Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Somalia: The EU wants to go pirate hunting

Following up on tremendous military success in absolutely nowhere, the EU has approved a "pirate hunting" mission, as set out here:
Ministers from the 27 European nations ordered a coordination unit to be set up protection and surveillance operations in order to combat the attacks which has caused mayhem to maritime traffic. In a statement ministers "deplored the upsurge in acts of piracy and armed robbery off the coasts of Somalia" and had given the green light to "a possible EU military naval operation".

European governments have become frustrated with the lawlessness in the Gulf of Aden, which lies off Somalia's northern coast and is an important sea route for European commerce flowing to and from the Suez Canal.

Insurance premiums for cargo ships intending to pass through the Gulf of Aden have soared tenfold over the past year.

One European shipping company said last week that it had paid a $1m (£550,000) ransom for the release of a cargo vessel and its crew, a practice that supporters of a harder line say has encouraged piracy.
A "coordination unit?" What about ships and sustainment ships and all the rest of it- you know, stuff you might actually need to go "pirate hunting." Which, by the way, is pretty simple...they're in Somalia and the the Gulf of Aden. (UPDATE: Somehow the EU reminds me of James Boren's description of bureaucrats swinging into "dynamic inaction.")*

Sounds like the EU is setting up a NCAGS cell...
They should be pleased to learn that the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy has training available...

A little more on NCAGS from the U.S. Navy (pdf):
• NCAGS is a program that bridges the gap between operational forces and merchant shipping by providing a framework for communicating directions, advisories, concerns and information within a maritime region.
• The mission is to assist operational commanders in managing risk by providing situational awareness and near real-time information on the commercial shipping picture to help ensure the safe passage of merchant shipping and the safety of naval vessels. This is accomplished through the use of technology and cooperation between partner nations and commercial industry.
Good stuff on NCAGS from Norway here.

UPDATE: VOA summary of the Pirates of the Gulf of Aden.

*From Dr. Boren:
Dynamic inaction, doing nothing but doing it with style, would strengthen the safety of careers by providing the appearance of performance while not having to actually do something. Doing something is dangerous, because a mistake may be made. The image of performance, however, can provide the benefits that come from doing something while avoiding the risks. Dynamic inaction --- doing nothing but doing it with style!

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