you see a ship 'lounging' for days off shore, you know it is a Mother ship. Simply take it out with a small missile.

    Another simple step, do not announce the kill, do not acknowledge that the Navy did it. Piracy has bee against all laws of mankind for 400 plus years.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  147. Jack Stuhlsatz

    If the shipping manates don't want to arm their crews and would rather pay the ransom, then give them a choice. They can't pass on their payoff costs to their buyers, so they can either arm their crew or hire a expert with a rocket launcher to stave off any future attacks. All the pirates should be killed and not taken prisoner and tried.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  148. David P. Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – Two approaches are required. One is to attack the root causes, by helping create real economic opportunity for Somali fishermen who now have no other way to make a living. The other is to interdict piracy so well that it is not profitable at all any more. I propose the return of the PBY, the ocean patrol boats used for anti-submarine warfare in WWII. Modify aircraft carriers to carry these kinds of planes, and literally cover the area with aerial surveillance. Have a squad of Seals/Special Forces stationed on each aircraft carrier, to parachute onto ships that are attacked by pirates to kill the bad guys. Finally, do a "shores of Tripoli" assault on the pirate's headquarters city. The local correspondents all know where that is. Read Viper 6 by Tom Clancy – you'll get the basic idea.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  149. TJ Anderson Renton WA

    In the golden age of Sail.. the navies allowed ships called "Privateers" who were sanctioned to hunt ships of foreign lands during times of war. With the economy in the condition that it is.. and the expense of paying for hostages, these shipping companies could spend dimes on the dollars and fund private interdiction "safari's" . I'm sure there are plenty of rich "hunters" who would PAY to have a "pirate tag".

    April 13, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  150. Ronald

    Put US Flags on all ships!

    April 13, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  151. Karol

    The first officer is correct. "Wake up."

    President Obama is the one who needs to wake up and not wait five days to make a decision.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  152. Troy K (From Alberta)

    Well Shiver Me Timbers!!!

    Yar Make 'Em Walk Dar Plank, Matie!

    April 13, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  153. Cyndi Powell

    In the short term prudent military action is required-at the very least patrols authorized to use deadly force. The root cause however is much more complex. Somalia has had no functioning government for over 17 years, life expectancy is 46 and one in four children die before the age of five.
    When this piracy began [years ago], it was started by fisherman in response to foreigners overfishing tuna in Somali waters and Europeans dumping toxic waste into Somalia's waters. See what happens when we let things get out of hand?

    April 13, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  154. Jim Hall

    Have a dozen ships all going in the same direction gather in a safe location ,then all travel togeather with a war ship to protect them.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  155. Terry

    Some people just don't respect life enough to leave others alone and mind their own business. Its funny when a country needs help, the US is the first one there. When its time to donate in time of crisis or tragedy, again, we Americans are the first ones to give. If they won't leave us alone, they should be warned that we'll protect our ships against any pirates that approach us. If they continue, then start bombing them until they get the message.

    Terry
    Sarasota, FL

    April 13, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  156. Patrick

    In the case of Somalia, stop fishing their waters Europe and China, and stop dumping toxic waste on their shorline Italy. And for the US, stop giving aid to the savage dictator puppets that end up fighting us.

    Give them the goods and technology to become economically sustainable in fishing and farming and get the government their to unify.

    Oh yea, and get the CIA out of there.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  157. Will- Charlotte, NC

    I think it is stupid for American ships not to have a line of defense. All American ships should have adequate security and any boat that seems threatening in any way should simply find its way to the bottom of the ocean and all it contains. We Americans have to show them that we won't be pushed around and we won't stand for their bullying. We can be as friendly as they need us to be. But don't dare mess with us! Thanks Obama!

    April 13, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  158. N. Manetavat

    Can they use satelite to tract the pirate, then warn the cargo ships? Install high power gun on ship. Shoot them down before the pirates getting close to the ship.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  159. Martin

    Maybe it is time for a no-float zone off the shore of Somalia. Allow for fishing vessels to fish within a certain short distance off shore. Any ships or boats beyond that distance would be attacked and sunk.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  160. STU

    The U.S Navy should have sanked the pirates mother ship while they had the chance. NOW that would have served notice LOUD AND CLEAR, CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW!

    April 13, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  161. Romeo/Ca

    Jack,
    It's a simple solution to this piracy problem.Send a few unmanned/unmarked drone attacks to this pirate ships,then let them wonder what hit them and where the attacks came from.That way maybe they will think first whether it is safe for them to sail.
    Romeo from Ca

    April 13, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  162. Lord Hong on iTunes

    Jack, So this small populated problem doesn't turn into another Veitnam – all we or our allies have to do is to plant a few 'Frogmen' where these pirates have to gas up or eat and and place a few 'Time Bombs' under their boats to go off when they are out to sea so the locals don't know what happened to them. As time goes by they simply disappear.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  163. Bill from TN

    Pretty simple to me Jack. Make sure all our boats and any others travelling is armed, all the more reason to have the right to bear arms. Give me the opportunity and the arms I ask for, I need the money. Hire me!

    April 13, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  164. rob

    You know what they say about an ounce of prevention. It would be much cheaper for private industry to secure those ships than to pay out millions in ransom and endure time delays and loss of ship, goods and crew. I'm not just just talking water cannons and deck grease either, we have the technology in the form of passive security to keep the unwanted off those ships. Let's first push prevention before we Cowboy-up and start killing everyone. It's private industry that needs to wake up first, then if needed we'll step in.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  165. bill cammarata

    Jack,
    This doesn't seem complicated. Arm the ships, man those guns with hired professionals (of which there are many – consider Blackwater) and let those former professional soldiers do nothing but provide security. Our Navy provided US Navy Armed Guards to the merchant ships carrying supplies to England and those Armed Guard helped win WWII. My Uncle Bill was one of those Armed Guard and died in the North Atlantic.

    Bill Cammarata – Sewickley, PA

    April 13, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  166. Jason, Koloa, HI

    When we catch em’, make em’ walk the plank matey, arrgghh! Or we could actually help alleviate the devastating poverty in Somalia that forces their people to become desperate enough to risk their lives as pirates. Considering our current budget situation, the plank would be a much cheaper alternative

    April 13, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  167. Bob Miller

    The most likely solution to high seas piracy is to allow commercial vessels to arm themselves. Sure, there should be training involved and regulations governing when armed defensive actions can be taken but I believe this is a better idea than using military force which by nature would be overwhelming force with much collateral damage.

    Bob Miller
    Pataskala, Ohio

    April 13, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  168. Bucket from Clinton

    Jack, Instead of the Namby-Pamby political BS we always play with these thugs, I'm reminded of a quote by a very famous sailor...."Damn The Torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead....John Paul Jones

    April 13, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  169. Keith

    Resurrect and mass-produce the WW II style PT boats. If I remember correctly, they were easy to build, heavily armed, fast and maneuverable.

