Sunday, July 31, 2005

War Shot Loaded - The Next Torpedo Shoot?

Cross-posted excerpt from 2 posts at Molten Eagle:

Al-Qaeda has been strengthening in the Horn of Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea) since January and one of the London bombers is from Somalia. According to Eagle1’s daily updates over at EagleSpeak, piracy is growing around the world, much of it off Somalia’s shores.

Eagle1 also reports that shipping companies have begun to use private security to combat pirates in the Malacca Strait (located between Malaysia and Indonesia). It seems the Strait is so dangerous, Lloyd’s classifies it as a war zone. Five companies including three British and an American security firm serve the area. The price of each cargo protection run starts at $50,000. Alex Duperouzel, managing director of Background Asia Risk Solutions, the first naval security firm in Singapore, told the Sunday Herald: If you are attacked by pirates on the ocean, it can be hours before help arrives, and an attack might be over in 20 minutes. We can protect a ship, or do whatever it takes to recover a ship or crew. Duperouzel has been operating for about a year, and says pirates are already well armed, often better than the security firms, who are prohibited from using heavy machine guns.

Molten Eagle suspects that use of private security escorts offers legal avenues for naval special ops units of unnamed countries to attack pirates of larger vessels under the guise of rendering assistance or training to the private security outfits. A few Mk-37 torpedoes (newer types would be much too costly) could sink all of the larger pirates ships. Several countries still stock Mk-37s.

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