April 17, 2009

PREDATING PUNTLAND:

A Military Solution to Piracy (E. Ralph Hostetter, 4/17/09, FrontPageMagazine.com)

Most of the Somali pirates range in age from 20 to 35 years and are principally from an area on the northeastern Horn of Africa known as Puntland. They are organized into at least five pirate gangs totaling about 1,000 men, according to the East African Seafarers Association.

Local fishermen, because of their expert sea experience, are considered the leaders. Other members are ex-militiamen, a spin-off from warriors of the local clan warlords who are used as muscle men, and a few are technical experts used as hi-tech GPS device operators. Recruiting volunteers for piracy is made easy inasmuch as 73% of the population has an income below $2 a day. [...]

With America's satellite capability of imaging areas of the world down to the size of a first-base plate, pirates could be tracked to their lairs. With the use of UAVs (Unmanned Air Vehicles) or drones, the pirate lairs could be attacked, dealing a major blow to the pirates’ operations. The Global Hawk UAV has the capability to hover in the area of the target at altitudes greater than 60,000 feet for periods of up to 24 hours.

With the skillful use of the UAV drone, guided by satellite imaging, the United States would have the capability surgically to remove the pirates' lairs around the Gulf of Aden and restore security to international shipping in that area.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 17, 2009 7:10 AM
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