    Keith
    Haslet, TX

    April 13, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  170. Martin Sherbecoe

    The navy ships should seek out the pirates mother ships and sink them so the punks in the little boats will have to stay near the shore
    while the cargo ships can use shipping lanes far out to sea.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  171. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    Look at what Thomas Jefferson did. To an active external commerce, the protection of a naval force is indispensable. George Washington

    April 13, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  172. Julie in Lake Mary, FL

    OK Jack. At first I thought...what are we doing? How many ships do we need over there to deal with THIS?! How much is this going to COST?! But then, something happened. The pirates were stopped, some killed. We did the right thing. Three cheers for the USA! We got something really right. Keep that ball rolling.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  173. Daryl

    As a student of history and a retired Marine I have lost friends to the bad guys darn near worldwide. I think it is time for this country to give all those who commit violence to our citizens a Roman Peace!

    Daryl
    Brooklyn, NY

    April 13, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  174. Pierre in Vancouver

    The answer is too simple: convoys. The pirates attack ships, why waste time and money patrolling anywhere else? Yes, it's too expensive to escort each vessel, but coordinate with allies to form escorted convoys, and the pirates won't be able to attack. Escort ships should be bigger than the pirate vessels, but moderately sized ships like those used by the Coast Guard should be faster, more maneuverable, better equipped, and more professional than the pirates can cope with - and they'd be a lot cheaper and more effective than sending the navy out to patrol empty water. Check the WengerBlog for more details!

    April 13, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  175. paul alexander

    All shipping lines should have armed para military guards to protect these vessels. Nato ought to have adequate naval ships with a carte blanche to strike at any vessel coming within 1 mile of the ships that is suspicious or fails to alter course when warned. Piracy in the 1700 & 1800 hundreds was a problem that got eradicated with brutal force by England, France, Spain and the USA.

    These pirates are being made into some kind of anti hero in the press time to erase these vermin.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  176. Tom

    Piracy is a business endeavor. Unless economic conditions change in certain areas of the world, young men will venture out in their cigarette boats to hold merchants ransom. I am a Naval Academy graduate, and am actually a classmate of CDR Frank Castellano, CO of BAINBRDIGE. When I was navigating the second ship I served on through the Straits of Malacca (between Indonesia and Thailand) late one night in 1995, a darkened small craft at decent speed approached our warship, but turned outbound, in our opinion, when the silhouette of our ship caused the people onboard the small craft to realize we were a warship. The world's oceans have thousands of merchant ships sailing on them every day. The U.S. Navy has about 150 ships at sea on any given day. The U.S. Navy does an awfully lot to prevent piracy, and I would hope the news media balances the thought that a cigarette speedboat can get 20 miles offshore in a half hours time to confront a merchant ship. The solution may be in helping lawlessness areas of the world to create betters conditions for their people.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  177. John from Tillamook, OR

    The area where these pirates frequent is too big to patrol, but we could stick some highly armed military personnel upon some "random" ships, including those of other countries. When a pirate boat then approached, they would be blown out of the water. Never knowing if a ship would be "armed" or not, might well give them pause.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  178. Mitch

    It's easy! Xe...aka Blackwater. They did nothing but cause more problems in Iraq but at least they should be able to distinguish between the ships personnel and the pirates.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  179. Fred May Sr Spanaway WA.

    During WW2 our liberty ships were armed by the navy. Why not arm all freighters. So different country's have different laws on firearms. If highjackings take place outside territorial waters why should the country's care if ships are armed ? All countrys that use the shipping lanes should get together and fight back. This is a world problem not just USA's problem. Where is the United Nations in all this? What a waste of money.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  180. George W Short

    Jack ,
    Get a hold of Dick Chaney . Have his 'Blackwater' Group , station teams aboard all ships in and out of the strait . First sign of trouble ---' PHOOF ' , no problem . Second : As in WW2 have decoy ships mixed in with regular shipping . Again ' PHOOF ! " , now problem . George

    April 13, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  181. Bill

    Jack, the freight ships should have a well trained and armed commando crew on board whose sole purpose is to defend against the pirates. They would make it impossible for the small pirate crafts to get close enough to be a threat. And, these could be good paying job for some of our qualified military guys that are struggling with finding work after their tour of duty.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  182. Randy Henninger

    I think some things can be done in the short term. First the nations of the world could come together and start running convoys through this area. Let the pirates know any craft coming within so close to a convoy will be sunk, period. Use ships and armed aircraft to enforce this. Long term get everyones head out of the sand and deal with Somalia in the long term. But ignoring this situation like the Bush administration did for eight years is going to make it even worse.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  183. Michael, Liverpool, NY

    First off, we need to patrol that area better so that we can prevent some occurances. Second, we need to make piracy unattractive. That is the otughone for me to figure out because i don't understand the degree to which the Somali government tolerates it; also as we have seen with the war on drugs, it is often diffivutl to turn people away from a dirty business because it pays a lot better than any other alternative. As much as I hate violence and instigating war, maybe our best though morally suspect and worldly unpopular woudl be to patrol the area and shoot at every pirate and their ships that we can find; that should decrease the incentive but there must be a better way.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  184. Gary In Iowa

    The shipping companies can afford to add security people. We don't need to waste the U.S Navies time and budget looking after their private property.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  185. BILL

    Jack – The answer is so obvious it smacks you in the face. Armed security people on the ships. I know the handwringers and naysayers say – Oh that is dangerous. Well hell, driving my car is dangerous and it cost some money to run it but it is better than walking or crawling and hoping I don't get robbed or run over.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  186. Jason

    I think it's necessary to establish international rights for ships on voyage. There needs to be adequate security on each ship, and any other option is foolish. We should consider these ships the same as our homes – if someone intrudes, we have the right to defend ourselves to a reasonable extent.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  187. Gerald R. Everett

    There needs to be a UN authorization for a multilateral force to go into Punt Land and other pirate towns in Somalia, and kill or capture the clan leaders who refuse to stop pirating operations. The carrot is that the UN
    agrees to provide development assistance to those clans who agree to stop pirate activities.

    Also, the Navy needs accelerated funding for the Navy predator which could countervail and interdict any vessel coming within 50 miles of a
    shipping exclusion zone, established under UN auspices. The Navy also needs a small sub destroyer escort class ship for use in interdiction and antisubmarine/anti air. Long range & high speed, trade off armor and gun power. We need this here and in the Caribbean, and South East Pacific. .

    April 13, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  188. Jim Coleman

    Much cheaper to put Three Guards on each ship,then run one 400 ft ship that can't be in all places.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  189. Alexander Langer

    What can be done about the piracy?
    Well, first you have to look at who the pirates are in the first place. The vast majority of Somali pirates are unemployed fishermen, who were driven out of work by the dumping of toxic waste by Western companies into the ocean around Somalia, which killed all of the fish. To solve this problem we need to give these people legitimate work, which means ending the civil war in Somalia (by any means necessary) and stopping the pollution and destruction of their traditional fishing grounds.
    Anyone who thinks that putting more ships in the region or giving our crews guns does not understand the military realities of the situation, or the concept of escalation

    April 13, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  190. DENNIS FROM MT SHASTA CA

    Simple
    Arm the ships with a couple of 50 cal machine guns, night vision and heat detection equipment and 3 x marines should do the trick.
    When a boat approaches too close, shink the boat!!!!

