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US Navy Creates MMO To Fight Somali Pirates

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the your-tax-dollars-at-play dept.

The Military 318

dotarray writes "Ever wanted to fight Somali pirates without leaving the safety of your computer? Well, believe it or not, the United States Navy could use your help. MMOWGLI is a new video game project (that's Massive Multiplayer Online WarGame Leveraging the Internet, by the way) that is being used to crowdsource ideas on how to fight off maritime terrorists and hopefully secure the Horn of Africa."

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fristy SHATNER (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36091052)

indeed, i shat.

put in music with the lyric, "Yvan eht Nioj" (1, Funny)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091068)

put in music with the lyric, "Yvan eht Nioj"

Re:put in music with the lyric, "Yvan eht Nioj" (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091086)

the only music going in this game is by Toto.

Re:put in music with the lyric, "Yvan eht Nioj" (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091494)

the only music going in this game is by Toto.

How can it be the Navy without an appearance by Kenny Loggins and/or the Village People?

Re:put in music with the lyric, "Yvan eht Nioj" (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091878)

the only music going in this game is by Toto.

hold the line?

Re:put in music with the lyric, "Yvan eht Nioj" (1)

underqualified (1318035) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091108)

the bear necessities?

Too complex (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36091088)

This game is too complex. To stop piracy: just sink these damned pirates. When they will all be in the depths of the sea the problem will be solved.

One pirate in the depths of the sea is pollution, all the pirates in the depths of the sea is the solution.

Re:Too complex (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36091144)

How about cleaning up our oil spills which have destroyed their farmland.

Re:Too complex (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36091304)

That's what they currently try to do but the pirates move too fast and use dirty tricks such as fake mayday calls to divert/attract military vessels and other ships and they are also good at hiding their weapons and suddenly start fishing. So how are you going to deal with that?

Re:Too complex (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 3 years ago | (#36092022)

It's not a problem. You sell cruises to rednecks on decoy target ships armed with .50 cal machine guns. You could cover the whole coast in good 'ol boys paying for the chance to smoke some pirates with their buddies. The solution will pay for itself.

Re:Too complex (5, Insightful)

jandersen (462034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091456)

This game is too complex. To stop piracy: just sink these damned pirates. When they will all be in the depths of the sea the problem will be solved.

Reality IS complex; people in general don't turn to crime or become terrorists simply because they are evil - if you start smply killing "the evildoers" without addressing the reason why they got to be that. And the solution is not likely to involve dumping an American style reality-show democracy on them. We really need to solve issues of social/political need and instability in the whole of Africa.

Re:Too complex (1, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091488)

...and Iraq/Afghanistan. Going in and shooting people isn't really really helping there.

Re:Too complex (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091962)

How much history do you know, regarding Somalia? What do you know of the people?

You MIGHT compare them with the America's Apache. If you even know anything about the Apache. The thing they have in common is, they are superb fighters, and have been for a long time, for basically the same reasons. They live in a hostile, barren land, and they are surrounded by peoples who have been trying to kill them off for thousands of years. Their history demanded that they fight or die, so they fought.

The major difference between the Somali and the Apache is that the Apache were more agrarian, and the Somali were nomads. Given a few years of peace, the Apache would settle in an area and farm, but the Somali never saw much point in settling, or in government, or much of anything the civilized world values.

So - enter the Brits during colonialization. They have an unruly, undisciplined, ungovernable people on their hands, who they are attempting to govern. And, they cannot govern. The Brits tagged a lot of peoples throughout the world as "savages" - and the tag fit the Somalis better than it fit any other. They had no government, didn't understand government, and wanted nothing to do with it. But, they WERE superb fighters! The Somalis handed the Brit's asses to them - repeatedly. The Brits left in disgust, and things are basically unchanged since then.

The Somalis are an unruly, undisciplined, ungovernable people who refuse to acknowledge ANY government.

If you even begin to understand all of that - how do you propose to solve any "socil/political" needs of these people?

I have some ideas that might work, but none of them are pretty, none of them socially acceptable, and certainly not politically correct. And, in view of Native American history, I don't even like my own ideas.

