In today's news, the ever-bolder pirates of Somalia have seized a Saudi-owned oil tanker as large as an aircraft carrier, worth a reported $120,000,000, with a cargo that may be worth $100M more. (It would have been worth twice as much a month ago.) If these guys keep it up, GM will ask them for a bail out--so they can build more gas-guzzling SUVs nobody wants, while paying union guys $73 an hour. The story I read didn’t mention the pirates’ religion, but since the ship belonged to Muslims, I’m guessing crazed Presbyterians, or out-of-control Unitarians. Something like that, doubtless.
Solution: Create an international navel force, under US, not UN command. Establish convoys protected by frigates and destroyers, with air cover from a carrier on call. Create armed merchantmen. Use Q-ships. Shoot to kill on suspicion. Launch surgical air strikes on pirate nests (sorry about the collateral damage). Captured pirates should be tried by navel court, at sea, executed immediately, and buried at sea. Any ship taken by pirates should be sunk, killing the pirates (sorry about the crew, but more crewmen would be saved, long term, by stopping the pirates now). End of problem, six months, tops. If the pirates knew they were going to die, instead of get large ransoms, they would stop being pirates. Probably run for Congress or something.
Alternatively, for those who believe “violence solves nothing,” President-elect Obama could meet with pirate leaders, in Somalia, one on one, without pre-conditions, to build consensus, respect and understanding. This would make the UN, Europe and, especially, Joe Biden VERY happy.