I wonder if China might show the world how a different strategy might work. Here is a SITREP from Stratfor.com:
China: Pirates Threaten Crew If Rescue Attempted
November 30, 2009
Somali pirates warned they would kill the crew of a mainland bulk carrier if the Chinese navy attempted to wrest control of the vessel from them, South China Morning Post reported Nov. 30. Pirates seized the coal ship De Xin Hai in mid-October and are holding 25 crewmembers. Pirate Nur stated that the pirates know China has arrayed its warships in Somalia waters to attack. He added that there have been negotiations to release the ship and the pirates are telling China not to attack and gamble with Chinese lives.
I wonder. China may be willing to gamble on the lives of this one crew by making a serious military effort to recover them and the ship and cargo. I bet after that, Chinese ships will all be sufficiently armed and any attempt (to which I am certain to three decimal places none will be made) to hijack one will be thwarted with deadly force. I bet we will notice as of the day after any Chinese recovery attempt is made, if one is made, a conspicuous absence of Chinese boats on the list of Somali pirate captures. Lets wait and see which strategy works better. The Chinese one if indeed this takes place, or the British one listed below:
Navy regularly releases Somali pirates, even when caught in the act
The Royal Navy is regularly allowing Somalian pirates to go free because of the risk they would claim asylum if prosecuted in Europe.
Pirates terrorising ships in the Indian Ocean, looting and taking hostages, are often given medical checks and fed after being caught, before being sent of their way.
This is also sometimes because although they are carrying guns and other weapons, they have not been caught in the act of piracy and therefore have not technically committed a crime.
More than 340 suspected Somalian pirates have been captured by international naval forces in the last year and subsequently released on the advice of lawyers.
Pirates are currently holding a British couple, Rachel and Paul Chandler, from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, who said recently they feared they would be killed if the £4.2 million ransom is not paid.
Last week it emerged that two other Britons, James Grady and Peter French, were on a Saudi oil tanker that was captured by Somalis.
Julian Brazier, Conservative shipping spokesman, said: “It’s shameful that so many pirates are being returned to do it again.