It's kind of funny, in a way. I imagine them breeding a truly charismatic leader, like a Genghis Khan, who unites them and leads them across Africa, raping and pillaging everywhere they go. The people are somewhat like the Khan's people were, after all - nomads who recognize only the law of "Might is right".

Re:Too complex (5, Insightful)

SpazmodeusG (1334705) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091590)

I was thinking the exact opposite. The game is too simple. There are just variations on combat missions to perform. There's no option to protect Somalian fisheries from the foreign trawlers that have taken advantage of the lack of government. There's no option to investigate foreign vessels dumping toxic materials in Somali waters.

Basically the game has no way to long term plan. Instead it's all about finding ways to "kill em faster than they can be made". An approach that's never worked.

That would not work (3, Insightful)

arcite (661011) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091594)

There is a limitless supply of pirate wannabes, and there is a limited supply of relatively cheap boats for the pirates to use. Far better to target the kingpins, organizers, and financiers of piracy. The facts are, the pirates have better funding.

Fixed that for you. (1)

heptapod (243146) | more than 3 years ago | (#36092060)

I don't believe pirates are soluable. Instead "all the pirates in the depths of the sea is the suspension".

arm the ships with miniguns (1)

evanism (600676) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091122)

brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr..... bbbrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Problem fixed.

Re:arm the ships with miniguns (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091418)

A GAU-8A Avenger could probably be mounted on a commercial vessel and used very efficiently to give the pirates some rather large holes (splatter bonus!)
The problem is: the ships would not be allowed in most marines. I am quite certain you can't simply float a ship with a large mounted gun in the harbor of Rotterdam for example, and I do not think most other countries would be welcoming you.

Re:arm the ships with miniguns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36091658)

I am quite certain you can't simply float a ship with a large mounted gun in the harbor of Rotterdam for example

That's OK, there aren't very many Somali pirates in Rotterdam anyway.

Re:arm the ships with miniguns (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091800)

True, at least I hope so. But you have to load and unload some day. In these cases it is customary to enter a harbor.
Theoretically you could remove said gun and transfer it to a US Navy ship, but I have to wonder about the practicality of that.

LFG Pirate Den 2/5 need healer (2)

j-b0y (449975) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091150)

Or give the pirates WoW subs. They'll be too busy with the rep grind to do anything else

And??? (2)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091164)

Where's the "nuke the site from orbit" button?

Re:And??? (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091504)

Mothballed along with "just bring a battleship near shore and flatten all potential harbors"

Re:And??? (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#36092066)

MJWX: Server, sgt kokonface TKed me
MJWX: Again...
Sgt Kokonface: LOL PWND noob
Dixin hoars: I can haz ur container ship.

using MMOWGLI to fight Africans? (4, Funny)

mentil (1748130) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091168)

Rudyard Kipling would be pissed.

Arr? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36091176)

JckSparrow logged on.
JSprrow12 logged off.
JackSparroz logged on.
JackSpzrrz logged on.
JackSparrow323 says: "But why is the rum gone?"
Jacksparrow1337 says:" HARRRRR"!

Just a summary of how it'll go.

The problem is a lack of will power (5, Informative)

harrytuttle777 (1720146) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091178)

I was with one of the first groups that 'went out to fight pirates' I was with the coast guard, traveling on a Dutch oiler is support of a bunch of navy and coast guard coast guard patrol craft that were supposed to take on the pirates. At one time we knew the location of 7 ships whose crew were actively being held hostage. What did we do? Absolutely NOTHING. At the time all the hostages were Indian of Filipino, and none of the vessels flew a U.S. flag. Also, were were always worried about invading Somali territorial waters (TTW).

One of the problems was that we had three different services from two different countries operating under 3 different combined task forces. We also had 2 Navy lawyers on-board, where were there to make sure we didn't violate any sovereign territory (I kid you not).
Every time someone wanted to like maybe do something, we had to run it by three different chains of command plus the JAG.

If you want to fight pirates, fight pirates don't play games (MMO's). Fighting pirates (unlike fighting an imaginary war on terror) is something that the whole world can get behind. No-one would really care if we invade Somali TTW in order to kill pirates. This was about 5 years ago. At the time perhaps little bit of force could have made a huge difference. My understanding is that the Somalis have gotten a lot more organized in the time. But I really don't know. I no longer am in the service, but somehow I doubt that the U.S. military has (gotten more organized). With that said, I think the U.S. Navy could probably win a war with Somali pirates. It is just that the U.S. Navy is more worried about an incident where say a 20 people die trying to rescue the fillipino crew from a non u.s. flagged vessel. Heaven forbid some of the innocent crew members get killed in the rescue operation.

