Muslim thugs, primarily from Somalia, have captured and are holding 17 ships for ransom, including a shipment of munitions and an oil tanker. Ninety ships have been attacked just this year. The reaction by the world community has been to bravely run away, sending cargo around the Cape of Good Hope so as to avoid the Suez Canal and the Gulf of Aden. Me, I would have scuttled every captured ship, taken the write-off and sent the families a ham. That's probably why I'm not in charge of anything important. You'd really only have to do it once or twice, though. Just saying. Oh, and can we stop minimizing the threat by calling them "pirates?" Brings to mind little boys playing pretend. Some of them may well be little boys, but they aren't playing. It's only a matter of time before they figure out a cruise ship warrants a much larger, more expedient payday.
The Russians have taken a different approach. They are sending warships down to the Horn to protect their interests. Interests that will undoubtedly include monitoring ship traffic. It's the only way to find those nasty pirates, doncha know. So when they find a ship with something really bad on it -- or something really good -- they have a responsibility to detain that vessel until they neutralize the threat. Or get paid. After all, who's to stop them? We're swapping one set of thugs for a more organized, better-armed set, one prone to, um, accidents. Even if they get paid. And nobody's going to do anything about it.