Wednesday, November 19, 2008


The pirate problem, unaddressed, naturally gets worse:

There's a lot of hand-wringing going on right now and eventually action will be required.

And everybody already knows what that action will have to be.

Intercepting pirates on the high seas is a stop gap measure and one very limited in effectiveness. It's better than doing nothing, but is no solution. The ocean is too big.

Since Roman times every maritime nation dealing with piracy has found that the only permanent solution is to clear out the pirate bases. If there's no power strong enough or with enough will to do the messy work then the pirates will flourish. Sooner or later the Somali coast will have to be cleaned up and the pirates suppressed at the source. The best solution would be for local authorities to do this, but it's been a generation since Somalia had a real government and there's slim prospects for any change on that front. So it will have to be the maritime powers, and especially the U.S. Navy doing it.

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