Providing every crew member of a vessel going through the area with access to a rifle would probably go a long way to combat the problem.

Re:The problem is a lack of will power (2)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091200)

We also had 2 Navy lawyers on-board

Was one of them an ex-tomcat pilot, who picked up naval law because of his night blindness, and the other a slightly unconventional but seriously hot chick?

Re:The problem is a lack of will power (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36091326)

As a member of a private security team we have no Lawyers on board. We board the vessels by chopper in international waters and leave once the vessel is out of hostile waters. We do not board the vessel at port (marine lawyer would be needed) We have a group commander and that is all. No red tape. If they try to come aboard the vessel they are toast. We do report incidents to NAVFOR. though.

Re:The problem is a lack of will power (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#36092032)

I have zero idea who AC is, or how truthful he is - but he describes the single best way to deal with pirates. Put a killer team on the lucrative targets, and kill the damned pirates when they get close enough. It works. No fuss, no muss, no repeat offenders, no fortunes spent on idiot lawyers.

Re:The problem is a lack of will power (2)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091520)

I know that chick. She keeps telling me I need to get hooked up to an e-meter and need my body thetans purged.

Re:The problem is a lack of will power (1)

Veggiesama (1203068) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091602)

No, one was pretending to be blind, and the other was named Cherith Cutestory [wikia.com] .

Re:The problem is a lack of will power (0)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091280)

I think you will find it was Shakespeare who said "the first thing we do is kill all the lawyers!"

Sometimes the old ways are the best!

Re:The problem is a lack of will power (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091524)

I think you will find it was Shakespeare who said "the first thing we do is kill all the lawyers!"

Sometimes the old ways are the best!

Most likely, some douchebag attorney will tell you how you are interpreting that line incorrectly. I'm here to pre-emptively say right on [spectacle.org] !

Re:The problem is you!!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36091468)

As long as globalization kills people and takes their land this will not stop.
As long as troopers get brainwashed and do not see that the enemy is just guys as decent as themselves this will not stop.
You as a trooper decided for yourself to kill others and you got made into a brainless tool to give your life so that more war
machinery can get sold without even the option of solving a conflict in any way.
Thanks for putting your post into discussion - but there is nothing new there and you shall rethink your life.

Re:The problem is you!!!! (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091774)

Um, do you mean the pirates are ordinary people like you and me?

Or did you confuse "Somalian pirates" with "Afghans"?

Re:The problem is a lack of will power (2)

Dails (1798748) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091664)

The legal issues are what make counter-piracy hard (there are other factors, of course). That's setting yourself up for failure, though, if you have to work through the rules of engagement for three different countries. The Navy works very hard to make sure its actions are in line with US and UN law, hence the JAG presence. It sucks from a warfighter's perspective, but the fact is that legal conduct goes a long way toward enabling what the Navy does. It's pretty easier to ignore the idiots that like to chime in on subjects like this when I can clearly connect what the US military does and the laws governing the actions, whether they're US laws or international. Having been in operations that face such sticky legal issues, it's easy to see why we care; ignoring just a few laws makes it very easy to slip into indiscriminate killings or outright aggression. Laws hamper operations, but are important, perhaps because they hamper operations.

The problem is Somalia (2)

chrb (1083577) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091736)

Somalia is a failed state. Piracy is just a symptom of the underlying problem, not the problem itself. There can be no lasting security on the seas until there is security on the land - the pirates are able to project their attacks across thousands of kilometers of ocean stretching from Somalia to the Maldives, and it is very difficult to patrol and police such a large area. The potential profits from piracy versus the risk and investment are good, and as long as this continues then Somali entrepreneurs are going to be attracted towards the business.

Providing every crew member of a vessel going through the area with access to a rifle would probably go a long way to combat the problem.