    Dennis from mt Shast ca

    April 13, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  191. Ali

    Hello Jack, and Wolf,
    I don't think a certain country must deal with piracy of Somali coast, but I think the U.N. and the Interpol with cooperation from Somali government will have the power they need to start taking actions.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  192. George White

    Beef up the US Navy Surface fleet in the region, in partnership with other concerned countries, and increase use of new technology (e.g. unmanned aerial systems) to target and kill pirates at sea. Forget going after the onland camps in Somalia which the experts believe would cause collateral damage to civilians. Kill the pirates at sea and that would dissuade those interested in taking up the profession, thus the need for training camps. This is what has worked for centuries. Those that assert nation building in Somalia as a solution to rebuilding a lawful society, thus diminishment of piracy, should remember that we tried that and it didnt work, nor will it in the near future in that God forsaken part of the world. Kill the pirates at sea.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  193. Luis in Phoenix

    1. Place a razor wire skirt around the entire perimeter of all merchant ships.

    2. install pepper spray delivery systems in the same way.

    3. install microwave and sonic cannons on ships to cause discomfort to pirates if they get too close,

    4. Place armed security personnel on ships.

    5. Target shore based enablers, participants, and collaborators with drones, Tomahawk missiles, and air strikes.

    6. Prosecute the money movers as we would those that fund terrorists.

    7. Authorize Privateers to actively seek out and attack pirates at sea.

    Bottom line: Make it difficult for them to ply their trade, and hit them hard when they kill or threaten our citizens.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  194. Arline Ostolaza

    As I understand it, Somalia does not have a working government, making communication about piracy with that country impossible. Can't we find a way of destroying all pirate boats, or rigging some kind of maritime barrier which would prevent them from venturing forth to commit more acts of piracy? Surely we, and our allies, have the knowledge to do this. Let's keep it simple. Destroy their boats.

    Arlineo

    April 13, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  195. Joe

    Well I don't know about you but if they just shot every pirarte that was under arms, sunk each and rvery pirate mother ship, and stood the Navy off-shore and pounded their land bases into rubble, then the problem would be a moot point, they'd be DEAD! If I am not mistaken, Piracy on the high seas is still to this day a hangging offense. Sometimes the old ways are the best ways to solve a problem. Take care, have a great day!

    April 13, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  196. Geoff Kelly

    The problem of the pirates off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden is maneagable. Fast PT style boats armed to the teeth with support from arial reconnaisance would be a good start. Using destroyers and cruisers to chase down a bunch of third world bandits is not a good idea. They are not fast enough. Frigate size ships such as the ones Canada has in that area are very effective. Merchant ships in that area also need to have armed guards ready to shoot. This pirate activity is another offshoot of Al Queda and they should be dealt with accordingly. We also need other nations to start providing ships. This ongoing pirate saga is unnerving to me. What next?

    GK

    April 13, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  197. Kathryn Foley

    Instead of these shipping companies paying these extemely high ransoms to these thugs, the owners of these ships should hire and train people to defend these ships against this piracy....Otherwise train and arm their crews....Would it cost as much as paying out ransoms in the millions and having these sailors in harm's way? I don't think so........And kudos to the United States Navy and the President of these United States for saving Captain Phillips.

    Kathyn Foley
    Meriden, CT

    April 13, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  198. Chris Obodo, Atlanta GA

    What we fail to realize is that there are two types of people on earth i.e. those who want to live and those who want to die. Whenever you find those sane people who do not want to live, never hesitate to send them where they belong.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  199. Jacqueline Mongeot

    There are many ships navigating that sea, mostly commercial cargo transport. It may be a good idea for them to travel together in a sort of convoy and to be armed to scare away the pirates coming too close for comfort.. They will get the message, No killing is necessary; these sailors do not work for themselves but for lawless "Lords" who dominate Somalia and have no conscience.
    Jacqueline San Diego

    April 13, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  200. Gregory Morris

    We should have sent the navy seals in on the first or second day and all aid to the nation should stop until the pirates are gone and the government that created them is held responsable.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  201. frost sutherland

    Blimps Jack......They are the ideal platform for surveillance and patrol. They can stay on station for up to seven days and cover thousands of miles of sea. They are capable of speeds of seventy miles per hour. They would be perfect for handling pirates of Africa. Blimps worked for us in WWII and the would work today Blimps Jack, BLIMPS!

    April 13, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  202. Kingsley I.

    Any illegal activity including piracy is simply a derivative of socio-economic inequality. Until the more priviliged nations of the world help rid these inequalities, we will continue to see acts of piracy and terrorism.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  203. Henock G

    piracy is a symptom but not the main problem.The achille heel of the problem is the abscence of strong central government in somalia.The Ethiopians sent their Army and paid huge sacrifice in terms of life and money.When they were crying out loud for help from the international community and particularly the USA and Europe, the answer was nothing.More over some of the congress men like Donald payne are trying hard to punish Ethiopia for trying to stabilize somalia.If there is Good will from USA the solution is to give resources to the somalia government and our parteners in the Region.

    Henock G

    April 13, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  204. Rich Gordon

    Regarding what to do about the pirates off of Somalia I would suggest that the U.S. Navy, and the other countries who have joined the effort, establish and coordinate daily escorted convoys to assure safe passage around that part of Africa.

    This would seem safer for all as opposed to the various military ships patrolling or roaming the seas at random hoping to catch some pirates.

    If an escorted convoy is approached by pirates, give warning. If the warning is not heeded sink the pirate ship, capture and prosecute the pirates.

    On a larger and more permanent scale there should be a multi-national effort organized through the UN to disarm the country, help some form of government get established with protections for the people, and help the people of Somalia establish an economy so they can get out of poverty.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  205. Lloydell

    Jack–Love your comments! Why can't ships have electric grids that ship crews can turn on and off when unwanted pirates attack! Sounds so simple –but it might work! Thanks ! Lloydell

    April 13, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  206. Ron in Washington

    Jack, I don't believe companies continuing to pay these ransoms will encourage the pirates to stop. As far as putting armed troops on all our ships worldwide, how long would it take for the world to follow suit. Do we realy want Chinese cargo-ships with Chinese comandos aboard in Seattle or Long Beach?

