Sunday, January 02, 2011

Nature abhors a vacuum . . .

ACCORDING TO THE ECONOMIST, "A mercenary solution to Somali piracy" is being considered by people involved with shipping. It's not a new idea, but A.J. says it might fly this time because of the dimensions of the problem, which just doesn't seem to go away:

In 2010 alone Somali pirates have attacked 208 vessels, hijacking 44 of them. It is easy to understand the rage of ship owners as each successful seizure of a vessel costs an average of $9m in ransom payments and lost earnings.
An even higher price is paid by the the crews of hijacked ships in terms of their physical and emotional stress. Currently, 567 people are still held hostage by the pirates.

Mercenaries on water. Privateers? Or does that require a charter of some kind?


Dave said...

Letters of Marque?

Rev.Paperboy said...

It would be interesting to know when letters of marque were last issued. If I had to guess, I'd say the early 1800s, but I suppose Hemmingway's amateur hour anti-sub patrols in the Carribean in WW2 might count.
I've seen the notion of using Q-ships suggested before too.