Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pool Uncovered

I am still on leave and enjoying time with the family.

The kids are back in school and getting ready for their End Of Grade (EOG) tests. Apparently those are some kind of important test that everyone teaches to. That concept eludes me. If you are teaching the things kids need in life, life will be the test to whether or not they learned it, right? Natural selection will just happen....

We uncovered the pool yesterday and should have it completely filled by tonight. We have been working in the yard non-stop since we got back and are just starting to see the fruits of our labors. We still have lots to go though, so no pics yet.

As for reading, I am slowly making my way thought the H. John Poole book, The Tiger's Way. It is pretty good so far, but I am not sure I buy all that he is preaching.

Semper Fi,

Monday, May 11, 2009

Somali Pirates using Intel!

Well who would have figured? I guess the Pirates off the coast of Somalia are not all that archaic and rudimentary in their methods after all.

Just because our imaginations go to images of "Hook" and his band when we think of pirates, doesn't mean they are not very sophisticated in their methods.

Consider the article written by Giles Tremlett in the Guardian and what he says about pirates picking targets.

That area is one of the most critical waterways in getting goods from the Eastern to the Western hemisphere and back. "The Gulf of Aden, which links the Suez Canal and the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean, is the shortest route from Asia to Europe and one of the world's busiest shipping lanes, crossed by more than 20,000 ships each year. The alternative route around the continent's southern Cape of Good Hope takes up to two weeks longer at huge expense."

These Pirates are using RPG's and relatively small weapons to take down the crews of these ships. I know better than to arm-chair-quarterback this one, but will go so far as to say they are using very little to impede global commerce.

This is kind of like the elephant getting terrified by the mouse. What would it take to introduce some "cats" into the elephant's cage to take care of these rodents? How soon until the pirates migrate up to speed-boats with torpedo's and heavier weapons....

My thought is that the pirates really don't want to sink the ship or even hurt the crew. In my mind, a sunken ship has no value to them. A dead crew brings no ransom.

The fact that they are working with the Brits (infidels in the mind of a Muslim) says that this has nothing to do with religion, but then again, no one said it did.

The fact that they are working with the Brits says that they are developing an international coalition to do their work...

First generational warfare thinking would have us sending out mother ships and pirate rigs to hunt them down, broad side to broad side... I am just not convinced that would work.

Second generational warfare thinking would say we need to fortify the ship and strengthen her defenses. A good tactic I suppose, but doing that for the estimated 20,000 ships that pass that way each year would get extremely costly in a hurry.

Third generational warfare thinking would have us blitzing to the "head of the snake" (pirate leadership) to take it out so that the body (pirates themselves) die with it. My capitalist mind believes that if the bounty is still out there, a new profiteer will emerge.

Fourth generational warfare thinking erodes the pirate support base by turning the populace against the pirates. Some how making them socially corrosive to their own environment. These pirates are actually supporting their own tribe/local community with the scraps that fall from their tables. In Somalia, they are the ones with money, so they actually pay for services/goods and they are paying the locals.... It is kinda tough to see the guy feeding your family as a bad man.

So what is the solution? In my mind, and I eluded to this earlier, we must make the cost greater than the gain. Make it more painful to be a pirate than pleasurable to live that life.

No gain: If no ransoms were paid, pirates would eventually stop. If pirated ships were simply taken back with nothing gained by the pirates, eventually there would be no reward for taking the ships in the first place.

More pain: Aggressively prosecute all pirates that are caught in the act. Gather intelligence on the Pirate infrastructure and attack it with a vengeance. Return pirated wealth to those who were plundered.

Combine the "No gain" concept with the "More pain" concept and I think you have a working idea to combat this problem.

What say you?

Semper Fi,

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Back from Disney 2009!!!!

We are finally back from Disney!!!

I will have more internet access now and will be posting more stuff... (I say that all the time, don't I...). I am working on it.

On a related note, we are working on my kids writing skills and have convinced them that blogging is a good idea! I will be posting their site information up here soon, so all you relatives and those who would like a glimpse into their lives, stay tuned!!! Their Blog's will be listed in my Blog Roll here to the right.

Semper Fi,