Babylon & Beyond

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PIRACY: Retired Marine general says U.S. should attack pirates on land

April 8, 2009 |  4:00 pm


Now that Somali pirates have attacked a U.S.-flagged ship, it won't be surprising if there is a "get-tough" call in the U.S.

If so, it might be led by retired Marine Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Wilkerson, chief executive of the U.S. Naval Institute.

Soon after the news about the attack became public, Wilkerson e-mailed reporters saying that he found U.S-led efforts at deterring pirates to have failed. U.S. political leaders have to "get off their asses" and wage war on the pirates, like the Marines did against the Barbary pirates in the early 19th century, Wilkerson wrote.

He suggests the U.S. lead a force to find the pirates' hide-outs in Somalia and destroy them.

-- Tony Perry, San Diego

Photo: Somali pirates in Gulf of Aden last year. Credit: U.S. Navy