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As I said, this is easy to do, Eagle1, because we weren’t there; but this is how we learn lessons – and admit you are having fun with the give and take!
The FF and DD you want are all scrapped, sunk, sold, worn out, or waiting to be decommissioned. Sacrificed to the false gods of LCS and DDG-1000. We have what we have – and the 1,000 Ship Navy is just that – a position paper.
I acknowledge your points about territorial waters, always have, but Somalia is not Canada. They do not control their own land much less their seas. They are a failed state whose territorial waters are controlled by a pirate fleet – because no one else is. This problem has been known for a long time – your home blog has been all over it for years. The inertia of bureaucratic lawfare has prevented the International Community from fixing it. Now we have pirates commerce raiding from a safe haven. What we are doing right now is not working. Mother ship or not. They are winning.
As I have expanded on my original post, the logic of “not doing something because someone might be killed” would have the FBI providing fully fueled aircraft and seabags full of money to everyone who holds a hostage.
When it comes to the permissions issue, I shall not comment beyond what is out there in open source (BTW, the gun fire use last week was enabled by permission by the “leader” of the unrecognized state of Puntland, not Somalia). Again, love ‘ya like a brother Shipmate, but your lawyerness is showing. We will have to agree to disagree.
There is a solution to this pirate issue off Somalia – a simple declaration that until a time Somalia has the ability to patrol its won waters, the US Navy reserves the right to pursue any pirates into and in Somali territorial waters. (with today’s day and age and with forethought – easy to do). Other nations are free to join us if they wish. Maritime nations can opt out of rescue if they wish.
Have some JAG on the Joint Staff wordsmith it, but you get the idea. Better than what we are doing now. At this rate, the Somali pirates will beat the fleet gathered by the SMS Emden without anyone doing anything.
As for the initial press reports about the French ship; if I was the French LNO to C5F, I would be doing a nice old-school “modification” to the C5F PIO’s coffee mug about right now for letting the 5th Republic take the hits for the better part of a day.All done!
I think he's talking especially to Lex. That's a heck of a post.
From an email from reader Toluca Nole, subject line the same as this post:
There's a guy that goes to my pub who was there -- also has four Purple Hearts, I believe. Smokes Marlboro Reds and drinks some strong, "old man" drink. I love seeing him.
Would that more people had the same feeling about our war vets - especially, I think, the draftees, but all of 'em, really. Not to glorify war - but to acknowledge their loss of innocence.
No one comes out of combat innocent.
And many of the people who decry war in any and all it's forms - live in an innocent world *bought* by the loss of innocence of others.
Your mileage may vary.
My response to Toluca was this:
Next time you see him, walk up to him, salute him, and tell him it's from me.
I've also got a caption contest you might have fun with.
A couple days later, at a different PB, second platoon had some dumb terrorist try and hit them with a suicide car bomb. He drove past their patrol base, which was about a kilometer away from us, realized that he couldn't get past their security measures, and just blew himself up about 30 meters away from their house. It was so big it rocked us into thinking we were getting hit. What an idiot. This illiterate ass probably sucked at life, got duped into thinking he could get a ticket to heaven, got a class on some boom boom, was told where to find us, drove there and wasted himself on a fireworks show that hurt no one and pretty much damaged nothing. Turns out he sucked at jihad too.A newspaper account of that would probably appear thusly in a bottom paragraph of a story on the American death toll: "Elsewhere in Iraq a suicide car bomber struck near an American outpost in ____. Casualty figures have not yet been officially released."
Well, where to start? Every red blooded surface line officer would like bold action over being forced to stand by and watch pirates take a ship. Sort of the "kill them all and let God sort them out" approach.
Neither of us was there and neither of us knows the marching orders the allied ships were operating under. And it is too easy to speculate about what "shoulda" been done.
The CO of Carter Hall seems to have done what he could given the tools he had available and the risk of endangering the hostages if he acted further. That he was driving a large, slow amphibious ship seems to me to be part of the problem, but you do what you can with the tools you have. Where were the small boys?
As to your point about violating territorial waters to save life and limb - you had an obligation to do so. Rescue at sea is mandated by the law of the sea.
On the other hand, chasing pirates in another nation's territorial waters is forbidden.
Why? I could come up with a few reasons, most of them inapplicable to Somali waters (but mostly spelled "sovereignty"}, but my guess is that whoever Carter Hall is working for emphasized adherence to UNCLOS Art 111, para 3: "3. The right of hot pursuit ceases as soon as the ship pursued enters the territorial sea of its own State or of a third State."
I'm sure there was a lot of weighing and balancing going on, but I'm also sure that if he had violated Somali water against orders and the hostages had been killed, his aggressiveness would not have been rewarded nor praised. Especially since the pattern of the Somali pirates has not, with rare exceptions, been to kill hostages but to hold them for ransom. At some point the risk harm to the hostages by attempting a rescue exceeds that posed by the pirates.
As for the French ship - we don't even know, based on initial reports, what type of ship it was. If it was an oiler, do your comments still apply? And the French ship driver had the same constraints as the Americans.
You ask, "[W}ho would have complained if the French warship had saved the Danish ship and its crew? Besides the pirates, who? " Probably no one. However, as long as we are engaging in "ifs," answer this- Who would have complained if the French (American) warship had recaptured the Danish ship at the cost of its crew?
Someone got expeditied permission from somebody in Somalia to allow a destroyer to shoot at suspected terrorists in recent days, so it seems possible that permission to extend the pirate chase might be easier to attain than you suggest. A simple "pergra" or request for help from the recognized Somali government is all that is required.
There is a solution to Somali pirates operating in international waters. Coalition forces need to find the "mother ships" that allow these pirates to operate 240 miles off the coast and take them down. And Coalition forces can provide escort services for informal convoys along the coast. Set up a schedule and invite the merchant ships join up.
Eagle1 - I non concur.
You will wait forever if you want to work something out with the Somali Provisional Government. The simple fact is that the waters off Somalia are incapable of being governed by Somalia (or Puntland or Somaliland). Period.
CTF-150 and France should hang their head in shame that they let a ship and Sailors from an allied nation be taken like that in ungoverned waters without resistance - only mindless slavery to regulations that are not even followed in that part of the world lets this stuff happen. The French were acting as if they were off Canada.
Having done it myself, violating territorial waters to save life and limb, especially that of your own Nation or friend, is not unheard of. If you wait for permission for someone else to declare that the sky is blue - it is too late. Some things are worth a Command Pin or a complaint through diplomatic channels.
Let me ask you this: who would have complained if the French warship had saved the Danish ship and its crew? Besides the pirates, who? What war would have been started? What ill would have been done? Who would send the Captain of the French warship to Courts Martial? Ok, the French might - maybe - but still.
Would you stand-by and let it happen? If so, why? Is not an officer expected to show judgement?
Well, it is worth pondering - and easy - because I wasn't there.
Jack Kelly picks apart a NYT report of the stopped terror attack at JFK.
Why is it the errors always lean in one direction? And why do we ignore stuff like CNN's slanting the news for Saddam, as they admitted in '02, or the Israeli state news admission this week that they slanted the news for withdrawal in the IS-HB war?