View all newsletters
Have the short, sharp Spear's newsletter delivered to your inbox each week
  1. Wealth
April 15, 2009

Pirates and the President

By Spear's

The spin put on the event for political advantage is counter-productive for the White House.

The resolution of the stand-off in the Indian Ocean between the U.S. Navy and Somali pirates resulted in the shooting of thee pirates, all shot dead simultaneously by SEAL snipers firing from the fantail of the destroyer USS Bainbridge.

Almost as quickly, the Barack Obama White House claimed credit for the intervention which saved the life of the American captain of the container-ship Maersk Alabama who had been taken hostage.

The reality is that the rules of engagement would have been laid down by the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations, and endorsed by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, long before the SEALs were parachuted into the sea close to the Bainbridge and the frigate Hayburton.

Of course, the president as commander-in-chief would have been asked to approve the rules of engagement, but the spin put on the event for political advantage is counter-productive for the White House.

The use of lethal force where a hostage’s life is in imminent danger is a standard scenario and the only newsworthy decision would have been if Washington refused to allow the rules of engagement.

The only question remaining concerns the impact these deaths will have on the other 200 hostages held by Somali pirates, but as they are not considered to be a cohesive, organized group, the risk of retaliation is perceived to be low.

Nevertheless, there is no guarantee that this episode will deter the pirates, as the presence in the area of warships from 16 navies has failed to prevent an average of thirteen attemps at piracy every month.

Content from our partners
Stoneweg, Icona, and CBH Strengthen Partnership with Cromwell Acquisition, Adding €4 Billion AUM to Stoneweg
Why investors should consider investing in nature
HSBC Global Private Banking: Revisiting your wealth plan as uncertainty abounds

Select and enter your email address The short, sharp email newsletter from Spear’s
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network