April 8, 2009
Posted: 1325 GMT

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Filed under: CNN •I-Desk Poll •Somalia

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Johan   April 8th, 2009 1:39 pm ET

Military solutions are needed for now, but wont end this situation. Somalia is a country without a reliable government, with corrupt policemen etc. Hijackers will keep on trying to do their 'work' as long as they are not punished for doing it. Without the help of the Somali government, anyone who wants to can easily get in a boat with some guns and try to hijack a ship. In case of failure, they still wont be punished so there is no reason for them to quit doing this.

Fawad Ali   April 8th, 2009 2:29 pm ET

What will happen to Americans who were on board......what if these pirates make a deal with Iranians: Iranians and terrorists probably willing pay them big lump sum to get these Americans......

Nesim   April 8th, 2009 4:20 pm ET

I would like to join those teams and train them to defend themselves.
Why risk the life of the people when companies can hire someone to protect the ship, train the staff and reduce the number of pirates.

Tony   April 8th, 2009 4:28 pm ET

Ships should carry a small group of trained, armed personnel. Pirates would verey soon get the message. There must be many ex service personnel more than happy to provide anti piracy groups capable of doing this.

Peter Ejsing   April 8th, 2009 4:28 pm ET

The problem is really centered in the mainland of Somalia, not the waters outside. Equipping all ships with guns or increasing military patrolling there will not help. You got to take the problem by the root, look at the situation in Somalia. The hijackers shall not be looked upon as pirates, but as poor peoples who finds it necessary to do the crimes they are doing. If they dont they will starve and die. That dosnt justify it at all though.
I see it as our responsibility to help, not only Somalia, but all of Africa out of the poverty that causes all this crime. That is the only REAL

Peter Ejsing

Sankar   April 8th, 2009 4:29 pm ET

Y not use increase technology on ships, like electrified rails, spotlights operated from the central control room and also try seal of lower level entry to ships if threat is deducted automatically. And ya training is the key to solve this but training has to be modified to cope up with increasing technology

Rajiv Bishnoi   April 8th, 2009 4:34 pm ET

4 pronged approach, in the below mentioned order of preference

1. Trained Armed commandos ( group of 2-3 persons) on ships passing through the sensitive area. The service could be provided at a cost to shipping lines by US or other navy . The commandos should be trained to use rocket launchers , which can blow small boats , with an order/authority to blow up any boat which comes in vicinity of 100 m of the ship.

2. A small air base in region near by – wherein 2-3 helicopter/aeroplanes could be stationed, which can move in within 15-30 minutes , after receiving information of a conflict from commandos on the vessel.

3. Announced zero-tolerance policy by maritime authorities and shipping lines. No ransom payment even if a ship is hijacked. Governments to subsidise companies losing ships and compensate families of crew personnel, if not released. This , coupled with stricter anti-money laundering enforcement in nearby regions, could make it difficult for pirates to get the money and use it for further enhancement of their nefarious acts

4. Political strict message to regional governments for taking strict actions against the pirates in their countries

Rahma   April 8th, 2009 4:34 pm ET

The best way to solve the issue of Piracy in Somalia is to help the people of Somalia establish a sovereign government. The United States is partly to blame for the chaos in the country after it helped the Ethiopians with military equipments to fight the ICU despite the fact positive contributions the party brought to the country for a long time. The ship that was attacked allegedly was carrying foods supply to Kenya to people who need it! What about the thousands of Somalis who are starving and dying from curable diseases? The only way to get attention of the US is if it serves their national interests, and may be this is the only chance the people of Somali have in gaining international attention.

Sankar   April 8th, 2009 4:39 pm ET

Every harbor has its own pilot for navigation, is it not possible to have trained and armed pilot’s (Team) for the Somali crossing?

Brice McCain   April 8th, 2009 4:44 pm ET

Any ship transiting through the gulf that have any government interest already has armed and trained personal on board. That is already the mission of any Maritime expeditionary squadron. Also black water has already offered to provide personal to protect the other ships. Its just some companies are trying to save money, so no protection is hired.

Brice McCain   April 8th, 2009 4:52 pm ET

Pilots are not required for the Bab El Mandab and Gulf Of Aden. The only transit that required a pilot is the Suez, and even that is highly protected by the Egyptian army.

Bruce, Philippines   April 9th, 2009 3:34 am ET

The traditional response to pirates is to arm merchant ships. A Swedish company, Bofors I think, has a small automatic 57mm cannon optimized for destroying small boats with ammunition that explodes over them. These could be mounted inside a container whose sides will fold down for use – this should out range the RPG rockets which are the main threat to ships.

The pirates are now using 'mother' ships to move their operations out further into international waters. These ships have significant and obvious electronic signatures which can be used to locate them, and then the many unused attack submarines left over from the cold war could be used to observe their operations to confirm if they are operating small fast armed boats – and if so, just wait until the boats are back for the night and torpedo the ship at around 2 AM to eliminate the pirates and their expensive investment.

Another traditional response to commerce raiders is to use 'bait' ships which are commercial ships converted into armed vessels and manned by naval personnel. The act as helpless targets until attacked and then the respond with firepower.

Use armed helicopters to shoot up and sink any small fast armed boats located in the area – there is typically only one use for these boats, piracy. An M2 .50 caliber heavy machine gun should suffice or better yet use a 20mm or the 30mm chain gun although this might be overkill.

For a passive defense, fill cargo containers with empty steel drums and place them along the sides of the ship so they are balanced with an overhang which will prevent boarding. If a pirate craft makes a boarding attempt by coming along side the bigger ship, unchain the container and drop it onto the boat. For a less passive defense the crew can drop grenades – concussion, fragmentation, and or white phosphorus – from the deck of the larger ship into a smaller boat alongside. Having trained crew in the use of a .50 caliber sniper rifle would allow an API (armor piercing incendiary) round to be put through the engine of an approaching small boat – hopefully before it gets within RPG range. A more expensive option would be to carry armed security – but they still need to have weapons which will out range the pirate's RPG and be able to detect the small boat coming in at high speed at night – a non-trivial task.

Note that this is not going to be just a Somali area problem – now that the criminal model has been widely disseminated, we can expect that this will be replicated elsewhere.

Peter   April 9th, 2009 4:10 pm ET

Setup a concoy routes and serveral collections points. Ship move from collection point along route escorted by naval ships to destinations. This was the same strategy used in WOII when ships where in dangers by German submarines.

Joseph (Larry)   April 10th, 2009 4:30 pm ET

The military need to shot this pirates to let them know that they mean business and they not there to play mouse and kat game. These fools are disrupting total world trade and they business people and world leaders should deal with them with the urgency it needed before it turn to a new way of life in Africa
Larry from Madrid

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