Talk:Letter of marque

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 Definition A government authorization which allows a private ship to act as a ship of war in naval engagements with the ships of another nation. [d] [e]

Not quite a simple as Paul makes it

Aside from some of the legal and operational considerations I noted briefly, I'm honestly trying to figure out what the private vessel. I'm not convinced that a letter of reprisal would be needed for a ship to arm itself in self-defense; see, I believe, Articles 98-102 of the UN [[Convention on the Law of the Sea.

I can personally support that. I am far less sure, however, what offensive privateer operations could accomplish. The most obvious thing would be the "Q-ship": create attractive targets for the pirates, which in fact are heavily armed, are clearly in international waters, and have permissive rules of engagement to use lethal force on boats that get one warning to stay away -- skiffs do not sail 200 miles from shore. Howard C. Berkowitz 17:29, 17 April 2009 (UTC)