Apr 11 2009

Team Obama Is Experiencing DC’s Paralysis of Analysis Over Pirates

Published by at 12:30 pm under All General Discussions

Update: Finally, some small steps in the right direction:

U.S. warships are trying to stop Somali pirates from sending reinforcements to a lifeboat where an American captain is being held hostage as the high-seas standoff off Africa’s eastern coast entered a fourth day Saturday.

But sadly another step backwards:

Pirates seized a U.S.-owned and Italian-flagged tugboat with 16 crew on Saturday in the latest hijacking in the busy Gulf of Aden waterway, a regional maritime group said.

Why weren’t these potential targets being watched closer?

– end update

Too many people have been jumping into the Somalia pirate conflict half cocked and uninformed, proposing rash and immediate action without a lot of thought. Like any other armed robbery gone bad (yes, this is more like violent crime than an act of Jihad) with hostages it is prudent to take some time and avoid unnecessary loss of life – as the French just demonstrated.

But there is also the flip side to rash action which is just as bad, and that is doing nothing. Team Obama is getting its first serious test and I now can see the vague outlines of another Black Hawk Down situation arising, mirroring how neophyte President Clinton screwed up in his first challenge as President. Unlike the knee-jerk crowd, I did give Team Obama some time to take action before beginning to draw conclusions. But that grace period is closing rapidly.

The first trap an inexperienced President falls into is the inaction that comes from DC’s penchant for ‘paralysis by analysis’. Bureaucrats in DC hate to go out on a limb or take a position. You see they may be wrong and then all their hopes and dreams for personal reward are gone. So they pretend to be doing something through endless and useless debate over ‘what if’ and ‘suppose if’ and ‘this could happen’. Lots of heat – no fire. It is all DC really does when you boil it down.

This is how Clinton was talked into a limited incursion into Somalia’s capitol to take out a war lord, instead of using a large, unassailable force to do the job. The DC jabberwocky blabber probably warned Clinton that an overwhelming show of force would make America look too overbearing, too aggresive. So Clinton directed we go in light. The result was our people got creamed, and al Qaeda was born.

Obama better end the the endless DC chatter:

Senior Obama administration officials are debating how to address a potential terrorist threat to U.S. interests from a Somali extremist group, with some in the military advocating strikes against its training camps. But many officials maintain that uncertainty about the intentions of the al-Shabab organization dictates a more patient, nonmilitary approach.

The ‘strike hard and strong’ approach is the right one. At some point these delays go from being looked at as ‘prudent’ to being seen as ‘weak’. We have hit that point. We should have sunk any pirate assistance that set sail for the stand off. And we should obliterate the culprits if anything happens to our people. We probably should obliterate them anyway, to make it clear what happens when you mess with America.

Team Obama has gone past the prudent stage and missed too many opportunities (e.g., the captain’s escape attempt). It is debating and not acting. It is acceding the field to the pirates as they dictate terms. It is time to shut the yackers up in DC and send these so called pirates down to Davy Jones’ Locker.


24 responses so far

24 Responses to “Team Obama Is Experiencing DC’s Paralysis of Analysis Over Pirates”

  1. AJStrata says:

    Joe six pack,

    You would think it would be in place already!

  2. crosspatch says:

    Captain Phillips is free but he wasn’t “freed”. He jumped overboard AGAIN and this time the Navy took out the hijackers before they could recapture him. Phillips escaped on his own. Twice. The first time the Navy stood by and he was recaptured. The second time the Navy was ready and took out three of the pirates, hauled the Captain to safety, and took the remaining pirate into custody.

  3. […] It was only yesterday that I made two statements about the pirate-hostage stand off near Somalia. First I lambasted others for jumping to conclusions and rushing to make judgements when it was prudent to let our forces determine the best way to free the hostage without killing him. I felt the calls of failure and inaction were premature and unfair. […]

  4. crosspatch says:

    Captain Phillips is a true American hero. He exchanged himself for his crew. He jumped overboard TWICE. He never gave up. He is the personification of the American spirit.