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A model decision?

It has been over two hundred years since President Jefferson sent U.S. Navy ships to the Mediterranean to deal with the perenniel threat of pirates disrupting international trade. And yet, it all sounds familiar. Pirates off the coast of Africa. An American ship attacked. A captain held hostage. U. S. warships dispatched to the area. A Bainbridge sailing into the thick of things, this time to the rescue. 

Then, however, Jefferson also sent U.S. Marines overland to attack the pirates' backers in Tripoli, a strategy that ultimately helped lead the way to a treaty and the end of piracy against American shipping. In a recent commentary for CNN, Retired Major General Tom Wilkerson recommended the "Jefferson model", and says the better answer is to "Take on the pirates where they are . . . attack them at their home bases." Is Jefferson's example the right one to follow? Or, is the daring rescue by U. S. Navy Seals that left three pirates dead enough to protect America's interests? What do you think?

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KevMikeF's picture
"...attack them at their home bases." is definitely the way to go. I suspect that, in the near future, that is exactly what we'll see. And, between now and then, there will be very little talk, or bluster, if you will. It's worth noting that, The Treaty of Tripoli, as a ratified treaty according to the Constitution, is the law of the land. "Art.11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen;..."
KevMikeF (not verified)
Teredo's picture
While I agree that the place to hit the pirates is ashore, the absence of any central government authority or law enforcement in Somalia would only mean a temporary respite before the pirates were back in business again. Why the owners of these merchant vessels seem unable to protect their ships baffles me. There must be thousands of ex special forces personal from the States and Europe who would jump at the chance, if properly armed and well rewarded, to sign on to protect these ships for passage through these waters. The cost of arranging such protection couldn't possibly compare with the ransoms being currently demanded and paid.
Teredo (not verified)
Kalliegh's picture
The problems in Somalia are anything but NEW. The criminal activity in that one region has been and will remain rampant. Neither is Piracy new. I also thought of Thomas Jefferson's solution, when I first heard of the Captain taken hostage by the Pirates and held for ransom. I recalled what Thomas Jefferson did when confronted with similar circumstances. He sent in U.S. Marines to Tripoli to deal with the Pirates. The lawlessness in Somalia and lack of real authority is the real dilemma, the U.S. or any other Country has no one person to exercise any sort of diplomacy with? So how can this be put to rest by "Diplomatic" means,and does our current President, have the ways and means to end this terrorism? President Thomas Jefferson did not believe in paying ransoms to the pirates. He took the battle to them. Thomas Jefferson did not have the United Nations and NATO in his time. The U.N. SHOULD step in. We have more than enough evidence in that region to know that it is filled with Al Qaeda terrorists, they killed our sailors in the attack on the USS Cole, the U.S. Army Rangers gave their lives in the streets of Somalia. Have we forgotten them too? The U.S. Marines have not forgotten the war on piracy, it is still in the Anthem for their Corp. "To The Shores Of Tripoli." Yet, can the United States get involved in yet another conflict on another side of the hemisphere? I believe the United Nations should step in. Of course they were not of much use the last time, and for all I know they may still have some forces in the region. I do know that Somali is NOT a safe place to visit, and you can not read anything that isn't "BAD NEWS" about that country. Who is prepared deal with this piracy before many lives are lost, when ransoms begin to be refused to be payed? There are many good articles on the net about the parallel between Jefferson and the Piracy that is happening in this century. I am sure that were he alive he would be appalled that this sort of thing was still going on, and, that we, the United States were doing nothing about it. A good website to read is "Fixing Somali Piracy the 'Jefferson' Way".
Kalliegh (not verified)
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