Combat Somali pirates
Somali pirates continue to wreak havoc on commercial shipping off the coast of Africa. There are about 20 ships with more than 300 hundred hostages being held by the pirates for ransom.
Action has to be taken to combat the pirates. Shipping companies should place heavily armed professional guards on ships with shoot to kill orders. All countries with commercial ships traversing the African shipping lanes should provide naval warships to protect shipping and provide convoy escort duty just like they did during World War II. We need slow-moving strafing aircraft located at sea or on land to be available to quickly search out and destroy the pirates in their boats.
If the preceding steps do not work, the impacted countries should sink the pirates' mother ships and consider hitting the pirate havens along the coast of Somalia with aircraft and naval attacks.
Although diplomacy is preferable to military action, the Somali government is too weak to rein in the pirates, and therefore military activities will probably be needed to solve the problem.
Donald A. Moskowitz is a resident of Londonderry, N.H.