The next big step for them is to piece these together into a comprehensive infrastructure, command and control and execution plan, which has full and comprehensive (blanket) authority and directive (order) – to act.
This article will propose this approach under “The B.O.S.S. Plan” (Blanket Order - Secure Shipping).
As respects some key activities thus far, credit to the Indian Navy (and interestingly, recently France too – note France being part of the EU anti-piracy contingent) which has taken the lead and perhaps the most aggressive approach to the problem and a model for future efforts, and now known and feared by the pirate community as a force to be reckoned with.
Author’s Note: Interesting too the Chinese (naval) entry and involvement in the Gulf of Aden piracy situation. True they are there to protect Chinese cargo laden ships, in particular their oil tankers, but interestingly this too being their first modern deployment of combat ready warships beyond the Pacific. Indeed an incredible if not golden opportunity to flex and test their developing and rapidly growing “blue water” navy and gain invaluable new tactical and technological insights/intelligence working with the other premier global navies, particularly the U.S., Britain, and France.
So this Chinese mission has a dual purpose:
1) ”Protect”, and (perhaps even more importantly at this stage of their exponential military buildup)
This too as predicted in Part 4 of the author’s “Commulism Series”, linked here for easy access:
In addition to the lack of true substantive multi-navy coordination and direction (i.e. command and control), all these countries are myopically grappling with the “humanitarian” aspect with what to do once you capture a pirate as respects transporting for extradition and prosecution and where. There is instance of a U.S. Navy warship detaining a pirate onboard for seven months because they lacked any protocols what to do with a pirate once you capture one.
This disincentive to capture pirates vis-à-vis the self imposed dynamics and difficulties of pirate capture sets the stage for one of two things to happen a) a less robust effort in the anti-piracy mission, or 2) a shoot first, take no prisoners approach.
Option 1) clearly is not the way to go. A stronger rather than softer deterrent is necessary. That leaves option 2) as the direction to build an effective anti-piracy strategy. Afterall, these are thugs and bullies and respect only one thing – brute (no holds barred) force.
What To Do:
Via the UN, Clinton/Rice leverage UN resolution 1851 and the U.S. Navy (paper) task force initiative into something greatly more. That is creating an altogether new charter and infrastructure that provides a real counter punch to the growing Somali piracy problem.
Call it the B.O.S.S. Plan, and executed under “Operation SOS” – “Shoot On Sight”.
The State Department states “1851 authorizes states cooperating with the Somali Transitional Federal Government to extend counter-piracy efforts to include potential operations in Somali territorial land and air space, to suppress acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea". While the 15 member Security Council unanimously approved this new resolution, it only authorizes for one year international military operations on Somali territory in agreement with the transitional government, and only when in hot pursuit. 1851 also does not explicitly say Somali air space can be used nor pre-emptive strikes on Somali pirate strongholds.