Analysts said, however, that the seizure of the Sirius Star exposed the use of foreign warships as “a sticking plaster” that would not solve the problem. “Maritime security operations in that area are addressing the symptoms not the causes,” said Jason Alderwick, a maritime defence analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies*.I love it. For the pirates, the only solution is military. For us, it isn't. It's like we live in two different realities. For them, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher is their tool of choice. For us, it's a briefcase.
Roger Middleton, a Horn of Africa specialist* at the Chatham House think-tank, said that the capture was a crucial escalation. “Now that they have shown they are able to seize an enormous ship like this, it is beyond a military solution. You won’t fix this without a political solution.”
Operations undertaken by the coalition fleet are fraught with legal difficulties, ranging from restrictive rules of engagement to rights of habeas corpus, as the British Navy discovered when it detained eight pirates after a shootout last week. Yesterday the detainees were passed on to Kenya, where efforts to prosecute them will be closely watched for precedent.Well, that tears it. We need to increase funding for international law experts! After all, the US has a proud history of engaging in courtroom battles with lawless states.
In May, 1801, the United States refused to succumb to the increasing demands of the Pacha of Tripoli; in return, the Pacha declared war against the States. While Tripoli was not a strong power and little effort was necessary to watch and blockade it, the fear was that the other Barbary powers would join against the United States. The United States sent naval squadrons into the Mediterranean under the slogan of "Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute!" Under the leadership of Commodores Richard Dale and Edward Preble, the Navy blockaded the enemy coast, bombarded his shore fortresses, and engaged in close, bitterly contested gunboat actions.See? That's the peaceful, enlightened, political solution to the problem. Err, or something like that.
On 16 February 1804 LT Stephen Decatur led 74 volunteers into Tripoli harbor to burn the captured American frigate The Philadelphia. British Admiral Lord Nelson called the raid "the most daring act of the age".
* Jason Alderwick and Roger Middleton later had to change their trousers due to unseemly moisture in certain areas. In a joint press conference, they denied reports that they still wet their beds.