Come back Shane!

Best of luck to Shane, a Mass. Maritime graduate and crewmember on the US-flag ship that was recently captured by pirates. Luckily, the latest reports show the crew was able to recapture the ship from the pirates themselves.

It’s hard to remember there’s still large-scale piracy in the world. It’s also hard to remember how dumb pirates can be. Taking a US-flag ship? Not a wise idea in any case.

2 thoughts on “Come back Shane!

    • My first thought was merely military capability. The unknowable aims of the US government aside, they US has the most powerful and typically most broadly deployed navy in the world today. If for some reason they chose to do something about it – from sending some SEALs to silently assault the remaining pirates over the gunwales of the lifeboat today, all the way up to landing a bunch of marines to attempt to destroy the pirates’ assault boats and weapons on land – the US navy could quickly project superior force and ruin a significant number of the pirate’s livelihoods.

      The other element is risk – while all piracy for cash involves risk, assaulting a US flag ship for the first time greatly ups the risk, because you don’t know what the US will do, either individually or overall. Who knows if the US pulls out the FBI, uses some esoteric technical evidence, and traces this particular set of pirates back to their mothership, and to who owns it, and where they bought it, and so on.

      I suppose if you’re a pirate, you probably don’t bother to analyze the risk that far. Or, you or your bosses explicitly chose to do this to escalate the whole issue on the political scale. In any case, this certainly brings the issue to a larger spot at the global discussion about what the heck to do with a nearly lawless country with a coastline.

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