Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Maybe convoys off Somalia

We suggested in the Register editorial that arming the crews of commercial ships might be useful -- though truth to tell it could have drawbacks, like higher insurance premiums and complications at ports in countries that apply strict gun laws to ships' crews. I'm beginning to think, in part due to this WSJ piece, that the most practical answer would be convoys. Some 100 ships a day pass through those waters (both ways) and if they convoyed with a few warships, they would probably discourage piracy pretty effectively. There would be complications there, too. They would have to travel at the speed of the slowest ships, which is not optimal for some. But it would be a chance for the French, British and Dutch as well as the US navies to show their mettle, something they would probably welcome.

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