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Argghhh!

I dunno which is worse... having to say... "Maggie has the right of it?" referring to her comments in the H&I yesterday regarding the piracy involving the Danica White.

An apology acknowledging that we in the blogosphere wronged France? Okay, I'll go with a "even a stopped clock is right twice a day" defense on that.

Or the fact that it was *our* Navy, alone, that essentially sat it out? From CDR Salamander's post:

French abandon Danes to pirates UPDATE and BUMP: Hold the presses and belay my last! Don't blame France (sorry buds), but this is a all USA show. Despite the multiple source reporting earlier - word now is that it was a US warship, USS Carter Hall (LSD-50) (not the CARTER HILL as reported here and there. U.S. military officials said Wednesday that a Navy ship recently fired on pirates who overtook a Danish vessel off Somalia's coast.

The USS Carter Hill, part of a U.S. task force that helps maintain security off Somalia and nearby countries, engaged the pirates after they hijacked a Danish cargo ship, the Danica White, in international waters, said Lt. Denise Garcia, a public affairs officer at U.S. Naval Forces Central Command in Bahrain.

The U.S. ship fired several warning shots across the Danica White's bow and also destroyed three small boats the pirates had used in their assault and were towing behind the Danish vessel, according to Garcia, who said the incident occurred Saturday.

The U.S. ship called off its pursuit after the pirates navigated the Danica White into Somalia's territorial waters, where the U.S. does not have jurisdiction, Garcia said.


OK, let's look at the latest. First of all, since when did (moment of respectful silence) a Gator Freighter Amphib become a prime anti-piracy interceptor (actually not bad if you don't need to get anywhere all that fast)? Look her over here and here. Oh, that's right - almost all our Frigates are gone and I guess the "1,000 Ship Navy" was off doing something else.

Anyway, that speaks for itself. The core argument is the same - and for those with access to SIPR you can get a more rounded overview on what is going on. This "all American" development does point out something critical just from open sources.

We are enabling pirates.

You should go read the rest (I *order it* even!), because the 'Phibian discusses some of the *why's* of the matter.

Regardless - I sent this to the 'Phibian:

Alright, 'Phibian, you can't retire until you get your Navy's head screwed on straight.

The shades of Decatur, Jones, Farragut, and Dewey demand it.

Not to mention what Halsey or Burke might have to say. Send in the Tin Can Sailors.

12 Comments

We are enabling pirates. The nation that fought the Barbary Wars has a 10 SEP 01 attitude towards pirates.
One of the problems I think we face is that our country has become so divided politically that any thing that has anything to do with law enforcement or (God forbid) military is subject to intense, unreasoning over-analysis. What ever happens is looked at under a microscope and any action is picked apart by people with political agendas. Yes, even conservatives add to the problem because if the action, or inaction, does not fit our preconceived notions, then we can be pretty voracious in our speech. Law enforcement and military leaders need to be aware of public opinion but not necessarily swayed by it. I wish I knew how to make the system work like that.
 
From the good Commander S: One few more bags of rotten fish at my service - if in the likely event the CO of the CARTER HALL did not have the crews, equipment or training to do non-compliant boardings - then someone (not the CO) needs to be fired and reassigned. Actually it's all about priorities. None of us know what the mission of any of the ships off shore is. There are destroyers there: MOGADISHU (AFP) - A US warship shelled suspected Al-Qaeda targets in northeastern Somalia after Islamist fighters clashed with troops from the country's semi-autonomous region of Puntland, officials said Saturday. The US Navy destroyer fired on several targets overnight in mountainous and remote areas outside the coastal town of Bargal, where Islamist militants are believed to have bases. Having a DD fire on bad guys requires eyes on the target, and more than drones. Special Ops is very active now in that area. I suspect that is the primary mission of LSD 50. In this case being as how the anti piracy cover is very very thin for an LSD ... it may be one of her secondary missions. So she took down their small boats, and fired a token shot across the bow, they turned to continue her primary mission. We here are simply over examining her actions. She had other more important fish to fry.
 
Ya know, it's gonna be a loooooong time before Princess Crabby lets you live this one down. But good on ya for it!
 
Jim B - good thoughts. But I think 'Phibian's bigger point is that the Navy isn't in much of a position to do anything about piracy in any significant sense. Though, for my money - this would be a good test for the regional alliances - standing up regional multi-national anti-piracy squadrons.
 
