Career Vacancy: Pirate Cultural Advisor
To provide the Operation Commander (OpCdr) and OHQ staff with pirate cultural and religious advice and in particular to advise on pirate trends and weaknesses, including their perceived role in Somalia.
Military or ex-military who has worked with the CP [counter-piracy] Forces and/or other parties involved in CP (industry/insurers/negotiators).
Security Clearance: EU Secret
"The job title may sound ambiguous," Commander Harry Harrison, a spokesman for EUNAVFOR, subsequently admitted in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph. Ambiguous, certainly, but also bordering on nonsensical. According to the above job description, a knowledge of the pirates' "cultural and religious" proclivities would be an asset to the potential applicant. If there is a religion that sets pirates apart from the rest of the Somali population, it is unknown to me (though they do, admittedly, hold an unorthodox interpretation of the Koran's injunctions against theft).
"Cmdr. Harrison," the Telegraph reported, "said NAVFOR might also be interested in Somali applicants with detailed knowledge of the country and its clans." How many Somalis, particularly those moving in pirate circles, have military backgrounds (I'm guessing that the EU does not credit time served in clan militias), let alone experience working with the counter-piracy forces? It would not surprise me if not one qualified candidate exists; those who submit CVs are likely to be either foreign blowhards or local con artists.
On one hand, this could be a good indication, a sign that the European Union has become aware that something more than raw military force is needed in solving the problem of Somali piracy. More likely, a diktat has come down from high-ranking apparatchiks to make the piracy mission more "locally owned," "consultative," or whichever other buzz-word-of-the-moment is making the rounds at the top levels of EU leadership. One quick, incoherent press release later, and it's back to blowing pirates out of the water.