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Improvise, Adapt, Overcome! July 15, 2011

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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The pirates are clearly applying all three tactics.  While the problem won’t be solved on the high seas alone, right now this is where the rubber is meeting the road.  That said, recent intelligence indicates that pirates are purchasing information from operatives in London and the Persian Gulf, which provides precise information where the most lucrative and vulnerable ships will be.

In asymmetric warfare, intelligence becomes a key aspect in defeating practices being used against your tactics. British police recently detected efforts to obtain information for pirates, and believe these efforts are becoming more intense.

Having transited the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean personally on clients’ vessels no less than six times, I can tell you first hand that this modus operandi has been occurring for well over a year, yet the industry is only now acknowledging this fact.

Pirates are equipping mother ships with GPS, radar and satellite phones, which enables them to direct skiffs to actual latitude/longitude positions.  A recently pirated vessel that was released reported that when pirates boarded the vessel, they asked the crew “where they had been,” and that they were waiting for them for two hours.

Pirates are actively seeking information on shipping companies’ plans in general.  Pirates are beginning to equip boarding parties with explosives and welding equipment to give them a chance of breaching citadels; this will keep warships away because now they have hostages.


1. Wayne Bisset - July 20, 2011

Just a thought. Would it not be better to find the pirates HQ and, as attack is the best form of defense, take them out there? Keep one or two alive, get intel who the actual leaders are. Most likely some rich respectable chap sitting in Europe.

Chris Mark - July 20, 2011

Good comment. I would suggest that before hitting the HQs we would need to carefully evaluate the potential impact. The pirates currently are holding about 600 hostages. Recently they demanded reparations from South Korea for killing some pirates. We always have to be cognizant of the unintended consequences.

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