There are some "thinkers" who believe the threat from piracy is minimal and will go away without too much effort from the US Navy, I would submit the below:
Let's see where we are at now?
The shipping companies have raised their rates for the affected areas,
the larger companies have hired private security guards (the smaller ones cannot afford it),
the insurers have kicked up their premiums,
the shipping companies have paid ransoms to pirates,
the shipping companies have changed the itineraries/routes of some high value ships,
the pirates have killed some of their victims and held many more for long period of incarceration,
the seafarers unions are now talking about boycotting ships going through threatened areas (per below)
the US Navy has captured a few pirates,
the NATO/EU navies have captured many more pirates and released some,
the UN has adopted some resolutions,
whatever govt that exists in Somalia have started training a coast guard,
the EU countries have deployed ships, aircraft and boats to the area as has the USN,
a couple of EU countries are talking about donating patrol boats to the area,
the MPSA is sort of effective,
the "needle in a haystack" evolution in the western IO appears ineffective and NATO commander has said it nearly useless.
So isn't it time the USN tried some new tactics?
Like a Market Time type barrier operation?
Stay the course or CHANGE course (gee I think I heard a discussion along those lines earlier?)
Seafarers Unions Warn of Not Sailing to Gulf of Aden
Mumbai | Mar 11, 2010
Having faced numerous pirate attacks in the recent past, seafarers from India and other Asian countries have warned that they would not sail to the Gulf of Aden and Somalia, unless the threat of piracy was contained soon.
The National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) has taken the lead in this regard and has interacted with its counterparts in Malaysia, Bangladesh, the Philippines and other Asian countries in the interest of sailing crew.
"Discussions with the unions (of other countries) are already on. If the situation does not improve, then seafarers from labour-supplying countries will not sail to these pirate-infested places," NUSI's General Secretary-cum-Treasurer, Abdulgani Y Serang, told PTI here.
NUSI has refrained from setting a deadline for this but "if things do not improve soon, then we will be forced to resort to this action," Serang said.
Seafarer associations from across the globe will meet next week in Berlin to take a final decision on the issue, he said.
"Our Union is spearheading and co-coordinating an international agitation on the issue with the support of unions from India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Ukraine, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and other labour-supplying countries," he said.
Indian crew are unsatisfied with the steps taken so far by the world authorities such as the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the Indian Government and others, he said.
There are still 11 vessels with more than 200 crew-members of different nationalities held by pirates in the region, he added.
2. Does the US Navy consider it a huge expenditure in resources for minimum yeilds?
3. Ain't no medals involved. The Navy, after all is a political machine.
Leesea, I would agree with you on strategically. However, knowing that item 1. is a fact, as the Navy is downsizing and conducting a 1.5 front war leaves little left for the pickin's. On Item 2., the Navy has slowly, over the last 20 years shifted more and more towards a business paradigm. Investment vs. Yield will prevail unles directed otherwise. I'm not sure anybody upstairs is screaming to kill pirates right now. Finally, item 3. There is not a clear measure of success (see item 2.). The French seems to be, at least in the press and in fact, most of Seafox's pics on the subject, particularly in Somolia make it seem as though the French are doing far better than the USN. Plus, there aint no medals to be won. Which is, obviously, a political issue in itself.
On the surface, it appears a possible job the NECC might want to explore. However, we have the logistic expense to consider as well as them being behind the learning curve. Not sure they are set up for big water anyway which, in my opinion, would be a pissing contest between say, Boat Guys and the amphib Navy. Again, item 3. reigns here. You know the old A-6 motto........"If you ain't Attack, you must be support!" BTW, I loved A-6's.