Somali Piracy: Are We Making a Mountain Out of a Molehill?
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Piracy off the coast of Somalia has increased in frequency over the years but the world had paid scant attention until the September 2008 capture of the MV Faina, a Ukrainian freighter with 33 refurbished Russian-made T-72 tanks and millions of dollars worth of other military equipment. In November 2008, the pirates once again surprised the world when they captured the MV Sirius Star, a supertanker with 2 billion barrels of crude oil worth 100 million. Finally, in April 2009 the Maersk Alabama, a U.S.-flagged cargo ship was captured along with 20 Americans. The call for decisive action by the U.S. led to the creation of CTF-151 with 3 U.S. warships as a nucleus around which to build a coalition flotilla comprised of patrolling ships to defeat the Somali pirates. However, piracy is only a symptom of failed state status of Somalia and the patrolling ships have had virtually no impact on the frequency of piracy. This paper will demonstrate that Somali piracy is not significant enough to the U.S. to warrant the current application of scarce naval resources. This paper will also demonstrate the need for commercial shippers to take a more proactive role in the prevention of successful pirate attacks by implementing counter piracy measures allowing the U.S. Navy to recall much needed assets from CTF-151 with minimal adverse impact to the ongoing counter piracy efforts.
- Sociology and Law
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Naval Surface Warfare