Naval War College Review


John Petrie


Two years ago I was involved in a situation in which more than 20 Vietnamese refugees, including a number of children, apparently lost their lives. at the hands of"pirates. '' Their deaths occurred in international waters in the South China Sea, Had my ship arrived on the scene a few hours earHer, we might have had an opportunity to act on the behalf of the refugees. What we didn't know, though, was what our authority was or the extent to which we could act.