The Counter-Piracy JIATF: Getting AFRICOM into the Piracy Fight
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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The growing importance of maritime trade travelling through the Horn of Africa HOA region highlights the impact that disruptions, such as those caused by piracy, have on global commerce. Most piracy experts agree that nations ignore the piracy threat at their own peril. Established as the newest U.S. Combatant Command in October 2008, AFRICOM is a positive sign that the U.S. government recognizes the importance of addressing issues on the continent. This command, however, has not yet issued coherent counter-piracy policy. This is in spite of solid national-level guidance and numerous examples of successful international accords to help build theater-level strategy. Although recent U.S. and international counter-piracy efforts are a good start, they do not form a long-term solution. This long-term solution must address societal root causes of piracy found on land, and ultimately blend all aspects of U.S. national power, such as diplomacy and economic policy, with the considerable capability of the military. Although the Defense Department enjoys an immense advantage over other USG agencies in areas such as personnel strength and operational budget, it does not specialize in many areas applicable to the piracy fight. The nature of the HOA piracy problem suggests that AFRICOM establish a dedicated joint interagency task force JIATF as the most effective way to operationalize national level strategy.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics