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calendar   Friday - March 23, 2012

You Could Knock Me Over With A Feather

I sure didn’t see this one coming. Not in my wildest dreams

EU Votes In Favor of Joint Land Strikes Against Somali Pirates

yesterday -

EU to back strikes on Somali pirates
2012-03-22 22:36

Brussels - The European Union will probably approve plans on Friday to strike Somali pirate equipment on beaches, widening the scope of its naval operations four years into a mission to protect shipping.

Germany had voiced reservations about plans to allow EU warships and helicopters to fire at trucks, supplies, boats and fuel stowed on the coast of Somalia, but a minister indicated on Thursday that Berlin would now back the plans.

“Military officers say they want to render harmless the ships on the beach that could be used. This was a convincing argument,” German deputy defence minister Christian Schmidt said after a meeting of EU defence chiefs in Brussels.

EU officials have stressed that the new mandate would not call for the deployment of troops on the ground in Somalia.

“We made clear that this should be limited actions against assets on the edge of the beach. Piracy must be fought at sea,” Schmidt said.

Following months of debate, the decision is expected to be taken when EU foreign ministers meet on Friday, one day after the defence chiefs, EU officials said.

today -

EU Extends Counter Piracy Mission Off Coast of Somalia

March 23, 2012, published in News, Press Releases by EU NAVFOR Public Affairs Office

On Friday 23 March 2012 the Council of the European Union confirmed its intention to extend the EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) counter-piracy mission, Operation ATLANATA off the Somali coast until December 2014.  At the same time the Council also extended the area of operations to include Somali coastal territory and internal waters.

Today’s decision will enable Operation Atalanta Forces to work directly with the Transitional Federal Government and other Somali entities to support their fight against piracy in the coastal areas.  In accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the Somali government has notified the UN Secretary General of its acceptance of the EU’s offer for this new collaboration.

Speaking about the extension of the mandate and area of operations, Rear Admiral Duncan Potts, who is the Operational Commander of the EU Naval Force, said “The extension of the mandate until the end of 2014 confirms the EU’s commitment to fighting piracy off the Horn of Africa.  Piracy has caused so much misery to the Somali people and to the crews of ships transiting the area and it is right that we continue to move forward in our efforts”.

Unreal.

But don’t confuse this EU initiative with what NATO is up to out there. That’s a separate mission, and it too is continuing.

(BRUSSELS) - NATO agreed Monday to extend its anti-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia until the end of 2014, stressing that foreign navies are helping to reduce the number of hijackings.

Operation Ocean Shield, which currently has four warships at sea, has patrolled the Horn of Africa, acted to disrupt armed robberies on the high seas and escorted UN ships bringing aid to Mogadishu since 2008.

So the ships of the navies of various EU nations are going to start shelling the beaches of Somalia, but the ships of the navies of various EU nations that are part of the NATO operation will continue to do interdiction and rescue only at sea. It’s probably the same ships. They’ll just get a Time Out from the admiral, and furl the little blue NATO flag.

I want to know two things: 1) will the EU define “the beach” the proper way, ie “anything we can hit within the range of our cannons”, about 20 miles give or take; and 2) where can I buy tickets to the show?

I am totally stunned that the powers that be have figured out that the solution I put forth several years ago - sink all their boats, blast all their buildings and fuel supplies - is not only workable, but is the right approach and they intend to do it.
Horry. Clap.

Let’s hope that their navies still have some large guns they can bring to bear. More good news: even if the EU decides to take a literal littoral view and defines “beaches” as that sandy bit by the waves, the breakaway chunk of northern Somalia now know as Puntland is putting its anti-pirate land cops back in action.

As the world descended on London to discuss the mess that is Somalia, it was announced that the Puntland Police will be reactivated to hunt down pirates ashore.

Speaking to the media at the event, Puntland’s interior minister Abdullahi Ahmed Jama proudly boasted that the “Puntland Maritime Police Force” will be resuming operations imminently and their brief will be to target pirate gangs on land. The initiative is to be funded by the UAE government and the personnel will be trained by a private security firm.

The PMFF was initially established back in 2010, but was suspended after the UN grew concerned about their operations and the legality of their actions.

Oh, and all of this is being done with the happy approval and cooperation of what passes for government in Mogadishu. “Kill them all, we don’t care.” is their take on the whole situation.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/23/2012 at 02:22 PM   
Filed Under: • Pirates, aarrgh! •  
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