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Dutch sidestep EU red tape to rescue German ship with military force

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Smashy, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. Smashy

    Smashy

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    Apr 6, 2010 (7:10p CDT)
    By MIKE CORDER (Associated Press Writer)

    THE HAGUE, Netherlands - Gaining fast on the pirates who had seized a German freighter, Dutch naval captain Col. Hans Lodder had no time to waste on bureaucracy.

    Sidestepping the command of the European Union's anti-piracy task force, he went instead to his own government for authorization to recapture the ship by force.

    Lodder first ascertained that the freighter's crew had locked themselves in a bulletproof room. Then he launched his ship's Lynx helicopter with a team of six special forces marines.

    [​IMG]

    With troops providing cover fire from the helicopter, the marines rappelled onto the ship's deck of the MV Taipan to shoot it out, if need be, with the pirates. But they met no resistance. The 15-man crew was rescued, and 10 Somali pirates were captured.

    "The pirates surrendered the moment they saw the marines," Lodder said in a telephone interview Tuesday from the Dutch frigate Tromp. No one was injured.

    Monday's successful rescue showed that, when swift decisions are needed, it can be quicker to work around the European Union's command.

    It was the first time a Dutch ship involved in the EU mission had used force to recapture a hijacked ship. An EU spokesman could not immediately recall any incident when troops under EU command had boarded a seized ship under the threat of fire.

    Lodder said he decided to seek permission from his own command for an "opposed boarding" - one where pirates may resist - rather than act under procedures laid down by Brussels.

    "We just told my force commander we would operate under national command until after the boarding," Lodder told The Associated Press. "We kept everyone in the EU informed of everything we did."

    A spokesman for the EU mission acknowledged the Dutch action avoided a delay and was legitimate.

    "For speed of reaction, if you're on the spot ... (and) dispatched at haste to react to something immediately, the best thing to do is to go under national command," said Cmdr. John Harbour, U.K.-based spokesman for the European Union Naval Force Somalia.

    "If we were about to conduct an operation with a bit more time on our hands then we may well have gone through the standard EU process with a view to consulting," he added. "That consultation just takes a bit longer."

    Harbour also said the Taipan was sailing outside the zone covered by the EU mission when it was rescued, about 800 kilometers (500 miles) east of Somalia.

    Dutch Defense Ministry spokesman Robin Middel said EU authorization was sidestepped to speed up the rescue.

    Bibi van Ginkel, a senior research fellow at the Clingendael think tank's Security and Conflict Program in the Netherlands, said opting out of a multinational mission was possible at sea because ships are sailing under their national flags anyway.

    It would be more difficult in land-based peacekeeping missions because the nations involved operate under the jurisdiction of the country they are deployed to, she said.

    The Tromp may turn over the 10 captured Somalis on Monday to German or Dutch prosecutors for what would be a rare European piracy trial.

    Pottengal Mukundan, director of the Commercial Crimes Services of the International Maritime Bureau in London, which monitors pirate attacks, praised the Dutch rescue operation.

    "It is unusual and very welcome" that a navy recaptures a ship from pirates, he said. "That is absolutely the right thing to do. By denying the pirates their prize it does deter them from taking these actions."

    Harbour, of the EU naval force, said the Dutch mission highlighted not the EU's laborious decision-making processes, but rather its ability to navigate a way quickly through them.

    The Dutch rescue mission came a day after suspected Somali pirates hijacked a South Korean-operated supertanker carrying about $160 million of crude oil in the Indian Ocean. A South Korean navy destroyer caught up with the tanker on Tuesday and was sailing nearby.

    South Korea's navy received a call Sunday from the South Korean-operated 300,000-ton Samho Dream, sailing from Iraq to the United States, saying three pirates had boarded it and then lost contact.

    At the time, the tanker was about 930 miles (1,500 kilometers) southeast of the Gulf of Aden. It has 24 crew - five South Koreans and 19 Filipinos.

    The destroyer caught up and began operating near the hijacked supertanker as of early Tuesday South Korean time, which was late Monday where the ships were operating, South Korea's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

    The tanker was sailing toward Somalia's coast, the ministry said.

    Mukundan said his organization has logged 42 attacks on shipping off the Horn of Africa so far this year including 10 hijackings.

    At the United Nations,Russia's Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said he introduced a draft resolution to the U.N. Security Council that calls for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to produce a report in three months on ways to strengthen the international legal system to ensure that captured Somali pirates do not escape punishment.