    April 13, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  207. Derrick

    This is the result of idle minds having time to ponder and create these surreal events in there head. All nationalities have problems with lawlessness we've got to be careful how we intervene. Sin will never prevail without judgement.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  208. David

    The US navy can easily take on these somalian pirates. Skinny teenagers with kalishnakov rifles? Not as swashbuckling as captain jack sparrow. Cmon, they will have their feet so far into their mouths for saying that they will get revenge against the US, although this is very serious and precautions need to be taken to prevent another hijacking...call Disney! We've got a plot for the next pirates of the carribean movie!!! Pirates of the Carribean IV Revenge Of The Mighty Somalians

    April 13, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  209. James Paulk

    Let the Navy, who has been LARGELY quiet in these 3rd world skirmishes, do their high tech thing, hire a top flight crack film crew, film it and show it in reality tv based episodes on PBS or pay per view.
    I'd say the return numbers ought to be pretty good.
    From a Former Submariner

    April 13, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  210. Louise in Alabama

    Not one damn thing until the maritime laws open the door and permit us to think that something can get done and will get done.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  211. Larry Hertzman

    Jack,
    I think that the best way to slow the piracy is to attacxk and sink the large mother ships that they launch their small craft from.If the world Navys get together and make a joint effort,this would cripple the pirates.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  212. Dan Moreau

    I am extreamly proud of our sailors for the action that they where trained to do. I think that we should have all U.S.A. flagged vessels be escorted. thru this trouble spot. I also think that we need to have our surface fleet up to the level so we can spare our ddg,ffg, or cgs todo these escort jobs. im proud because i helped build the USS Brainbridge

    April 13, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  213. Ernest

    The tactics and logistics necessary to combat piracy exists. Let us use them with Good Orderly Direction. Send them to the deep. Hunt them to the ends of the earth.These savages and cowards hide behind women and children. Our women should not weep alone for their sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  214. Jeff

    This is what needs to be done for American flagged ships. you put a trained armed security force on the ship with a couple 240G machine guns, these are 7.62 rounds same as .300 civilian rounds belt fed has a maximum effective range of 1345 meters. when a pirate boat comes close you fire some rounds in front of the the bow and if they keep comming and you know they have weapons by looking through binos then you take them out. You don't send the FBI to negotiate to them since when do we negotiate to Terrorist. and thats what they are Terrorizing ships in international waters. so ships have the right to defend themselves.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  215. Roy - Chicago IL

    First we need to get all hostages out of Somalia by whatever means. Once that bargaining chip is gone for the pirates, international armed ships should escort vessels thru the Gulf of Arden and basically destroy any attempting pirate vessel. Only after a few rounds of this will the pirates get it and back off. Or....vessels going thru these waters should have armed guards on them, not necessarily the crew as a deterrent.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  216. rob

    If I drive a red convertible with the top down in the worst part of the city I would be inviting a car jacking. So why sail a ship full of goods in the most dangerous waters of the ocean with the top down? Put the top up, lock the doors and set the alarm!

    April 13, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  217. Steve Simpson

    There is a simple, low risk, rapid solution to the piracy problem. Simply remove the targets. Control the flow of ships into these waters. The President could call a meeting of the merchant marine, shipping companies and international partners to agree to dramatically reduce the number of ships that use these waters to transport cargo. No targets = No piracy.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  218. Kristina Dudley

    I think all of the ships should be manned with guns and have escort vessels that are also manned with artilery. The regular routes should be heavily patroled for the safety of the ships traveling on the open seas. There should be treaties with other nations that protect our men in open waters. They should have undercover operatives working in Somalia to ferrett out the pirates.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  219. richard margle

    Everytime they capture a pirate, they drive long pole into shallow water, turn it into a gallows and hang them for all to see. That's what they did in the old days isn't it?

    April 13, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  220. Ben Howell, Hilo, HI

    Some of the Somali "pirates" are undoubtedly motivated by greed and what they see as easy pickings, but many of them are angry fishermen whose livelihoods have been taken away by large foreign fishing fleets that have heavily fished their home waters.

    Cargo ships obviously should stay out of harm's way as much as possible by avoiding the areas where the Somali pirates operate.

    On board security should be supplemented with armed guards, say from outfits like the ones the Bushies relied upon so heavily in Iraq. I understand that a lot of those folks will soon be looking for new work.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  221. Jay Berger- Big Bear, Ca.

    Jack
    The answer is. DRONES, DRONES, DRONES!

    April 13, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  222. Dimitrijevic

    The US Navy might take a page from the Kriegsmarine playbook: During both World Wars the German Navy used heavily armed, converted merchant ships as "surface raiders" or "auxiliary cruisers" to prey on Allied shipping.

    The Americans should consider a similar tactic to do battle with pirates. Conceal heavy weaponry on a number of phony cargo ships, put those ships under the command of US Navy officers and sailors and sail those vessels in the vicinity of Somalia. If an attempt is made to board them the navy officers and sailors know what to do. Occasionally return the ships to US ports in order to alter the paint scheme, the superstructure silhouette and cargo configuration so the ships are not easily recognised after numerous trips through the region.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  223. nina

    deal with the root of cause of the problem.... bring a stable government to this country and stop the illegal dumbing of toxic waste and fishing in somali waters....

    April 13, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  224. Robert, Louisiana

    The Least Violent Way to Stop Somalia Pirates:

    Use Convoys – a few military ships can protect many merchant ships especially if the pirates know they will be blown out of the water if they approach. All commercial ships could be protected all of the time!

    This will reduce the area that needs protection drastically and there will be no need to put more and more guns and security on merchant ships that might have dangerous cargo.

    Then when they have zero or very few hostages left, more aggressive actions can be taken without danger to innocent hostages.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  225. Debby

    Bravo to President Obama! Finally someone is brave enough to let our great military do what it is trained to do-protect & save Americans!! Enough of The USA being bullied. I'm tired of hearing political analysts dissect every move the President makes & finding fault! We all need to support our leaders rather than tear them down in front of the rest of the world. Thank you, Debby from Ohio

    April 13, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  226. Cole

    The first question to ask is why is this a problem after two centuries. The simple answer is the anarchy the international community has allowed to exist in Somalia. Now, what to do? For one, take an interest and attempt to establish a legitimate government in Somalia that will establish authority on land (is it not strange we just let African countries go by the wayside). Barring that, learn from history. Our first war after revolution (if we don't count Native Americans) was against pirates. We paid tribute at first, but finally sent several naval missions and some marines and solved the problem permanently. Within 40 years of the birth of our republic, pirates on the other side of the world knew not to mess with the US flag. Now we should simply reteach the lesson.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  227. Joe, Chicago, IL

    Jack, wake up and smell the coffee. Two navy ships being held up for 3 days by 4 pirates in a life boat that was out of gas was all Obama's fault.

    The US, negotiating with these prirates for 3 days have just sent a very very bad message to the world.

    We will now negotiate with terrorists, until public opinion dictates the use of force.

    Letting this get to a 3 day circus and getting all the media hyped-up is the true travesty.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  228. treetop

    why don't we take a page from wwll and form convoys of merchant vessels that have naval protection? not only american navy but a combined action from a number of countries! if some of our allies don't want to get there boots dirty in afganistan,let them get their feet wet providing security for these merchant vessels!

    April 13, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  229. Richard

    Freeze their assets internationally.
    Defend the ships from other attacks, have razor wire on deck.
    Flatten their settlements in Somalia.
    The pirate will not harm their means of demanding money.
    Without hostages,they have no barganing chips.
    Should not be a U.S. only effort.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  230. sandy Peterson

    whay about doctors without borders, tankers filled with food, stables, any humanitarian effort. No guns or violence...PEACE!!!!!!!

