Thursday, February 10, 2011

If the Navy can't handle the pirates, let the Army do it

How come the combined navies of the developed world are being outfoxed by a bunch of fishermen with AK45s and RPGs ?

The answer lies in their reliance on their equipment and toys.

Clearly expensive frigates and destroyers aren't doing the job. However some men armed on each ship should.

Send the Navies home and put some squaddies with a Milan atw on each ship and see how long the Somali pirates still want to stay in business.

Not only would it be more effective - but it would be cheaper also.

Only self interest by the senior service is stopping it.


Busy Bee said...

See The Economist last week for the answer to your question.

Man in a Shed said...

Having looked the article over it see,s quite clear that Navy's are very expensive and not fantastically effective.

Armed soldiers would ensure the death of the attacking pirates - which solves a wide range of problems very quickly.

Its the appeasement that isn't working.

Anonymous said...

Try getting clear rules of engagement first.
The Navy only has 10 ships available at any one time. Give them lighter, cheaper poorly armed ships (let's call them Targets) and MOD/Politicians will replace on a one for two basis (one new one for two old ones). Lightly armed variants of the Castle class would do the job (see D K Brown's works) but are incapable of fighting in a real live shooting war against a real properly armed enemy(hence the class name Target).
The Navy must be capable of combatting a wide range of opposition, many of whom are not Somalis in skiffs.
The Royal Navy and many others are quite capable of dealing with the matter but the germane question is are YOU prepared for the fallout? TV pundits/politicians etc wailing that the Navies are operating a "shoot to kill" policy. Most politicians are not prepared to give the order or face the facts. An active convoy system would exterminate piracy but the political will is not there. Convoys, properly managed, are a very effective OFFENSIVE weapon.
Sorry to wax lyrical but I honestly disagree with your premise.
Apologies for remaining anonymous for the moment.

Anonymous said...

We could always send in the Russians
They dont muck about.

Man in a Shed said...

@Anon: In fairness I'm being slightly provocative. The basic point is in a big ocean its easiest to defend the ship. In dealing with pirates you have to set an example.

This missing ingredient is as you say political will - hence the expensive half measures and appeasement.

Anonymous said...

Have you not considered that paying ransoms is still the cheapest way of doing things both politically and cashwise?

junius said...

Paying a ransom only means they come back again for more. It has long been known that ransom should NEVER be paid if you want to exterminate the problem.

The answer is of course; convey systems, with lighter craft, better armed and with aggressive rules of engagement. Until then the problem will not go away.

Anonymous said...

My point about ransoms was the cheapness of them.
Making the problem go away is not a thing that politicians like doing - after all it reduces their reason for being.
That is why the status quo is the status quo.