As I understand it, aren't many of the crews already armed? Maybe not every single crew member has access to a rifle, but there are armed people on board (in particular, don't the $millions oil tankers usually have a few ex-forces mercs types on board?) But life is cheap in Somalia, and the potential profits are huge, so the prospect of encountering armed defence isn't such a great deterrent as it would be elsewhere in the world.

Re:The problem is Somalia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36091936)

If you can find it, check out NHNZ's Pirate Patrols. I air it at work, from time to time, and it's really quite interesting.

Re:The problem is a lack of will power (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091876)

What do you think about the fact that counter-piracy forces killed more people than pirates themselves ? Before 2011 it could even be said that more hostages were killed by counter-piracy forces than Somali pirates.

If we want peace on these coast, we need to have a police that really enforces every law. Some Somali pirate groups began as a vigilante group to prevent the dumping of toxic wastes (including nuclear wastes) off their coasts. (it is a little mafia business that is being judged in Italy by the way)

Re:The problem is a lack of will power (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#36092012)

Simple solution. Kill all the lawyers.

We all know that our forces are hamstrung by "rules of engagement", yada yada yada. I'm in complete agreement with you. All the naval forces in the area - China, Spain, US, UK, France, ALL of them should be inspecting all boats and ships. When they find a band of men aboard a ship or boat who are armed, take them into custody and sink their boat, incarcerate them for a few years while one or another court system deals with them, and let them go when they are old men.

If anyone resists inspection or arrest, blow them away. Resistance includes fleeing, of course. Either it's 100% cooperation with the naval forces, or it's death, simple as that.

I've heard far to many bullshit ideas about "nonlethal" means of "repelling" pirates. That shit's for idiots without a clue!

MMO, really? (2)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091180)

i really doubt teabagging and grieffing the pirates is gonne be the solution.

Also, i agree with some earlier posters, just sink the damn pirates, the only modification i propose is leaving one pirate from every ship alone, to return home and tell the other would-be pirates of what happens to pirates. But you can just set that one adrift in a life-raft somewhere near the cost, the rest can be made to walk the plank after seeing their ship burned and sunk.

Re:MMO, really? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091730)

i really doubt teabagging and grieffing the pirates is gonne be the solution.

One word: strafing.

Or splash damage.

Take the Israelian aproach (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36091206)

Should work if implemented with enough force:

1. Satellite tracks all sea traffic in the Aden bay.
2. Pirates seize vessel.
3. Geek in tech bunker in Texas uses movement tracking software to stipulate probable home port(s) for the boat(s) most likely to be the pirate ships.
4. USAF 2d and 5th Bomb Wings load up all the good ol' fashioned dumb ass high explosive bombs those B52s can carry and carpet bomb the entire harbor village and everything else within a couple of miles from where the boat was launched.
5. Repeat until pirate attack stops, US runs out of old school ammo or no living creature left on the Somalian coast.

For added efficiency: Invade a country in close proximity to the operational area and establish a bomber base.

Re:Take the Israelian aproach (3, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091534)

4.1. Entire crew on captured ship killed, ship scuttled in revenge. Cameras get beautiful shots of small pieces of children scattered across burning remains of bombed village. Massive calls go for war crime tribunal for people who ordered strike on civilians. US loses essentially all political clout it had with "human rights issues" worldwide. Company that owned the ship/its insurers and teary wives and children of killed seamen go to court against US and likely win huge damages, as potential ransom costs but a small fraction of ship and its cargo's value.

How much would that cost? (3, Insightful)

arcite (661011) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091606)

Much cheaper to just pay the ransom. Let the insurance companies take the hit. Pirates got kids to feed to ya know.

Crowdsourcing? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36091220)

Let me get this straight... the US Navy... made a videogame... in hopes that someone playing it will provide them insight into how best to deal with Somali pirates.

Last time I heard, the piracy problem in Somalia was due to the complete breakdown of law and order in their society with the only organization coming from any warlord with enough guns to carve out a territory. A variety of religious, economic, and social factors come into play as various power groups struggle to impose what they feel to be the best system for them.

This is either a huge waste of money or it will be the best game ever. Guess which way I'm leaning?

"terrorists" (3, Insightful)

Kirth (183) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091222)

Now "piss poor fishing men who had their fishing grounds ravaged by international fishing-fleets and turned pirates because of that" have become "terrorists".