    April 13, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  231. Mike T

    The US Navy can put 3 carrier groups in the area. 1 in the south Indian ocean,1 in the north Indian ocean and one on the other side of the gulf of Adara as staging areas. The ships go to these staging areas and pick up a security detail. when they get to the other end they off load the detail to the other carrier. All they would have to do is supply food and a place to get some rest for the detail. Then the detail can go back to their home Carrier on another ship or fly back on transport planes. They will think twice about trying to board a ship with the US military firing back at them.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  232. UrbanCntrySoul of Nashville, TN

    PIRACY.... debatable. Terrorist yes. If the United States had resolve in 1993 under Clinton we wouldn't be here speaking about piracy. Afghanistan and Pakistan fall under the same situation. Rogue nations fallen states are issues of the world.... "When Good People Do Nothing Evil Runs Rampant" We all pay one way or another.... financially or socially we All pay.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  233. Sandy

    Re:piracy
    This has been a rising problem for a long time, but like most issues, the Bush administration turned a blind eye. Since we have screwed around and wasted time and money in Iraq (and forced many other nations to do the same) we have collectively allowed this open wound to fester. Bravo to President Obama and the USN, but it begs the question-we can take three pirates with three shots in darkening skies and turbulent waters, but we can't hunt down and put down Islamic terrorists? Not even when they mass produce videos and publish on the Web? Gimme a break. Nice to finally have a "decider" in the White House!

    April 13, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  234. Jack Adkins

    Jack:
    Each country will have to act for themselves to protect their seagoing commerce. The U.S. Coast Guard and U. S. Navy could lead the way for training specialized anti-piracy units. I don't know about the other countries, but as for us, there are is any number of good American Bluejackets who would heed the call.
    Jack-San Francisco CA

    April 13, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  235. Tito

    Let's be honest here, there is no way to deal with these kinds of people. They're all the same, and since they haven't been losing much, they will just keep doing it more. You want to end this? How about we step up in their country, go up to their houses and do the same? I'll bet you they'll think twice before doing it again. It's time Obama stopped being so nice to everyone and show these people that the United States was,and still is the most powerful country in the world, and that you don't mess with us without consequences.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  236. Karl from SF, CA

    I think grouping the ships under Navy protection instead of running them alone would work. Give them one “TURN BACK OR YOU WILL BE FIRED ON” announcement and then blast away. Don’t wait for an attack. Their intentions are obvious.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  237. Matt

    My gut reaction is to issue letters of marquis, but weighing the cost/benefits a super tanker is worth far more than a speed boat. Leaving it to the corporations to handle hasn't worked. They'd rather just pay. Maybe someone has a better idea but the best I can see is making an example of Somalia as a whole. Behave as civilized people or we will treat you as civilizations have always treated barbarians.

    Matt
    Dallas, Tx

    April 13, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  238. J. Cappy

    Jack

    The owners of the ship lack the want, to spend money for surveillance. Security should be the owners of the ships responsibility for the safety of its crew and cargo.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  239. HALE M. SMITH M.D.

    We did this in WW2:
    1.a) Convoy: this will economize assetts and focus targets.
    1.b) Q-ships would help.
    2.a) Adopt a "Roach Motel" approach. Pirates check into the Indian
    Ocean (Gulf of Aden), but they don't check out.
    2.b) We don't advertise when we take out a target. They simply don't
    get home. If this seems harsh, well, this is war, one they
    started.
    3.a) A Night of the Long Knives. In a 24 hr. period, we destroy every
    boat we can find on the Somali coast, before they can be
    stocked with Human shields.
    3.b) This is followed up with a total blockaid. Nothing gets in, so their
    money buys nothing, including food. Total lockdown.
    4.a) No boots on the ground. Period. No new potential hostages.
    Allow the pot to boil over.
    4.b) Before we return, ALL weapons must be put onto the beach to
    be destroyed by air. This includes all Technicals.
    4.c) After this, we go in in force.
    5) This must start and finish as an International effort.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  240. Barry Watts

    Electric fencing part-way down the hull of each ship? It would not have to produce a lethal shock and couldn't be very expensive. If ranchers can afford electric fencing to keep their cows from wandering off, surely big multinational shipping companies can afford it to protect their crews and cargo.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  241. Brian

    Jack, the Navy has multiple solutions for this piracy problem. Take a page from JFK. Create a blockage for the suspected area of Somalia and with the high teck armament we have on the new warships, no Pirate fishing trawler is getting out to sea. Force their hand and make a strong presence and statement. Don't mess with us and our allies! Period!

    April 13, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  242. Arch Bradbury

    Hi Jack, the commerce traders who operate their ships in the pirate waters in that part of the world ,and the countries who are so called G20(the ones with all the money) must build a fleet of 40 or more high speed patrol boats, like the PTs of WW2 ,along with AWAC help, can knock these pirates back to the dark ages as they leave there ports.It take will to win,something that has been lacking so far.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  243. Ingrahm Lal

    2 suggestions.
    1. Post 5/6 soldiers/marines/troops adequately armed including RPG's to defend these ships. It would be less expensive and they should be able to do the job.
    2. Station an aircraft carrier in the region and supply the ships under threat with adequate communication equipment. At the first sign of trouble they would contact the carrier to launch a fighter and blow these pirates away. It is way past time to fix this. Kudos to Obama for the recent rescue.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  244. Harry

    We Americans tend to always think in terms of simple solutions.

    There are a whole host of things we need to do to take care of the problems. Better policing of the waters, obviously. Anti-piracy training obviously.

    And how about getting smarter about aid, help Somalia get on its feet, and at least make it so that these people have an ALTERNATIVE to piracy, like for example a job.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  245. Roger Di Ciccio

    Four untrained teenagers with AK-47s are able to take hostages from a 600 foot ship. There is only one reason this can happen. These ships are not allowed to defend themselves because the shipping companies are too afraid to buck the "politically correct" attitude towards guns and self-defense. If these ignorant pirates thought they might be fired upon for approaching or attempting to board a ship, they would think twice. As it is, for the pirates it is easy money that they feel entitled to collect, as if it was a toll and perfectly natural. The sea is a dangerous enough place and these sailors should at least have the basic human right and the ability to defend themselves against attack, rather than being guaranteed only the possibility of capture, and possibly even torture and death. Cargo ships of past centuries carried arms and cannons because the sea were unsafe and piracy was a problem. Nothing has changed, except that we have chosen to begin gambling with the lives of the sailors in the name of pacifism, political correctness, and gun control.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  246. Kingsley, Toronto

    Any illegal activity is simply a derivative of socio-economic inequality. Until the more priviliged nations of the world help rid these inequalities, piracy and terrorism will continue to grow.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  247. Dan Goodrow

