Friday, April 10, 2009
Pirate Week Continues
My contribution to the New York Times forum Capture Pirates on Land and Sea
Some of my colleagues' thoughts as well:
****Derek Reveron discusses the situation with John Munson (NPR)
***Chris Jasparro on piracy and governance
It seems to me that the problem runs a bit deeper than that.
We're discussing methods not approaches to the problem.
The current approach is deterrence based.
Now, some pirates die but others become rich. Deterrence isn't working.
You propose bribery in the way of a Somali proto-Coast Guard financed by the International Community or the UN.
The problem is that there is no central government in Somalia who can organise this effort - I agree that if we stopped clinging to the 'One Somalia' principle things might be easier but the African Union will never agree to that.
The approach needs to change.
I think neither the deterrence nor your Proxy approach will suffice.
I imagine that a low-level conflict approach should be the way forward.
Destroyers are inadequate for this kind of conflict.
A proxy coast-guard could work, but even if your plan were to be adopted it'd take years for it to be implemented.
I suggest this:
An ad hoc international and regional force consisting of military transport aircraft and a few battalions of marines stationed in the Suez, Socotra, the Maldives and the Seychelles.
These would board vulnerable vessels at either end and serve as patrol teams.
Boarding ships on one end and the other for the trip back.
A similar solution was adopted in the Malacca strait and dramatically reduced pirate attacks.