January 27, 2012 / by emptywheel


We Are All Pirates Now

I recommend you start reading this story, on how the Navy wants a floating base, a “mothership,” to float around the Middle East from which to launch paramilitary operations, at paragraph 18 out of 20:

Ironically, the term “mothership” is also commonly used to describe a vessel used by Somali pirates. After hijacking a large container or cargo vessel, pirate crews often turn it into a floating base to extend the range of their skiffs or speedboats far into the Indian Ocean, Gulf of Aden and Arabian Gulf.

While the story reminds that our “mothership” will actually return the Navy SEALs to maritime missions, it’s also worth noting that the two threats the article cites to justify the urgent retrofitting of an old ship to serve as our “mothership”–Somali pirates and potential Iranian responses in the Straits of Hormuz–are both asymmetric threats. We plan to use this “mothership” to match their “mothership.”

Now, aside from the many answers to the question, “what could go wrong?” I had while reading this story, I couldn’t help but thinking how we’re increasingly fighting terrorism with non-uniformed enemy combatants, fighting piracy with tactics borrowed from the pirates.

The three big things that distinguish us from them is our money, our ability to control of the financial transfer systems, and our drones.

But other than that, I think we are become pirates.

Copyright © 2012 emptywheel. All rights reserved.
Originally Posted @ https://www.emptywheel.net/2012/01/27/we-are-all-pirates-now/