    I for one am sick of the comments that belittle our armed forced. If we haven't been in a position to deal with an enemy whose goal is to kill you and take from you what is not his (or hers), how can you possibly critique a given situation. Additionally, trying to deal with a situation where the perp. has no rules, and you are hamstrung by them, what do you expect the action to be. There is no way you will see a "blow up the jungle", "turn sand to glass", "nuke the bastards", or 'put an "ASROC" into the side of the enemy vessel and then see what's left" approach. I'm old enough to remember when the media reported what the Government said what was fit to print about the Viet Nam Era. I also remember Watergate and the "camera up your butt era" that ensued. Now I hear the President being criticized because he didn't make everybody feel as though they were aboard the raft with Captain Phillips, when decisions were being made. Be glad he had the "stones" to make the call to shoot the punks and get on with it. Do you want to know when the first dog pees on the carpet? Do your own damn job and let everybody else do theirs. There is every reason to "want to know", You will know soon enough, within seconds in fact of when something occurs. We may have finally reached a point where a President can do what we elected the President to do, It doesn't serve anyone well, especially our troops and those in harms way, to feel as though you have to be there in the desert, the jungle, the sky, or the raft. If you think you need to be there, enlist.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  248. Sharon

    This is a good start. We and the rest of the world have had our heads in the sand for many years. My husband and I, who spent eleven years sailing west from San Francisco to the Outer Banks, NC, aboard SARACEN, a 37 ft. ketch, kept well to the right of this area in 1995 when we crossed the Indian ocean on our way to the Red Sea–and we slept better knowing the pirates were targeting big ships, not us.> The violence may escalate in the short run as a result of the Navy's , but piracy left unchallenged, which results in millions of dollars profits to the pirates, will end up in increased violence sooner or later, no matter what. Should have been sooner!

    Sharon
    Kill Devil Hills, NC

    April 13, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  249. Alberto Mella

    Jack:
    We have air marshalls that go in planes. We should do the same with ships. A contigent of armed security personnel will become a deterent. If it comes to a confrontation our weapons and training are superior. For piracy to take place you need a pirate and a vulnerable ship. All you need to do is take one element out of the equation.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  250. Marietta

    What to do with piracy –it is a global issue with all nations–to get together and solve this....First time America boat attacked by pirates–before other countries who only gave in and paid ramson..All nations should get involved for it effects all–not just an American problem!~

    –Pres Obama did a great job!–State Secretary involved made statements etc .....republcians ticked off–because they were out of the loop to bable bable bable go against any plan Pres Obama would have period!!.
    Glen Beck? Hannity? Fox News cause more damage and put Americans in more danger also with their radical crazyness spin twist etc!.........
    ..Pres Obama stayed calm acknowledged it----no public fan fair--why? for the safety of all concerned--------had 17 meetings since boat captured–planned with military and all, gave them authorty, had moment to moment contact-news would of gave out information with their twist and spin putting captain in danger-well done Pres Obama !!!!!

    April 13, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  251. Alan Beneteau

    its easy! set up escorted shipping dates as in WW11. All countries will share the expense. No more pirates.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  252. Eric, Tulsa Oklahoma

    Piracy has been a problem since time immemorial. We've never had a particularly good way to fight them. The need for vessel protection will create a need for mercenary "Marines" to put on board if the problem persists. Our collective governments will continue to put ships near the shipping lanes to try to protect them, which is all we can really ask of them. What else can you do. The profit at stake is sufficient to outweigh the risk of capture or death. Until that is no longer the case, it will persist.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  253. wes kershaw

    The somali are normally fisherman but have there fishing grounds vacuum out by the europeans and aisans countries . So you get a payback don't you

    April 13, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  254. B in NC

    If they are racing toward a cargo ship, blow them out of the water. NEXT. It wouldn't take long for them to get the message and spread the word.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  255. Doug - Dallas, TX

    The pirates have no regard for international laws and continue to thumb their noses at authority. Find their boats and blow them out of the water, take any survivors and throw them in jail, screw a trial, and continue to do that until there are none left or the problem goes away. Quit trying to force our values on people who could care less. Talk to them in the only language they know, violence and fear, and show them the consequences for their actions. Even the stupid ones will learn eventually.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  256. Terry in Fayetteville, NC

    It would be a good start if we removed about half our senior military officers with MBAs that have to study to death every effect of every use of force and replaced them with people of character like the crew of the Mearsk Alabama who knew almost instinctively when honour of their shipmates and flag demanded use of force. The shipping interests that think they can substitute ransom and insurance premiums for integrity in the maritime community, are just nurturing a disease that will cripple our children.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  257. Henry Stone

    Jack,
    The moment the Somali pirates left the ship they were no longer in control, The Alabama was in control and when the Bainbridge arrived it was in control. The pirates have made the sea a very dangerous place, the solution to this problem is to make the sea an even more dangerous place for them.

    H.C. Stone
    Hanover, Massachusetts

    April 13, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  258. Alan Pease

    Why don't they convoy like in WW2.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  259. Chuck Crites

    The navies can't do it all. I say we shoud train, arm, and encourage self defense for those ships working in these areas. Or, hire mercinaries to protect the ships from the pirates. The bad guys will lose intrest fast if they are being shot at. If I were on one of those ships, I would want a weapon equal to the task.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  260. Jeff F

    How about scheduling convoys? During WW I and WW II convoys made passages across dangerous oceans much safer than they otherwise would be.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  261. jerry

    jack we need to use a reverse sting we know they're looking for american ships so we put special forces on ships that look like cargo or other ships.the whole ship has navy personnel on it in plain clothes and it let operate in those waters.when pirates try and highjack it kill or capture them.with the other navies doing this to you have alot of different ships.after a few attemps the pirates will have 2nd thoughts if it is a set up or not.they do the same thing in cities all across the us with reverse stings for drugs & prostution and as statics show it does slow it down in the area they do it in. pardon the spelling.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  262. Thomas Dolan

    The shipping industry needs to be proactive and man each vessel sailing in this area with trained personnel capable of handling these scalawags. Declare a no pirate zone and if a non-authorized boat enters the shipping zone, one shot across the bow. if that fails to deter them, a couple more rounds of 50mm caliber into the boat and they'll get a up close view of Davey Jones Locker.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  263. Fred May Sr Spanaway WA.

    All harbors around the world have channals that ships must follow if they want to get into port safely. Why not the same thing for freighters traveling hostile waters. The " road maps" for shiping lanes would narrow down the area the pirates could operate and reduce the area that has to be patroled. We have drones that can be launched from carriers. If there is the will there is a way.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  264. lylaone

    Report on Operation Allied Protector and the current multinational NATO program.

    During WW II merchant ships travelled in convoys with military escorts.

    Why is this not an option now?

