09 April 2009

Analysis: Roundup re Maersk Alabama

Insurance feeds piracy
CNBC Reporter Michelle Caruso-Cabrera believes that Somali piracy is an insurance phenomenon. "The shipping and insurance industries are to blame for the sharp increase in hijackings," she says. "Why do the insurance companies keep paying it [ransom]? Simple. The amount they get paid in pirate-premiums is obviously more than what they pay out in ransom. Until that changes, they will keep insuring, and pirates will keep pirating." (CNBC, 04/08/09)

Piracy as a matter for the courts
The editors of The Strategy Page say that anti-pirate Task Force 151 is treating piracy as as "a criminal matter, not a military one. Thus warships are staffed with sailors or civilians skilled in the collection of evidence and compiling material needed to prosecute captured pirates in a court." They write:
Any pirates caught by TF 151 ships may be kept on the USS Boxer, where a temporary jail has been used for that purpose. Several nations have made arrangements with Kenya to prosecute captured pirates. Thus the Coast Guard crime scene investigators must be available to testify in Kenyan court. U.S. personnel can interrogate pirates they capture, but none of that testimony can be used in a Kenyan court. The law there requires that all legally admissible interrogations be held before a Kenyan magistrate.
(Strategy Page, 03/31/09)

Blogger Daniel Sekulich reviews several ideas on the subject of "How to Beat the Somali Pirates" with analysis of postings in EagleSpeak and on Foreign Affairs' blog.

The cost of anti-piracy patrols
The editors of Strategy Page are using the figure $300 billion as the cost of multinational naval patrols in the Gulf of Aden and $500 billion as the prospective costs of such patrols in the Indian Ocean. These figures are not explained, however. (Strategy Page, 04/09/09)

Sea lanes and convoys
The USNI blog superimposes sea lanes over attack locations to draw attention to a pattern and make sugestions. Key point: use convoys.

Monthly tally
The ICC International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Center totals March pirate attacks at 15, February attacks at two and January at none.