Personally, I think we can concede that Maggie was right (way to go, Guurrrrlll!), and still continue to think that France is worthless. LOL
 
I agree with that John. We aren't the world anti-pirate force. Perhaps if the Danes want to ship stuff throught there for example... they should pony up a DD of their own to ride shot gun.
 
Wow .... side note ... take a peek at the Dutch Royal Navy Home Page "We would like to offer our deepest sympathy to all of those effected by the recent tragedies that have befallen the United States, and indeed the entire world. We, like all others, were stunned by these vile and dastardly deeds, and we offer our prayers to all of those hurt by these most unfortunate events." Well hell let's throw in with these people and kick some pirate booty. I like them already. And by the way this is what they bring to the game. And much more.
 
Wow! I still think the French are less than worthless. The original title of my post was "I Hate The French - Reason 2,647,354". Why are we letting them off the hook? They did nothing!!!! We did something. I'm in on the back channel stuff and I understand what certain other people are trying to get across without saying so. The favorite Naval Consort spent the week in vacinity so his only comment was about holding his tongue.....which(a)I'd rather hold & (b)is all the confirmation I need of those rumors. My point was that while every ship can't do everything, every ship should be prepared to make a good run of it. Also, this territorial waters shit is just that...shit. Somalia is a failed state. By definittion they can't enforce laws and borders. The UN should pass some kind of resolution saying that any member nation can take action against piracy when it occurs and explain themselves later. We would have had a slam dunk case. Does anybody from Somalia even show up in Turtle Bay these days? This whole thing peeved me for many reasons but the biggest was these are Danes. These are Danes in the hands of crazy, lawless Muslims right now. Hello? Cartoons? Remember? I'm praying, but I don't feel real good about it. Any other nationality, but not Danes. There's a Korean guy over there right now trying to negotiate the release of some Asian hostages and he'll probably be successful. I fear it will not be so easy for the Danes.
 
Since we're talking up the Danes, let's not forget about this. June 1, 2007
COPENHAGEN, Denmark: Denmark on Friday decided to increase its military presence in Afghanistan by about a third, and to replace its army contingent in southern Iraq with a small air force staff and four helicopters
.
 
My point was that while every ship can't do everything, every ship should be prepared to make a good run of it
Which is what I've been trying to say in the original thread. Cruising speed for them big mothers is about 20knots. Flank for the L ship is 22. That skipper did the best he could. He took the risks he felt he could with what he had at hand. The French skipper on the other hand, in multiple reports, looked on as the ship was boarded. How does that make it an all American goat----? It's a lot harder to make a woman unpreggers than it is to stop her from being preggers profilactically. The French had the ability to shoot and stop the priates. The American had the hard choice of shooting up the ship to stop her so he could catch her and then board. All the while facing god knows what(how about the 'rats getting re-inforced by speed boat buddies carrying rpg?). Risk to benefit. In the immortal words of Marko Ramius, 'Halsey acted stupidly.' You don't barge in just 'cause it's brave. That isn't enough. As JimB hints at, you don't risk the greater mission for newspaper headlines. Sucks. But true. Fine fault the skipper for not acting bold enough, but fault the French guy for not acting AT ALL.
 
Send in the tin cans, indeed! Sadly, we don't have many left, and they are scattered all around the world. The vast fleet we once had has been largely scrapped or sold, with precious few even being mothballed. Instead we have squandered huge sums on ever larger "multi-purpose" ships, but there are not enough to cover the tasks that confront us. RE: DUTCH Navy- Good sailors and good ships, but not sure how they relate to the seizure of a DANISH merchantman. Check out the DANISH Navy http://forsvaret.dk/SOK/eng/Ships/ also good sailors and good ships, although heavily oriented towards coastal and mine warfare missions. They have the firepower to go pirate hunting, and after the Islamic outrage over the "Mohammed cartoons" they may have the incentive to show they will not be pushed around by uncivilized terrorists of any flavor. It would be nice to see our "friends" from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, India or Pakistan take on the anti-pirate mission, since it is in their own backyard, instead of everyone waiting for Uncle Sugar to clean their cesspools.
 
John S., actually, if you look at the policy of India lately (and their acquisitions and such) you'd see that they intend on making the Indian ocean their lake from Malacca to HOA. It's simply a matter of time and how fast Russia forks over the Sovremny and SU-30(naval variant), so to speak. Really, I'm not trying to carry India's water for them here. I'm not that big a fan(oh yeah, we'll find our own third way and sell some of your tech to your biggest rivals. Yeah, that makes me so want to trust you.). But unlike Saudi and others India's actually making a real effort to get involved while the others seem content to let others do the work.