Asymmetrical warfare was a term that I heard used by my pal Mark Manning when he was serving as a surgeon in the United States Air Force during Desert Storm back in the 1990's. Manning a medical man understood that the powerful nations could be weakened by terrorists - 'Hickey, the guys with Molotov cocktails can take out a multi-million dollar tank like the Afghans did to the Russians. You have all these million dollar weapons systems and talented people operating them and a clown with pistol can sneak aboard an aircraft carrier and sink it. That's asymmetrical warfare Pal-ey.'
How do nations fight asymmetrical wars? The Associated Press wants all of us to know that we can not and they went to all the right people to confirm this.
Despite America's technical and firepower edge, there is too much ocean to cover, and too many commercial vessels to protect, for full-time patrols or escorts for threatened ships.
U.S. legal authority is limited, too, even in the Maersk Alabama's case of American hostages and a cargo of donated American food. Somali pirates, emboldened by fat ransoms, have little reason to fear capture.
"The military component here is always going to be marginal," said Peter Chalk, an expert on maritime national security at the private Rand Corp.
According to the Navy, it would take 61 ships to control the shipping route in the Gulf of Aden, which is just a fraction of the 1.1 million square miles where the pirates have operated. A U.S.-backed international anti-piracy coalition currently has 12 to 16 ships patrolling the region at any one time.
The Alabama was first American Flag vessel taken by pirates since 1804. There is a reason for that - American will.
I asked Major Manning, M.D. U.S.A.F. (ret.),' how do you fight such a war?'
The same way you fought bullies who jumped you on the way to school. You go back and teach them a lesson.
James Brown, the God Father of Soul, offered this analysis of Asymmetrical Warfare -
Took my money, you got my honey
Don't want me to see what you doing to me
I got to get back I gotta deal with you!! (4xs) Hey let me tell ya!!
Get down with my woman, that ain't right! You hollarin' and cussin', you wanna
Don't do me no darn favor,
I don't know karate, but I know KA-RAZY!!!! (yes we do!!)