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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/13/09

Proposed Somali Pirate Solution: The B.O.S.S Plan (aka Operation S.O.S. – Shoot On Sight)

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Message Brock Novak

This new “B.O.S.S. Plan” charter and action plan proposed by the Author to build off 1851 and U.S. Navy initiative would integrate the anti-piracy efforts of these countries into one consolidated and centrally controlled plan, providing extraordinary synergies in terms of resource allocation, geographic responsibilities/coverage and coordinated sea, air and land actions, with newly defined and robust rules of engagement, which now are not existent.

As noted earlier, it is recommended that this initiative be the first major challenge and task for incoming Secretary of State (SoS) Hillary Clinton and UN Ambassador Rice to collectively tackle, given the global and multinational nature of the problem and its substantial and rapidly growing impact on global trade, exacerbated even more with a worsening economic environment. 

What is Needed: 

A satellite monitored and (coordinated) military defended corridor (with determined width) or “transit lane” extending the entire Gulf of Aden sea-lane of commercial transport. All vessels will be advised of this by Notice to Airmen and Mariners (NOTAM). All operations within B.O.S.S fall under the umbrella “Operation SOS” (Shoot On Sight).  

The “Operation SOS” framework as follows: 

Command Structure:  

Create the U.N. Anti-Piracy Command (UNAPC) co-sponsored by the Vienna-based U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime and the International Maritime Bureau (IMB). This would evolve to a global command given the global nature of the problem. Initially, efforts focused entirely on the major pirate hotspot – Somalia/Gulf of Aden region. 

This should be a joint UN and not U.S. Command. The U.S can and will be a key leader and contributor. However, given the need for coordination of multinational assets and need to pre-emptively penetrate sovereign countries (harboring pirate communities), this requires a UN mandate and umbrella.  

With all 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council (U.S., Britain, France, China and Russia) already engaged in anti-piracy efforts (i.e. each have skin in the game), this should be doable and in short order. 

Note: UNAPC to be based in Djibouti (Ji-Boot-ee).

Why Djibouti? 

The collective answer is strategic country location, political stability, military (sea/air/land) infrastructure, existing military relationships.…and mission jingle.

The Republic of Djibouti is a small country (8,250 square miles - about the size of  Massachusetts), located at the juncture of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, bordering Somalia. Since independence from France in 1977, Djibouti has pursued a moderate foreign policy. Djibouti is a major, well-equipped, international port…Djibouti has an international airport, which can handle large aircraft such as the Boeing 747 

As respects military presence, France's 13th Foreign Legion Demi-Brigade is currentlystationed in Djibouti. There is also the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa, aU.S. force of more than 2,000, currently deployed in the country at Camp Lemonier. 

Summing up, “if you want to seize pirate booty, do it from Djibouti”.  

That UNAPC command location would dually house all detection, intelligence and commercial ship monitoring equipment (satellite and ships) as well as be the base for all “attack assets” (sea, air and land) assigned to the command. 

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