    "The piracy industry is growing and it is becoming a major headache for the international community," Churkin said. "We feel that one of the weak links ... is the legal process that will allow us to be sure that there is no impunity once pirates are caught off the coast of Somalia."

    Churkin expressed appreciation for the efforts of some regional countries, including Kenya and the Seychelles, in offering to prosecute pirates "but we understand that they're under pressure and they're encountering problems in this regard."

    He expressed concern that some detained pirates were being freed because there was no place to prosecute them.

    As one example, the Dutch government on Dec. 18 released 13 Somali pirates it detained nearly two weeks earlier after the European Union failed to find a country willing to prosecute them. Defense Minister Eimert van Middelkoop said he regretted that neither Kenya nor Tanzania was prepared to take the men despite requests from the EU.


    http://kai03.qwest.com/WindowsLive/...&id=D9ETSR1O2@news.ap.org&client=gadget&qid=0
     
  2. mr00jimbo

    mr00jimbo

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    If the EU had their way it would be ...
    1. Spot a ship in distress
    2. File a form 104A-6 to "Rescue ship from distress"
    3. Wait 4-6 weeks, your case goes under review from a panel of inexperienced bureaucrats who know nothing of sea rescue, military service or emergency services
    4. Committee comes to a three day, 100,000 dollar conclusion: "Why don't they just shoot the pirates in the leg, or something?"
    5. Distress rescue request is denied, appeal is set for June 2015. Committee votes itself a 30% pay raise before adjourning.
    6. Ship ignores red tape, intervenes, saves lives, the entire crew imprisoned for 20 years. Pirates captured receive 6 months probation, EU passports, government jobs and citizenships for their entire family.
    Taxes and crime goes up.
    The end.
     

  3. eaglesfan55

    eaglesfan55 (>'-')>

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    another example of a decisive action/decision proving to be the right course of action for every one involved.
     
  4. kirgi08

    kirgi08 Watcher. Silver Member

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    Get er done.'08.
     
  5. mitchshrader

    mitchshrader Deceased

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    hang them from the yardarm and cruise down the somalian coast once before heading home.
     
  6. floorburn_21

    floorburn_21 Medium speed, some drag.

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    Good to hear the crew is safe. Too bad the pirates didn't end up walking the plank.
     
  7. chuckman

    chuckman

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    That is called "leadership." It seems to be a lost art these days.
     
  8. Carrys

    Carrys Inquisitive

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    Got to agree Chuck.


    Do something, even if it's wrong....................do something.
     
  9. gearjammer351

    gearjammer351 EnemyOfTheState

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    Good for him. I am not a fan of supra-governmental organizations. There have been some negative rumblings in Europe about the EU. I don't know if it's going anywhere, but it's interesting to watch.
    So they're not as stupid as they look then. :supergrin:
    Sure does.
     
  10. Glock-it-to-me

    Glock-it-to-me Catching liars

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    Go ask Alice, I think she'll know
    And they say smoking pot makes you stupid and lazy. It appears the pot capital of the world has some stand-up military folks. Good for the Dutch.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2010
  11. cgjane

    cgjane

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    Last edited: Apr 7, 2010
  12. hill billy

    hill billy Head Case

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    Yep

    Hang them from the yardarm, pull into port with all guns forward and dump them on the docks, sounds like a better plan to me.
     
  13. -gunut-

    -gunut-

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  14. Jack_Pine

    Jack_Pine CLM

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    Got some new respect for the Dutch. Did not know much or anything about there ability prior to this....ugly American I guess..................
     
  15. A6Gator

    A6Gator

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    I'd tell the pirates it's a way long home. Better start swimming...:supergrin:
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2010
  16. NeverMore1701

    NeverMore1701 Fear no Evil Platinum Member

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    Excellent!

    Interesting that the Dutch Naval Officer was a Colonel?
     
  17. Jay9928

    Jay9928 I laugh at liberals.

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    The Korps Mariniers look hardcore. Way to go guys !

    [​IMG]
     
  18. chuckman

    chuckman

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    I did some cross-training with Dutch and other NATO forces a while back. I was impressed. Also impressed with the Polish mil.
     
  19. mhill

    mhill

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    I'd like to see how long those pirates can tread water. I mean we could go for the record for treading water with these guys. I think Vegas could get some serious action on the outcome. Probably pay for the operations.
     
  20. INJoker

    INJoker Simply Charming

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    I agree with whomever said we need to bring back "walking the plank" as the punishment for piracy.

    I am assuming the number of instances in which we see such attacks would begin to quickly dwindle.