Hello everybody, I am evidently new here as I was browsing around about new inspiring yacht designs (oh boy I'm pretty impressed even by the hobbyists' works) when I chanced upon this piracy thread - a topic close to my heart being a former coast guard involved with piracy patrol in Southeast Asia myself.
I think there are lots of inconvenient (painful) truths that the authorities are unwilling to face with regards to piracy. The overall picture said there is very little we can do to stabilize the country where the piracy originates from. I'm just going to leave it as that.
When it comes to combating piracy, I hope I don't sound overly extreme but realistically do we expect an unarmed ship (and crew) to defend against armed pirates well? We're not talking about small little .38 revolvers. We're talking AK47s and RPGs here. I find it laughable at times when I read about the authorities' responses to the issue of piracy, not limited to the ones in Somalia. The reality is (and these ministers jolly well wake up), you can't manage piracy like the way you manage political opponents or rival states. The sheer amount of ships hijacked and number of crew held hostage is a clear evidence of epic failure at its best.
If my coast guard commander does not expect us to engage a suspected pirate boat unarmed, I see no reason why we expect the merchant ships to do the exact opposite. The weapons are there for obvious reasons. Enabling the ships to respond with firepower is an obvious answer under those circumstances where 90% of the times coalition warships are nowhere near. If the authorities do not believe in armed response/defence, why even bother to send the warships? With 30mm anti-aircraft guns even? I don't know if anybody even sees this as a anti-thesis like I do.
If armed auxiliary police (supplement to the national police) is a long standing component when delivering bank notes in anti-hijack armored vehicles or safe-guarding the airports worldwide, why not make armed auxiliary police available to the seafarers as well? IMO needs to talk less and act more.
There are also brokers who help pirates to negotiate for ransoms. Some of them operate from countries that send warships to the piracy regions. I don't know if something's missing but trying to react directly to the pirates while the power brokers continue to earn a cut of commission from the ransom paid is a direct slap back in the face of my coalition nations. BBC highlighted this ransom brokerage some years back in a documentary I remembered. And strangely, not a single ransom broker has ever been hauled into the courtroom to stand trial.
Just my 2 cents worth.