Re:"terrorists" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36091252)

poeple do mind poor people that already got fucked being killed. They dont mind terrorists being killed.

do nothing (1, Troll)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091228)

Here's my proposal: do nothing. For once, America, keep your fucking nose out of another continent. I realise it'd be lovely to pincer what with being under your best buddies (when they're not killing you and/or women in general) the Saudis, so this will be hard for you. "Secure the horn of Africa"? What is this, the 18th century?

Also, when the US does it = securing.
When Somalians do it = piracy.

As usual, if the US wanted to, they could wipe out Somalian piracy within hours. The real question: who stands to profit from a long, drawn-out, ineffective war?

Re:do nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36091260)

long live pirates
down the police

Re:do nothing (1)

spokenoise (2140056) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091314)

If it starts costing the US war machine then they might do something. If you actually want an effective result send the Russians to do it.

Re:do nothing (2)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091328)

No they couldn't. There's the requirements you are ignoring like "without invading Somalia". Sure we ignored that recently in Pakistan, but do you really want that to be the norm?

Protecting shipping in international waters is part of the Navy's job. It's in their god damn mission statement: "maintaining freedom of the seas".

Which other of their reasons for them existing do you want them to ignore?

Re:do nothing (0)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091408)

(1) This is the bit where you deny that European and American influence has anything to do with the existence of these pirates in the first place. It's so easy to push desperate people into doing something which, on the face of it, seems so unreasonable that you can hand wave the right to sail half way across the world to stop them.

(2) While the US extending its territorial claims (i.e. countering the "freedom of the seas") was one of the moves bringing about UNCLOS, the US is - as always in matters like these - one of the few states not to have ratified. The "freedom of the seas" to the US means nothing more than the freedom to selectively enforce the interests of whoever has the Navy's ear - sometimes not even the Navy itself [marist.edu] .

Re:do nothing (2)

Dails (1798748) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091626)

You clearly know neither the history nor the content of the UN Conventions of Law on the Sea. It's impressive, though, that you manage to spin a document to aid safety of navigation into a UN attempt to check unbridled American imperialism. You tip your hand, though; you won't get many people hating the US with that kind of sudden intensity.

Re:do nothing (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091654)

So, which parts of the rules on exclusive economic zones and the continental shelf documented in UNCLOS "aid safety of navigation"? You're embarrassing yourself.

Re:do nothing (1)

Dails (1798748) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091768)

You're right, I do feel pretty embarrassed. Except for the fact that I said it's a document to aid in safety of navigation and it has all kinds of rules for safety of navigation, I'd positively die of embarrassment.

Re:do nothing (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091870)

-- story so far --

Hazel: UNCLOS.
Dails: *armed with only ignorance and the Internet* That's about maritime safety! You're spinning!
Hazel: It has sections related to ownership on the seas. Let me highlight some for you.
Dails: But it has stuff about maritime safety in it!

In other news, a car is for holding cups because some cars have cup holders in them.

Re:do nothing (1)

Eivind (15695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091686)

You mean it's not the norm already ? Could've fooled me !

Re:do nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36091502)

Even by /. standards this has to be the most incredibly dumb comment ever.

Sea piracy is a significant problem that affects all nations with shipping in that region. It's been happening for years and it's getting worse and worse. Many nations have a naval presence in those waters for that reason. It has nothing to do with American military aggression. You'd do well to read up on the that issue.

Re:do nothing (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091556)

To solve a problem, you look for a cause [hrw.org] . It has everything to do with American aggression: specifically, wanting to keep Ethiopia as an ally.

The piracy is a symptom and "oh we're just protecting the freedom of [oil tankers to carry our legitimately obtained oil over] the seas" is a hilarious excuse.

Re:do nothing (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091794)

Of course the Americans are ultimately hunting the pirates because they think it benefits their trade. That doesn't make it less beneficial.

Re:do nothing (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091900)

Through support for Ethiopia, America in large part contributed to the instability in Somalia which produced the pirates. To band-aid over the symptom of the disease you caused is less beneficial to everyone, including your own people.

