US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States
The spate of piracy in the Gulf of Aden drew the attention of the international community for action. It disrupted international trade and affected the economies of East African littoral states. In response, the United Nations Security Council adopted resolutions that authorized nations and the international community with naval capabilities to enter the Gulf of Aden and combat piracy. Consequently, the European Union, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the Combined Maritime Force Coalition led by the United States intervened in the crisis. They employed the diplomatic, informational, military, and economic instruments of power to counter-piracy on that coast. While the international community has claimed success in the Gulf of Aden, piracy surged on the West African coast of the Gulf of Guinea overwhelming states security apparatus. The volatile situation continues to outstrip states maritime security and commerce in West Africa. This study focuses on investigating the elements of the international counter-piracy measures that led to the reduction of piracy in the Gulf of Aden, using a qualitative case study methodology. Lessons learned from these international efforts could form the basis for Gulf of Guinea anti-piracy operations.