    April 13, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  265. Jerry in Sacramento

    Very simple. Put a high-voltage fence around the ship's deck.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  266. Bill

    The response time to get to the U.S. ship was too long . We need aircraft carrier with planes,helicopters, and drones to respond to all calls of pirate attack on any ships,not we have a ship coming in 10 to 12 hours. A quick response with air support and destroy any and all attacking boats. Blockading the coast and searching all boats leaving the coast and ports is another option. Complete search with all boats stopped ,searched ,or destroyed. Any sign of pirate activity on searched boats will mean confiscation or destruction of that boat

    April 13, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  267. Will Hope, Guelph Ontario

    Protect the shipping and give the Somalis a reason not to engage in piracy. If the roads are like what I experienced in the countryside of Kenya international investment in the infrastructure of West Africa would help to solve many of the problems afflicting that part of the world.

    Infrastructure would create jobs for many (like they are in the USA) and increase the access to markets in the region. Economic growth is the best way to pull Somalia and the rest of the region out of the Hell that they are in.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  268. M. R. May

    Easy answer: One carrier on station in the area. When a frieghter sights the bad guys, a call to the carrier would send a fighter or two to give the pirates a "headache"......

    April 13, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  269. Ed

    These pirates/terrorists are conducting their operations beyond the territorial limits of the country of Samolia in International waters. By Maritime law, the owners and crews of the ships should have the right to use any force necessary to defend their ships and cargo. Maybe we need to go back to the old days of wooden ships and blow these pirates out of the water using cannons.
    It is a wonder why ship captains have not considered altering their course around the Horn of Africa just as the military avoids areas when it gets reports of terrorist activity and IED's in Iraq/Afghanistan.

    These ships are capable of going far enough from the coast to make it impossible for the pirates to reach them using the fuel range of the pirates vessels. Again, it is just a case where ship owners want to spend only what they have to to protect their freight and weapons and navigational aids would cut into the owners profits.

    If the threat to shipping traffic in this area exists, AVOID the area.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  270. GABE in West Des Moines, Iowa

    Jack, there is simple solution to this. if the Somalian pirates vowed to revenge, why don't we tell them that within next 24 hours all the Somalian boats need to be remove from Somalia waters or we are going to bomb them. Somalian are going to get mad and they figure out who the pirates are among themselves. does not need an active war.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  271. Mike Cook of Adrian, Michigan

    Jack:
    Can we please stop calling these hijacking terrorists "pirates" like some swashbucklers from an adventure movie or Las Vegas show?

    First : these ships need to arm and protect themselves and resist being overtaken.

    Second: hijackers and hostage-takers must not be bargained with. To do so is to become vulnerable to infinite demands. Their choice should be – surrender or die, there will be no riches for you. Sadly, any hostages have already forfeited their lives and safety when they allowed their ship and cargo to be hijacked.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  272. Charles in Lawrence, NJ

    Put enough barbed wire around the tanker and they can't hook a ladder to it. A powerful P.A. system to tell them they will die for approaching, arm the crew or hire Blackwater to exterminate violators, find their offshore bank accounts and take thier money, burn the kot crop in the field. Then feed thier children.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  273. william heinemann

    Jack,
    As a U.S. Merchant Marine officer who has sailed the gulf of aden and the indian ocean coasts of somalia since the start of the Iraq war, i can tell you that, when a U.S. merchant vessel sails there with a majority cargo of military equipment (arms or supplies), it is indeed manned by usually a dozen well armed U.S. Navy or Marine service men or women. The complement includes mounted machine guns up to 50 caliber and all the usual weapons, tools and communication equipment needed to protect the vessel from small vessel attack.
    It is only when that cargo is less than 50% military cargo that the government protection ends and the shipping companies have to provide the security they deem necessary on their dime.

    There are not that many U.S. flagged ships operating relative to the global fleet. It seems to me an "Embarked Security Force" (EST) should ALWAYS be offered to a U.S. flagged ship trading in in these waters. Why not? After all, we're americans.
    And I don't want to hear about using some private, corporate, money grubbing, Blackwater-type security firm. Spare me, use good American service personnel.
    Bill,
    Jupiter, FL.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  274. Jim S Gardendale, Alabama

    Jack, dealing with this issue requires two or three things. First of all, if international law prevents arming these cargo ships, then it should be changed immediately. If they are concerned with employees having guns, then a couple of big guns should be mounted on the ship in such a way that employees could not use them against the ship. Secondly, a message should be sent to these pirates that we aren't going to tolerate this kind of harrassment by simply blowing them to kingdom come. Lastly, we should find their bases and attack them and eradicate them to the last man. It would take them months or years to recover and reestablish their network and even then, they'd think twice before beginning another attack.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  275. Cindy

    Ships in troubled areas need to be able to arm and defend themselves. Don't tie their arms up with inadequate rules and regulations. Meanwhile, a UN Peace keeping force needs to break up the pirate bases. They're like crack houses that have taken over neighborhoods. They've become money machines for people with no morals. It has to be dealt with, by the entire world shipping community, not just the US and France.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  276. Joe, Chicago, IL

    The US Navy is not the ocean's police force.

    The military should never be a police force. Their job is to kill opponents and break their stuff.

    Leave policing to the UN blue helmuts.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  277. Roger Di Ciccio

    Also, if you care to ask anyone who has fired one, an AK-47 is a powerful and reliable weapon, used mainly for it's longevity, resistance to failure, and ability to fire NATO ammunition as well as it's own (the reverse is not true), but in untrained hands, it is highly inaccurate and difficult to use effectively. It kicks like a kentucky mule and the sight line is counter-intuitive. Ship-board, a riot shotgun with triple-ought buck is a more effective solution, as would be a compact submachine gun, such as an H+K MP5 or a decent bullpup, like an FN P90. Even minimal training administered by the military would make a moderately well-armed security detail too daunting a foe for any Somali pirate force.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  278. Joseph

    Get local and international government to sit and talk and make up ashort n long term plan to fight n destroy piracy for ever.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  279. Dave Botelho

    Jack,What the american govt seems to have forgotten is that during WWII,merchant ships were outfitted with false walls on deck,and behind it were machine guns and small artillery.Its time to train the crews and bring that back.Those scumbags will think twice once they start getting blown out of the water.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  280. lynnej

    The solution is simple bottle them in close to their shore and damage their ships if they even think about venturing into international waters.

    This mess may not have happened if the Somalian government were more stable if the Clinton Administration had been allowed to intervene properly. For the start of this, look at the Republican controlled Congress for it.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  281. Elizabeth Causton

    First let me say Jack, how sad it is that you and many other Americans confuse diplomacy and skilled negotiating with weakness and find it 'embarrassing'.Sure the navy could have bombed the hell out the pirate's lifeboat and killed Captain Phillips, After all, what's one man's life, if it means protecting the image of America as all-powerful with a 'shoot first negotiate later', 'we'll show you who's boss' mentality that has worked so well in the past to bring the rest of the world to heel?? What needs to be done about piracy is that all of the arm-chair generals like you need to sit down, have a beer and chill.Then the rest of us can thank our lucky stars that you don't get to decide what to do about this sensitive and serious issue.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  282. PAT California

    This is an International problem! It's time the UN held a serious meeting with all countries. New laws must be enacted to allow armed guards on board ships with orders to shoot to kill anyone who tries to board a ship. Anyone who kidnaps and holds a citizen of any country must face trial similar to war criminals or terrorists with the stiffist penalties. Anyone who hijacks a ship and kills an unarmed passenger or crew member must face the death penality. Now is the time to take action and serve notice to any wood-be hijackers that this will no longer be tolerated by ANY country!