Re:do nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36091960)

States are not in the business of charity. They are first concerned about their interests. It's in the interest of western nations to maintain free trade there and we should stop caring if it's unfair to retaliate against pirates because of perceived past wrongs against Somalia. First, their excuses of how we wronged them are most likely bullshit justification for their criminal activities. Second, even if they were genuine, we should not care and do what is in our (not their) interest.

Re:do nothing (3, Insightful)

Dails (1798748) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091646)

US does nothing, people complain that we can't do anything with our super-powerful navy. US does something, people complain that we're sticking our noses into blah blah. It's getting hard to give a shit about generally uninformed opinion in the face of piracy.

Somali MO: Attack unarmed vessel, capture crew, demand ransom, kill crew if no money transferred, steal ship, sell cargo.
US MO: Approach armed hijackers, negotiate first, offer to pay ransom, honor ransom negotiation if accepted, escort rescued ship's crew, even if not American.

Oh yes, I see the hypocrisy in using different terms for what amount to basically behaving the same way.

As for your last point, maybe you should do some research into the operating cost of a single destroyer vs. what percent of shipping is affected by piracy. While you're at it, check out the legal ramification of attacking pirates. My guess is since you haven't yet, you won't do it now.

The pirates better (1)

lul_wat (1623489) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091248)

drop some good loot.

I would bombard them (0)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091294)

I would bombard them with burning Qur'ans

What's the problem? (1, Flamebait)

bradley13 (1118935) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091318)

There is no reason for this poorly equipped scum to be any sort of threat to civilian shipping. Just blow the pirates out of the water. Use normal warships. Use air surveillance, Use Q-ships. Put armed marines on civilian ships. In short, use all the standard naval strategies for commerce protection. Make it a death sentence to attack civilian traffic, and the problem will end.

The only reason there is any sort of problem is the weird desire to treat the pirates gently.

Forgot the Marines' Hymn? (4, Informative)

gadget junkie (618542) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091324)

Funny that americans should ponder how to fight pirates.

the American Navy and Marine Corp have their root in the fight against Barbary Coast pirates in the Mediterranean Sea, where the solution was to bring the fight on land to deny to pirates access to the sea lanes. In short: sink the ships, ANY of them, on the whole coast, and watch the somalis try to walk their way to the targets. What part of "to the coast of Tripoli" baffles you?

Re:Forgot the Marines' Hymn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36091432)

What part of "to the coast of Tripoli" baffles you?

Shores, bubba. That's "to the shores of Tripoli". Sheesh.

Re:Forgot the Marines' Hymn? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091546)

What part of "to the coast of Tripoli" baffles you?

Shores, bubba. That's "to the shores of Tripoli". Sheesh.

C'mon, you corrected a rant like that? I bet you're the guy who bitched because Blutarski mentioned the Germans bombing Pearl Harbor.

The old fashioned way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36091330)

Does the game allow for old fashioned methods? Flogging around the fleet seems a bit mean spirited (or possibly too honorable since it was a punishment associated with a seaman serving under colors). However I would endorse that anyone caught in the act of piracy, or anyone serving on a vessel caught in the act of piracy, be bound with an 18lbs round shot attached to their feet and tossed overboard.

Sic the RIAA on them (2)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091352)

Maybe they'll have better luck fighting that kind of piracy.

Re:Sic the RIAA on them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36091846)

you've got to be kidding me...

somalia doesn't have any money... that's why they go after american citizens...

Oh the irony (2)

Noishe (829350) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091356)

Click the link and a pdf opens with a wonderful graphic on the front... a somewhat familiar graphic....

So, they want to fight piracy by stealing the cover off of the pirates of the Caribbean movie?

Fight pirates... with piracy!

This OUGHT to work! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36091362)

IOW an elephant (grown too big) is trying to get rid of mice biting his nails so he decides to use his weight and force to kill them... bingo!

Terrorists? (1)

Chicken_Kickers (1062164) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091382)

Somali pirates are not terrorists.Terrorists are individuals or organizations that use force to advance a political agenda. The Somali pirates are only in it for the money. In fact, they are not even proper pirates. They rarely plunder the goods on the captured ships, usually they take just the salary money in ship's safes. They also mostly hold the ships and crews to ransom since shipping companies always pay as a matter of convenience. So, stop applying the label terrorists to everything.

How about let them fish? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36091416)

Of course, maybe it's too late now.

