Stopping Stateless Pirates

The plague of piracy menacing shipping off the coast of Africa has set off a search for creative solutions. Various navies have mobilized warships to ward off the pirates. Blackwater has offered its services, which is an offer, as I have previously argued, that shipping lines should take up. Seth Cropsey, a former Defense Department official, suggests in this Weekly Standard article that all those responses are inadequate. He argues we need to hit the pirates where they live:

The Russians have suggested attacking such pirate bases as Eyl in the northern Puntland region of Somalia. The idea deserves serious consideration. Naval patrols can reduce piracy, but they cannot stop it. So long as the risk of serious punishment is low and the ransoms that shipping companies pay are high, piracy will thrive and multiply.

In support of this idea he draws a parallel to the Barbary Wars of the early 19th century, when the nascent U.S. Navy helped to stamp out piracy emanating from North Africa. This involved landing marines on “the shores of Tripoli” and sailing American warships into the harbors of the Barbary states.

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Stopping Stateless Pirates

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