Monday, April 06, 2009

Pirates acquire Air Defense

I thought this item in Nightwatch raises interesting questions about the connection of the Somali pirates to the global black market and their connections with organized crime.

The Press Trust of India reported an Indian Navy statement of concern that the Somali pirates now have acquired shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles [or man-portable air-defense](MANPADs). If confirmed, the connections and resources that would enable Somalis to acquire MANPADs from the international gray arms market would signify they are a much more organized and serious threat than simple Somali clansmen trying to provide for their families.

Of greater tactical significance, the use of rapid response teams flown in helicopters has been key tactic responsible for putting the pirates on the defensive. MANPADs would increase the risks and tend to neutralize that modern advantage. |Nightwatch, March 23, 2009|
This may also make interdiction more difficult as the author points out.

It reminds me of how the US crippled the USSR in Afghanistan through the provision of
Stinger missiles to the Taliban.

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