Thursday, April 16, 2009

Somalia pirates can be defeated

The common perception is that a convoy is a defensive measure. In a sense, this is correct. Convoys are generally formed to protect defenseless ships from an armed enemy. As a consequence, the armed enemy must get past the armed escort in order to prosecute its attack on the intended target(s). The ocean is a vast place. Even if you have a good location device, such as radar, searching the open ocean for the enemy is not nearly as effective in engaging the armed assailant as compelling them to move into an area that is already defended by your armed units. They will actually have to search you out in order to conduct business. The unarmed ships act as bait to draw them into battle. In the case of the Somalia pirates, any battle with warships would be very uneven at best. I am certain that the pirates would avoid convoys in all cases. And if they ever did attempt engagement, I am certain that the results would be even more lopsided than what happened last week when our navy Seals freed Captain Richard Phillips. And we would not need to use elite units like the Seals to accomplish this. Just about any naval unit from any of the world’s navies would be able to do the job.

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