This “ghastly thing” is getting more and more ink but making less and less sense. One of the proposals heard at the Dubai anti-piracy conference last week was to hold another inane anti-piracy conference. How’s that for progress?

“Participants to this conference call upon relevant United Nations Offices to hold a conference to address this concern, including thorough identifying specific programmes to alleviate the suffering of victims of piracy,” said the end-of-conference communique.

“In the ‘Final Declaration of the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs high-level Counter-Piracy Conference 2011, co-organised with global ports operator DP World’, the statement called for funding for a UN programme to prosecute pirates, more money for the Somalian transitional government to develop stability, and greater compliance for best practice in the shipping community.

“‘No durable eradication of maritime piracy is possible without a long-term regional and global solution to counter state failure, instability, and other underlying causes of piracy in Somalia,’ the declaration said …”

[Translation: “Boots-on-the-ground.”]

The declaration further stated: “The international community must expand … coordinated training as well as material and financial resources to improve land-based security capacity and livelihoods in Somalia, to deter and prevent piracy …”

[Translation: “Boots-on-the-ground.”]

The declaration also said: “The international community must pursue a comprehensive strategy of support to Somalia, which prioritises assisting the Federal Authority, the regional authorities of Galmedug, Puntland, and Somaliland, in improving security conditions and establishing a system of governance and rule of law …”

[Translation: “Boots-on-the-ground.”]

This is exactly the same kind of “assistance” we’re providing in Libya, right?

The U.S. alone has more than 400 warships in service, but for some unspecified reason those vessels are not being deployed against the Somali pirates and their few dozen skiffs. So where is there a “return-on-investment” from the trillions of dollars Congress allocates to Navy shipbuilding?

Revitalizing our shuttered shipyards and building containerships is a much, much better deal, and those “boots” in question (our kids) would be safely and profitably utilized in shipbuilding trades.