Pirates: U.S. Money for British Mercenaries
Operating in fast boats capable of outrunning the pirates' converted fishing vessels, mercenaries can prevent the pirates from putting to sea or returning to shore suggested Chris Holtby, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Deputy Head of Security Policy. Mr Holtby has been involved in discussions with British 'business risk consultants' Drum Cussac, which already supplies armed security teams to shipping companies.
Drum Cussac has been hired by Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG) with the international community agreeing to foot the bill. The money will come from $25 million the US Government have promised to the antipiracy project.
Britain, which has so far not committed "specifically counter-piracy" money, will also contribute from "overlaying of benefits from counter-terrorism, counter-trafficking, migration, development/rule of law" funds.
Drum Cussac, which describes itself as 'the market leader in antipiracy and maritime security', is headed by former Scots Guards officer Jeremy Stampa Orwin.
Drum Cussac says it can 'supply a full range of armed services for the protection of vessels in transit through high risk waters and for static operations or survey work in areas of high threat'.
'Our armed option', it says, 'has been designed to provide fully legitimate, properly licensed and trained teams to deploy on board vessels. Our teams are experienced UK nationals and are equipped with new and modern weapons systems.'
Foreign Office officials had met with the security firm involved at the request of the Somali Government. Donor cash, including British taxpayers money, would "indirectly" pay for their operation.
Abdallah Boss Ahmed, until recently the Somali defence minister has approved the plan.
Chair, Working Group 1,(Operational Co‐ordination and Regional Capability Development),Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia
Deputy Head (European Security/NATO/Operations/Maritime Security)
Security Policy Group, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London
He has worked in both the FCO and MOD on Balkans issues and was posted to the UK Delegation to NATO in the 1990s.
[The length of the Somali coastline is roughly the same length as the entire Eastern Seaboard of the United States, according to U.S. Navy statistics.]