    April 13, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  283. VITA ZEMAITIS

    Re:Somalian Pirates

    U.S. should defend its own ships but not to get involved with foreign captured vessels. Who knows what their cargo is or has been? May be asking for trouble from Arabian League.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  284. Catherine

    Hi Jack,
    You know those guns that police use to shock the enemy and not kill them, what's wrong with that, ???so they can fall back into the water and drown. That's a double bogey!!!

    April 13, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  285. paul

    Very simple to end this piracy
    First sink there motherships with sub or air just sink all of them
    Second arm ships with hand held missiles any small boat coming close sink They will all get it after a few of there motherships are sunk
    And for any legit fishing boat they will stay well away of ship

    April 13, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  286. Ted, Toronto

    Jack Kennedy risked full-out global nuclear war against a major super power over freighter ships merely heading towards Cuba. The media thought Kruschev was the bully. Why wouldn't President Obama risk minor diplomatic friction with third world Somalia who can't afford rice, yet alone nuclear weapons, after an America ship was attacked and Americans taken hostage? Tough call huh Jack....small Somalian rubber dinghy versus the massive US Navy battleships? Who's the bully now?

    April 13, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  287. Yevgeny Kotlyar

    Folks,
    I do not understand what the problem is. Instead of involving FBI negotiators, NAVY SEALS sharpshooters and other serious entities,
    have four designated RPG carrying sentries on each end of the ship.
    After is determined that pirates are approaching, blow them up.
    Problem solved. After several such cases, I doubt there will be attempts to capture any traversing ship.
    You don't want to be politically correct in this case, do you?

    April 13, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  288. Roy

    Put two or three subs out there to patrol and take them out as they come out. They can't shoot what they can't see and there are other nations who are allies and have subs. A few boats sent to the bottom might discourage them a bit. Also, start arming the ships with defensive weapons with security personnel and USE them.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  289. Nancy

    The command for "shoot to kill" was given on Friday. The Navy did a great job in setting up the scenario where success could be assured. Remember, this was a hostage situation - care had to be taken to protect the Captain. Part of that plan was surely to tire out the pirates and lull them into trusting the Navy's actions. The ultimate success of the navy seals' actions was because of the secrecy of the final tactics.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  290. ProfBAM

    First, I am a Skinnerian (1938 "On the Behavior of Organisms): the best way to modify behavior is to reward the behavior that you want, the next best is to remove reward from the behavior that you do not want. DO NOT PAY Ransoms–no reward, no piracy.

    Second, the Germans used "Q-ships" effectively during WWII, why cannot we disguise weapons in a container ship, draw them in and blast them? That happens once or twice in the Indian Ocean or in the straights through Indonesia and the pirates will think about robbing banks instead.

    BAM

    April 13, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  291. Jesse J

    Hi Jack,

    We can't do anything about piracy... poor desperate people will do anything and everything to feed them selves or gain freedom.

    When people have no hope in their lives, their lives have no value and so we get pirates, terrorists, and suicide bombers.

    Can anyone tell me the last time they saw a well fed educated person with a future take up piracy, terrorism or violence?

    Jesse
    Vancouver Canada

    April 13, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  292. Buckeyegal

    What are the pirates doing with all their loot? I heard they've scored approximately $68-million from their plundering. That's probably more than the entire GNP of Somalia. Does anyone know for certain that they're not part of a larger terrorist group, or supplying arms? I would assume they're not being Robin Hoods and taking from the wealthy in order to feed the millions of starving Somalians.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  293. Harold

    Naval ships in the area need to be more proactive instead of reactive. If it looks like a pirate "ship", hail it, board it or blow it out of the water. Something like a blockade.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  294. Adrian from Toronto Canada

    This is an international concern..organize shipping into convoys and escort them. As soon as the threat is verified blow them out of the water. They'll soon get the message.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  295. Dan Goodrow

    Lodi, Ohio

    As far as, What can be done about the increasing piracy on the high seas?

    Remember the Great White Fleet? Whatever happened to flexing our muscles and showing those who would harm us, or our allies, that as the lyric suggests "we'll put a boot in your ass" if you take cheap shots. Too often we have demonstrated political correctness to the detrement of our armed forces who pay the ultimate price for our careful approach. Let's put our enemies on notice that there "will be hell to pay" and then back it up as opposed to letting them hit us and hide, only to use the same kind of war tactics we used on the British when they chased our Forefathers. It seems we have lost our ability to use tactical approaches toward warfare, and most importantly, our enemies do not fear and respect the United States of America as they should.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  296. Bruce

    In 1991 their government collapsed- mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died.
    At the same time, other European ships have been looting Somalia’s seas of their greatest resource: seafood. We have destroyed our own fish stocks by over-exploitation – and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300 million worth of tuna, shrimp, lobster and other sea life is being stolen every year by vast trawlers illegally sailing into Somalia’s unprotected seas.
    They have no coast guard. They have no recourse against the global corporations. UN complaints fall on deaf ears. Their "pirate" actions are highly understandable by those who possess ANY compassion!

    It was the one and only George Washington (yes – our first president) that hired pirates to protect our waters before we had a navy. So, this very "American tradition" continues...

    April 13, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  297. Ed'sKate

    First of all, the merchant ships involved should be fully armed for their own safety.
    An linternational law should be in place that when any pirate boat comes within a certain number of nautical miles of any merchant ship, warning shots should be fired by the merchant ship. If the pirate boat continues to proceed towards the ship then it should be fired upon immediately regardless of the consequence to the boat and its pirates on board.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  298. Thane

    Arm the ships, train and arm the crew, and when harassed provide ample warning w/ a shot across the bow. If that doesn’t work, make them disappear. Simple! The next time I hear “We can’t do anything about it”, “We need a coalition” or, “We need permission”; to protect our citizens and property I am going to get sick!

    April 13, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  299. Ken in NC

    @Oliver Tansi
    You speak of how the pirates held safely the life of the captain in their hands and you speak of how Americans without cause snuffed out the lives of the three pirates.

    Oliver Tansi, those pirates got what they should have gotten for posing a threat to the ship they hijacked that did not belong to them. I do agree with you that their lives could have been spared. Had they not endangered the lives of honest hard working people by trying to steal their ship and hold it for a ransom , their lives would not have been lost.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  300. Heather, Boston

    Russia recently fought some pirates out of one of their ships. France is doing it and so are we...finally. I think the improved relations among all of these countries will allow for a more efficient use of force to repel opportunistic criminals, who are basically going for the easy money without a fight. These guys are hardly trained militia or terrorists on a mission. But can you imagine France or Russia publically making a statement in solidarity with US use of force anywhere in the world before Jan 2009? It just wouldn't happen.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:52 pm |