Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Somalia: The German Dilemma

The Germans face a question of whether they can take on the Somali pirates, as set out here:
The German Navy has a ship cruising off the coast of Somalia: frigate Emden is searching for terrorists there. The Germans would be allowed to intervene if the pirates were members of Al-Qa'idah. They do not intervene when they are ordinary criminals. The problems in this world simply refuse to match with Germany's domestic policy.
UPDATE: Well, the Germans can buy their way out of the problem for only a couple of million dollars.

Of course, as noted here:
The problem with paying ransom, as I see it, is not the money itself, which could be recouped through insurance or written off as a cost of doing business in a hazardous area. The problem is letting the pirates use the money to buy more and better arms or to finance insurgencies. Dead pirates, however, cannot enjoy their ill-gotten gains.
As I note in a comment: "Punishment must be swift, certain and get the higher ups in the pirate hierarchy. Otherwise the risks/reward ratio in a land where there are not many other ways to make a living will be in favor of continued piracy, especially if the risk to the "pirate warlords" is low..."

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