With the current hostage situation caused by Somalian Pirates, Obama has to make a choice.
Allow the pirates to continue to hold the Captain of the ship as a shield and bargaining tool.
If President Barack Obama allows this situation to continue as it is now, the pirates will grow bolder and continue to fire on the US ships and crew as they attempt to show there power over the situation. This will escalate until they either have there demands met or they execute the Captain and attempt to elude the Navy to escape. They may wait to make there escape late into the night with a hope that the cover of dark may help them to break away. The other possibility is that other pirates may attempt to join with the group that is currently holding the Captain, Richard Phillips. This could add more volatility to the current situation.
The President risks looking week and passive if this is allowed to continue in its current manner. The US has had a policy in place for years that is a no negotiations line, and this should not be moved away from.
President Obama's other option is to order a surgical strike to be made. The cost of this may well be human life. Not just the life of the pirates but also that of Navy crew men and even the Captain of the Maersk Alabama, but it will send a clear message to the pirates of the Somalian coast that US flagged ships are not a good target. For this to be truly effective all members of the pirate party need to be killed in the raid and the return of those bodies needs to be highly public.
All nations need to join in and make this a standard no negotiation policy.
The presence of the the US ships has not acted as a deterrent to the pirates.
They have not slowed or even caused the pirates to wait for the US to leave there waters.
The pirates have seized another ship now. They are holding the 16 person crew made up mostly by Italians as hostages. The tugboat is Italian-flagged.
The French made a move Friday when they sent in the French Navy and stormed a hijacked yacht. In the end they took back the yacht, but it cost the life of one of the hostages that was being held by the pirates.
Somali has not had a functioning government since 1991.
According to FoxNews Somali Pirate attacks in and around the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia have more than doubled from 2007 to 2008 and raked in $25 million to $30 million last year alone.
Obama remains silent on the standoff with the pirates, so far.