We’re starting to see some real tests of President Obama’s worth in military affairs what with the Somalia piracy situation in the Indian Ocean that most people say our President won. But with the pirates avowing revenge against their comrades being shot down in defeat this time around, will piracy resolutions passed through the U.N. Security Council last year be our shield against a more intense incident later? Back in 2008, most people in the U.S. probably had no idea that four resolutions were passed to specifically address the growing piracy problem in Somalia and how it could affect our ships off their coast. As unpopular as the George W. Bush Administration was, they were at least right on this problem before it became a major headliner, despite the resolutions arguably being just a bunch of words without real organization to combat the problem intelligently.
Each resolution that was passed in ’08 progressively took the means of fighting the problem to more detailed levels. Most of the earlier ones dealt with it only as a maritime issue that was too broad in context to tackle head-on. It wasn’t until this last fall when the U.N. Security Council decided to take a broader approach with Resolution 1838 and managed to get an international collation built to combat these pirates with stunning seafaring smarts. The unfortunate reality to the resolution was that policing the seas were akin to catching a slippery fish by hand.
What the U.N. didn’t consider initially was that these pirates were as much masters of the sea as the international navies are. With a combination of technical know-how and extensive fishing experience behind these Somali pirates, it’s no wonder they’ve slipped through the cracks on the open sea. A logical next step was to try to get Somalia itself involved through the Security Council to police these pirates from the source.
That’s when George W. Bush’s advisors wrote up a new resolution that was presented with little public attention last December while Secretary of State Condi Rice sat and presented the case at the U.N. Passed during the euphoria of Barack Obama being President-elect, Resolution 1851 finally allowed powers right in Somalia to track these pirates down from where they train and generally organize. Apparently knowing that these resolutions were being made, the pirates still managed to attack ships that very day of the resolution’s passing. To date, all four resolutions haven’t curbed anything due to the pirates being one step ahead every time.
So far, there hasn’t been any other resolution made at the Security Council, probably because there isn’t really more they can do once Somalia became directly involved in weeding out their own renegades. Some might speculate that a McCain/Palin Presidency would have taken even further steps through the U.N. or bringing forth what Secretary of State Rice suggested in that final resolution passage: Bringing a U.N. peacekeeping force into Somalia to create a more ground-level way of controlling the piracy.
Now with President Obama swearing he’ll do everything in his power to stop piracy off the shores of Somalia, we’ll have to assume he’ll continue the suggestions of getting the U.N. involved. Or, he might focus instead on what’s already being developed by sending secret forces in through the CIA.
When dealing with terrorists who seem smarter than our own leaders, it’s time to bring in our rebuilt intelligence department in to scope them out. There isn’t a doubt we’re doing the same with Al Qaeda, and there isn’t any reason why it shouldn’t be done with Somali pirates either. There’s every indication it hasn’t quite happened yet outside of it being considered. When an anonymous member of the CIA was interviewed by a reporter for Harper’s Magazine on April 9 (see second source link), the person was adamant in how important it was to set up a CIA base in Somalia in order to go after what would be easy to catch if we were just there.
The earth-shattering news from this CIA insider was in how much money the pirates have made. Reportedly, with $80 million already in their pockets, the money is there to buy expensive weapons of mass destruction from…yes, possibly Al Qaeda. You’ve probably heard the reports that the Somali pirates may be clandestinely funding Islamic terrorist groups as part of a symbiotic cause of building the piracy bases. The CIA is also worried that Al Qaeda and the Somali pirates are already working together based on the strong possibility of Al Qaeda fortifying their cells in Somalia for quite a while now.
Based on the failure of the past four U.N. resolutions and the likely beginning of more U.S. Navy ships being pirated, we’re looking at something bigger than even the media could have guessed as they never did with the drug cartel war in Mexico. We already have Combined Task Force 151 going via our U.S. Navy that was proclaimed to protect all ships from Somali hijackings as of this last January. Only four months in, it’s also been a proven failure as they play the elephant to the tiny mouse that’s finding its way through a small body of water while using comparable technology to our Navy’s.
With President Obama’s assertion of stopping the Somali pirates in their tracks, we probably won’t hear the details openly from here on out. That’s because there isn’t a doubt the CIA will be utilized now where Obama has the best chance to prove himself as a successful fighter of terrorism once and for all. We can only guess behind the veil that the CIA is already on the ground in places we want them to be. Getting them on the ground in Somalia is a whole different problem, though, when a U.S. embassy needs to be built to serve as a base of operations. Getting that built will obviously take years rather than months.
Once we get there through Obama’s decree, the possible connective and ransom money strings between the Somali pirate and a member of Al Qaeda could lead to finally biting into the core of terrorism and eliminating a sizeable chunk of it. At the same time, it’ll only impart the usual call for revenge by every single terrorist group defeated by U.S. or international forces–hence likely keeping the Somali pirates running on adamancy into at least the next administration…