Holiday Gift Guide
Gift ideas & reviews for this holiday season
You are here:
Business & Finance
The Great Debate
Do More With Reuters
You Witness News
Make Reuters My Homepage
Support (Customer Zone)
About Thomson Reuters
Armed guards would deter Somali pirates: U.S. Navy
Fri Dec 12, 2008 4:58pm EST
Email | Print |
| Reprints | Single Page
By Andrew Gray
MANAMA (Reuters) - Shipping firms should use armed security guards much more to protect their vessels against pirates off Somalia, the top U.S. Navy commander charged with tackling the problem said on Friday.
Vice Admiral Bill Gortney said more cooperation between navies, a legal basis for detaining and trying pirates and stabilizing Somalia would also help to crackdown on the piracy, which has surged in the region in recent months.
But Gortney expressed skepticism about going after pirates on land or targeting them with air strikes, even though a draft U.N. Security Council resolution drawn up by Washington seeks authority for such actions.
"I see people trying to look for an easy military solution to a problem that demands a non-kinetic solution," Gortney told reporters traveling with visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates at his headquarters in Bahrain.
"If you're going to do kinetic strikes into the pirate camps, the positive ID and the collateral damage concerns cannot be overestimated.
"They're irregulars -- they don't wear uniforms," said Gortney, who commands the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet and oversees a coalition of navies fighting piracy off Somalia.
Gortney said the solution lay in bringing stability to the African state but that would not happen soon. Governments and shipping companies had to look for other answers.
"I'm a firm believer ... (in) armed security guards, because that's what we'd do ashore," he said. "You're working against criminal activity. That's what I'm pushing."
Gortney said some companies were using teams of security guards but others had concerns, including worries about the legality of carrying weapons when they pulled into ports. He said he believed such issues could be overcome.
Scores of attacks in the busy Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean in recent months have pushed up insurance costs, earned Somali pirates tens of millions of dollars in ransom and prompted foreign navies to rush to protect merchant shipping.
A NATO anti-piracy mission in the area is coming to an end but Gortney said he believed the alliance would return and the European Union agreed on Monday to launch naval operations off Somalia involving warships and aircraft.
Gortney said the risk to shipping from Somali pirates was still relatively small
"Statistically from January to the end of November ... just in the area north of Somalia, your chances of getting pirated were 0.14 percent," he said.
But he said even one attack was unacceptable.
"We almost romanticize pirates now as a result of, well, 'Pirates of the Caribbean' (movies) -- I can't get away from it, my miniature schnauzer's name is Captain Jack Sparrow," he said. Continued...
View article on single page
Canadian's battle role cast in doubt at Guantanamo
The world's fourth biggest economy is at a crossroad as it celebrates 30 years of reforms. Full Article
Fruits of reform can be bitter
"Cancer village" pays ultimate price
Timeline: Milestones since 1978
Slideshow: Scenes from the past
Blog: Reporters' notes from China
U.N. fails to gather troops for Somalia stabilization
A selection of our best photos from the past 24 hours. Slideshow
Most Popular on Reuters
Jim Rogers calls most big U.S. banks "bankrupt"
Bush may tap bailout fund to aid automakers
Bernard Madoff arrested over alleged $50 billion fraud
1950s pin-up queen Bettie Page dies
Ice storms knock power out across NY, New England
Obama can sign U.N. climate pact before U.S. law: Kerry
Detroit workers stunned, angered as bailout stalls
Visa CEO loses his credit cards
Legal experts see wide fallout from Madoff case
Keanu Reeves falls to "Earth" in silly remake
Most Popular Articles RSS Feed
Fresh riots grip Athens
Peru student clashes
Anger over Mumbai arrests
Auto bailout held up
Obama: Illinois Gov. should resign
Obama nativity a bestseller
al Qaeda arrests near EU summit
Daytime clashes in Athens
Talk of the Town-Golden Globes
Most Popular Videos RSS Feed
Death all around
Award winning Reuters photographer Finbarr O'Reilly recounts the horrors of living on the front line of the conflict in eastern Congo. Blog
Slideshow: Images from Congo
Video: The long wait for refugees
Blog: Caught in Chad rebel offensive
The global destination for corporate leaders, deal-makers and innovators
Knowledge to Act
Help and Contact Us |
Advertise With Us |
Interactive TV |
Reuters in Second Life |
Site Index |
Thomson Reuters Corporate:
Professional Products |
Professional Products Support |
About Thomson Reuters |
Latin America |
United Kingdom |
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.