Maybe we need to look back in history. After all, Queen Elizabeth I used Sir Francis Drake and other pirates to fight the Spanish rather than doing it directly. And, for hundreds of years, countries with insufficient navies issued letters of marque to private individuals to seize vessels, with or without the ceremonial walking of the plank for defeated adversaries.
An historical note: When Andrew Jackson referred to the pirates of Barataria as "hellish banditti," he was wrong. Jean and Pierre Lafitte had letters of marque from the Republic of Carthagena to legalize their high seas dirty work. And they made a tidy living on the side from smuggling as well.
So, here's my idea. Congress needs to do its part, as well as a bunch of state legislatures. (Kind of like herding cats, you know?) Let's repeal the part of the Constitution that limits issuing letters of marque to the Federal government since they don't seem to be using it, and allow individual states to do so.
Of course, some states may adopt this as a revenue-enhancer much like a few already do with lotteries and legalized gambling. After all, if such examplars of rectitude as Nevada, New Jersey, and Mississippi do it, it must be alright to have that kind of regressive form of taxation!
Think of this. Let's say California or Massachuetts or Texas wants to have a style of spending beyond that which the citizenry can or will support. So the state issues some letters of marque to some unemployed pirates or ninjas, and turn them loose on some country unfriendly to the U.S.A. (Who knows, the Federals may communicate their wishes that this would take place through indirect channels.)
Yes! Imagine the PRNK suddenly beset by ninjas or privateers who are made legit by the state of California! And all our freebooters have to do is give the state a cut of the take! And the U.S. government is in the clear! After all, it's not the Army or the Navy or Air Force being used, its some ragtag bunch that those naughty Californians licensed.
Arrr! Maybe this is an idea to consider! This might also serve as a great way for the gun nuts and the survivalists to drain off their surplus energies and worry the rest of us less by bothering real bad guys more.