Friday, October 3, 2008

The Lion and the Fly

It was reported that a ransom was paid to the pirates for the release of 2 MISC tankers and her crew, even though it was against company policy. How much, we don't know. Is it the right thing to do and doesn't this encourage further engagement with pirates alike?

After the release of Bunga Melati Dua and Bunga Melati Lima, the Somali hijakced a Ukranian ship. To their surprise, her cargo included 33 T-72 tanks, heavy ammunition and other light weapons. They hit the jackpot. This aggravated the US for a response and the 5th Fleet was immediately mobilized to the scene (the US 5th fleet includes a carrier battle group, destroyers, attack submarines, cruise missiles, amphibious ready group, expeditionary strike group). A shootout was then reported between Navy SEALS and the pirates who were celebrating Eid on the vessel.

Russian, French and Malaysian warships then joined the international blockade to avoid the ship's cargo to be unloaded in Somalia. Here's a classic example of the lion and the fly. The Somalis are also armed with light weapons and RPG, yet they have stronger bargaining power because of the hostage situation and on top of that 33 tanks. The super power and developed nations can build all the war ships in the world to escort tankers, but terrorism in this fashion is still favored because of the low cost, nothing-to-lose scenario and high reward. The loose coalition of their organization and 'allies' also makes them hard to be detected and destroyed, similar to Al-Qaeda and their network of terrorists. What we need is to have covert operatives in Somalia and dismantle their group from within. The lion can project fear in the enemy, but with all that awesome power, can't swat the little fly that flies around and annoys the lion at best.

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