Obama administration ends Somalian pirate standoff with lethal force

Dandelion Salad

By Joe Kishore
13 April 2009

US special operations forces carried out a commando operation Sunday against Somali pirates holding the captain of a US freight vessel. The captain, Richard Phillips, was freed and military sharpshooters killed three of the Somalis.

Piracy has become increasingly common in the waters off the coast of Somalia—in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden—as the political and social situation in the country has deteriorated. However, this is the first hijacking involving a US-flagged vessel. Most of these incidents are resolved peacefully, and the ransom demanded by hostage-takers is seen by freight companies as a cost of doing business.

In this case, the hostage-taking was quickly transformed into a standoff between the pirates and the US military. As international media attention focused on the incident, the Obama administration saw it as an opportunity to reassert US military power and demonstrate Obama’s own willingness to make the “tough decision” to use lethal force.


via Obama administration ends Somalian pirate standoff with lethal force.

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Somali pirates overpowered by US crew but captain still held prisoner

3 thoughts on “Obama administration ends Somalian pirate standoff with lethal force

  1. Pingback: You Are Being Lied to About Pirates By Johann Hari « Dandelion Salad

  2. This entire incident underscores the inadequacy, stupidity and wastefulness of the US military. How much did the country spend to take down a few pirates? No one else in the world wants the US to be the world cop and the US cannot afford to continue this inanity.

    • I would agree Shaine that US military presence is troubling in its global spread. That so much of US financial objectives are tied to burgeoning military expenditures, as Michael Hudson points out, is also deeply troubling. Talk is going around the news services now, of pressuring the shipping companies to hire private security firms. This should have been done long ago. I imagine that the cost of the security firms is much lower than all the costs generated by the pirate activities. The Somali’s also have some legitimate gripes about radioactive waste dumping in waters near their coast line and factory fishing from other countries that has devastated their own fishing industry. While this is not an excuse for piracy, it is an opportunity for some type of diplomacy.Piracy is a violent act and at some point in time attracts reciprocal violence as the French and US navies have show. If Captain Phillips were my dad, I would have been happy with his rescue, sad about the way it was conducted, but also understanding that once anyone enters into the game of violence, one must agree to pay the consequences.

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