Friday, April 10, 2009

Make No Mistake - the UN is Part of the Problem

The Useless Nitwits aren't the only source of the problem, but when it comes to fighting piracy, they are not part of the solution. - Enemies of All Mankind: Who Can Stop the Pirates? The oceans are a big place. The Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden are considerably smaller, but they can't be policed - certainly not by the 15 or so ships currently assigned to Task Force 151. (Even when all the ships currently en route arrive on station, there will be fewer than 24 ships to cover an area 5 times the size of Texas.)

So you hear of a pirate attack, and you pursue the pirates and then what?
"The authorities have to be very careful with the law of the sea and United Nations charters," [David] Cordingly [author of "Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates."] said. "Nowadays you can't simply charge in with warships, blast the pirates and hang them on the waterfront."
No, because that would violate the pirates human rights, or the rights of individual states to be havens for lawlessness or something. The principle of "hot pursuit" apparently doesn't apply - so once they get into territorial waters they are "safe at home." (There are 2 or 3 UN Security Council resolutions that say you can pursue into Somali waters, but they don't seem to be in effect for some reason.)

So, what about self-defense? If the authorities can't help, what about helping yourself?
Bringing weapons on board ships is "strongly discouraged" by the United Nations' International Maritime Organization
UN StatueI can't find the document today, but it basically says arming crews "may lead" to increased problems. No studies. No analysis. Just anti-gun prejudice. (Hey, its the UN, what do you expect? Take a look at the statue that graces the UN complex in NY City. ** clickity **)

Now the Internation Maritime Organization is a perfect example of the UN trying to run over and get in front of the parade. All the heavy lifting relative to piracy is handled by the International Chamber of Commerce under its International Maritime Bureau's Piracy Reporting Center. The IMO may do other things, but relative to piracy of commercial shipping, IMB/PRC is in the driver's seat.

And of course no one is dealing with the issue of attacks on small boats. The ICC is interested in shipping. (And the UN is just along for the ride.) Well, Noonsite worries about small vessels and piracy - that is they post reports from various folks running into problems.

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