EU ships (British, for instance) have emptied Somali waters, no fish left near the coast!

What are starving fishermen to do? Hi-jack ships, that's what. And now it has grown to a pirate industry - with organized pirates on one side and western security companies on the other side.

Learn some naval history (5, Insightful)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091438)

A number of posters above are suggesting solutions which have, in the past, been shown not to work (in Moby Dick, despite having small arms on board, Ahab decides to outrun the pirates. Think for a while about why. But then Melville had actually crewed on a whaler.)

The problem of the US Navy is that it is not set up to combat piracy economically. Its ships and munitions are too expensive to operate, and its systems are intended to detect tactical level threats, not identify which of a hundred similar fishing boats is in fact a pirate boat. It would probably be cheaper and more effective just to give the pirates reasonably well paid jobs, lack of which explains why they are involved in piracy in the first place.

In this country, General Wade was once despatched with an army to deal with the rebellious, raiding Highlanders. When he got there he decided that the problem was poverty. He set them to building roads in the Highlands, bringing trade to the area. It worked. Later, the Caledonian Canal was built for much the same reason: it wasn't economic as a canal but it brought employment and opportunity. These are the examples that the US should be looking at.

Giving thieves money stops them stealing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36091854)

You can always stop thieves stealing by giving them what they would otherwise steal. It's not a solution to the problem though.

Why only Somalians? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36091450)

Why is USA fighting only somali pirates and not for example nigerian pirates? A cynical person might note that it's because Somalia's coast has oil.

Re:Why only Somalians? (1)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091550)

Yeah and there's no oil in the Niger delta?

Re:Why only Somalians? (3, Funny)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091558)

Why is USA fighting only somali pirates and not for example nigerian pirates? A cynical person might note that it's because Somalia's coast has oil.

Because we're working with this Nigerian prince who is helping us with our financial crisis. We've sent him the PIN for the Federal Reserve accounts and Obama's signature so that he can transfer some money over. Getting violent could fuck up the sweet, sweet payday that is coming any day now.

Terrorists? (2)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091498)

Can we stop overusing the word terrorists? They're pirates and criminals, nothing more. Are they committing "a violent act or an act dangerous to human life that is a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State, and appears intended
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government and by assassination or kidnapping."

(according to the definition of "terrorism" defined by the US Congress)

Re:Terrorists? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36091572)

(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion;

Hmmm, RIAA/MPAA/etc need to pay attention to this. They want to call people pirates then we should start calling them terrorists!

Rules of Engagement (2)

jerralb (44562) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091500)

There's no need to waste time by playing games. Change the rules of engagement to allow anyone merely being approached by pirates (the gun-toting in small water craft type) to fire at will.

Reminds me of Ender's Game (1)

Metiu (14532) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091576)

In that novel, smart children are raised in military academies, which test their skills by having them play "virtual" games against the enemy alien race, only to know that the advanced levels are not as virtual as they are said to be.

Take a 3-pronged approach (2)

jonwil (467024) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091586)

1.Do something like what they did in the second world and escort civilian ships through the (relatively small) danger zone. Any pirates that show up get to find out just what the massive deck gun or missile launcher of a navy destroyer does to a small pirate boat. Enough pirates will get back to Somalia and tell all their pirate buddies about it that many will think twice about taking the risk.

Or another alternative would be to provide guns (or armed officers) on shops as they enter the danger zone and remove them when they leave. Any pirates that try to board get shot at with a large caliber rifle. I am not a Somali pirate but I suspect even Somali pirates dont like being shot at (and possibly seriously injured or killed).

2.Apply international pressure on the government of Somalia to clean up its act and clear things out. Offer them incentives (foriegn aid, support to eliminate the warlords and guns or whatever else) if they are willing to clean up their country and stop the pirates.

and 3.Offer direct aid to the Somali people (aid that comes with checks to make sure it ends up in the hands of the right people and not the warlords). Find things the Somali fishermen-turned-pirates can use to earn a legitimate living. If they have enough money to live off without piracy, they are much less likely to take the risk (especially given #1 above).

These people arent terrorists, they have no political agenda, they are only in it because they feel like they have no other choice if they want to survive. So you attack in 3 ways, you increase the risks for the pirates (so that the risk vs reward equation changes), you offer them incentives to stop being pirates and you apply political pressure to the government to make it illegal (if it isn't already) and to enforce the law.

If the law in Somalia doesn't make piracy illegal, it should be changed. And it should specify that any pirates who are caught have their ships impounded by the government and destroyed/sunk/on-sold.

Re:Take a 3-pronged approach (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091622)

Hang on, that sounds like heavy handed government intervention. Surely Somali offers a model of a better solution [youtube.com]

Re:Take a 3-pronged approach (1)

arcite (661011) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091652)

The pirates are an international operation. They receive financing and logistics from Europe, financing and support from all over East Africa, technological support from such things as Sat-phones as well as insiders. The pirates reinvest their ransom earnings into their ship and equipment, the local economy, and the region as a whole. Until Somalia has a semblance of a government, piracy will continue to prosper.

Re:Take a 3-pronged approach (3, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091744)

Apply international pressure on the government of Somalia to clean up its act and clear things out. Offer them incentives (foriegn aid, support to eliminate the warlords and guns or whatever else) if they are willing to clean up their country and stop the pirates.

Does Somlia have a government? I thought that this was the problem.

Re:Take a 3-pronged approach (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36091884)

You really know what you are talking about, eh ? :D
"2.Apply international pressure on the government of Somalia to clean up its act" - I almost pissed my pants here :DD

Re:Take a 3-pronged approach (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36091908)

1) I should add that "relatively small danger zone" is probably a fourth of the surface area of the Indic Ocean... and let's not blow up cheap ships with million-dollar missiles when you can do it much cheaper. It isn't like the pirates have actual warships with active, or even passive, defenses...

2) Government... of Somalia? Umm. You mean the government propped up by an african union military force and which doesn't even control its own capital, Mogadishu, completely? Or perhaps you mean Puntland's authorities, who either don't care, have no means to oppose or are in cahoots with the pirates? Or Somaliland who vie for international recognition and are actually trying to deal with the pirates but just do not have the means to do so?

3) It was attempted about a couple decades ago. Didn't turn out so well. Watch Black Hawk Down for a small sample.

Basically, to sum up... Somalia is still in civil war. I don't think piracy is much of a concern to the people actually on the ground, even if they had the means to deal with it.

Deal with an economic problem economically (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36091616)

Take a percentage of the monies currently being expended by the world's naval anti-pirate efforts - to include commercial expenditures - and use the monies to employ the pirates in locally viable aquaculture/agriculture projects. For the remainder who don't comply and continue piracy, let very public application of force serve as a disincentive. Simple carrot and stick solution.

Talk to Indian Navy (2)

tanveer1979 (530624) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091662)

They are having good success in recent times in dealing with these pirates.
Piracy was a big problem for India, as many of the ships registered in entire south and south east asia have a large contingent of India crew. So every time hijacking took place, a bunch of Indian nationals got caught in the crossfire.
To fix this problem, the Navy has started patrolling the international waters, and they have sunk quite a few pirate ships!

We Used to Have a Pretty Good Solution (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091674)

Didn't we used to hang them at sea with relatively few questions asked, way back when the country was just being founded? I'm all for going back to that. The current goody-two-shoes crap is only going to encourage them.

Oblig Southpark. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36091782)

Cartman: The fuck?

Kill them, kill them all (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36091874)

Life is so bad in some places that people are willing to do anything. Everyone is afraid of dying, but not going to prison. Heck, prison in the USA or Europe would be a step up from their current situation.

Kill them. Kill them all. If 20 men go out on a pirate mission, none should come back.

Scuttle the boats, take all their supplies, and use those against them (if they are useful).

Use satellite tracking and raid them on their mother ships. Kill everyone on-board. Scuttle those too if you can't sell them in a different ocean.

Oh, and chop up their bodies so the fish can eat them easier. That will send a clearer message that hasn't been getting through so far.

On the spot fines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36091886)

I think these piracy cases are clogging up the legal system. What we need to do is issue on the spot fines for the more serious cases and community service for the more considerate pirates.

You're controlling unmanned drones... (2)

aapold (753705) | more than 3 years ago | (#36091930)

you think its only a game but you're really piloting their unmanned drones for them....
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