How Should the International Community Respond to Piracy at Sea?

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
April 10, 2009
Merchant vessel Al Marjan Following Release From Pirates Off Somali Coast

Piracy is a growing problem for the international community. UN Security Council resolution 1851 expanded the range of actions the international community could take to stem piracy near Somalia and urged for greater coordination between countries and international organizations on the issue.

Regarding the recent attack involving the Maersk ship, Secretary Clinton said, “These people are nothing more than criminals. ...Piracy may be a centuries-old crime, but we are working to bring an appropriate 21st century response.”

How should the international community respond to piracy at sea?

Comments

Comments

andy
|
Illinois, USA
June 25, 2009

Andy in Illinois writes:

The international community should ban together and fight the piracy.

John
|
Greece
June 25, 2009

John in Greece writes:

@ Dr. Drougos in Greece

Best Regards Dr.! I really admire 99% of your TV analysis here in Greece. However, I disagree with some of your points here. Unquestioningly, a healthy debate procedure though?

1. I'm sure that everybody agrees that the U.S. and NATO allies should act against the safehavens of the Somali pirates. Nevertheless, this is exactly what we already do (international western community). And we have to continue this action, until we find a permanent solution for the problem. But, the question is: what the FINAL solution is that won't cost enough/for ever and it will solve the problem once for all. Let's face the truth, America and NATO cannot pay for ever, in order for Russian, Chinese and other non-NATO country vessels -bringing goods to their countries- to enjoy a nice and free of charge Aden pass.

2. QUOTE: by attacking them (port facilities .etc) END QUOTE. Do you think that they use symmetric procedures during their operations? They take a very fast boat from the middle of nowhere and highjack our vessels. Simple as that! No ports, no documents, no authorities, no law, no NOTHING. African coasts, anywhere middle of nowhere/you cannot trace them.

3. QUOTE: ungoverned territories, thus creating further difficulties to engage and destroy them. END OF QUOTE. I think that you already answered yourself the No2p.

4. You know the map better than me Sir.
http://encarta.msn.com/map_701515944/red_sea.html

The problem is called Aden or Somalia just for now. These gangs can move to Eritrea, Yemen, Sudan, even Ethiopia and continue violating any international law.
So, according to my opinion, we have not just to deal with Somali pirates, but pirates in general, in the star of Aden/with the Red Sea.

5. QUOTE: based on precise intelligence END OF QUOTE. I absolutely agree with you, if we could have precise intel in such a difficult field though. The only nation that has invest for decades in Africa intel is America. But, they cannot keep on paying for all the others security. Nevertheless, I would suggest a really BIGGER budget for CIA Aden based operations. After all, they are the only guys with the know-how, history and background work. But, do you think that the international community will ever accept and sponsor such a project? No!

You see, CIA intel is good for keeping the Aden pass safe, but it's the "worst" Service on Earth, when someone is asked to give credit for CIA's existence and vision.

6. QUOTE: train a SOMALILAND Coast Guard END OF QUOTE. (see also 4) You cannot do that successfully, because of one more reason than (parag. 4). The situation there (Africa) is exactly the same with the Drug situation in Bolivia or Peru, Equador, Venezuela. That's why the International Community and DEA cannot reach a final point of solution. Different products (piracy/drugs), however, same methods and crime platform. You hire 100 state local officials to fight drugs and you end up to face this: either dealers change country and remain in business, or they kill 90 of the State employees, or they buy 10000 new soldiers, who keep them remain in the game.

In fact these comments of mine are a "welcome pass" inhere in order to to hear more of you.

Best Regards again!

M Z.
|
Egypt
June 25, 2009

M. Zayed in Egypt writes:

Naval Armadas are not able due to being slow and thin in numbers and the restrictions on official navies..... The solution at the end of the day will be Onboard Security Teams and then later training of the Shipping Industry Seamen in Counter-Piracy Tactics and Methodology.

Then of course, the long term solution as it is with any criminal behaviour across a large group of poverty striken persons is to impliment strong long term presence or support inside Somalia itself, then with these two (2) acts the situation will be greatly reduiced and later on, nearly eliminated...........

Dr M Zayed is an Expert in International Cross Border Relations and has written many white papers on complex subjects. An international Anti Piracy Summit is being organized in Cairo now and Members of the US, other governments, Shipping Companies, Insurance and other key persons and Industry/Government Leaders are invited (to be announced by or before Monday April 20 2009)

M Z.
|
Egypt
June 25, 2009

M. Zayed in Egypt writes:

Phoenix Anti Piracy Unit from the US is Deploying Armed Security Teams on Foreign Ships Since the Past six weeks, and are sponsering with a Governemt, an international Conference on New Anti Piracy Policy in a few weeks next month to bring together the Government Insurance Shipping and Finance and other organizations to a private public partnership discussing the new trend in using private armed security such as used in planes, trains, and other forms of important cargo transport and storage where shipping is no different.Besides Phoenix, many other companies as mentioned by the other posters are ramping up capacity for the new policy shift in the insurance and shipping community.

The solution is Private Security, contracted under CENTCOM CT 151 AFRICOM UN or simply, hired by private shipping companies who are free to do as they please, since recent Legal Opinions are clear that it is quite legal and natural to impliment Onboard Security on High Value Ships Transiting Threatned Waters.

Ole
|
New York, USA
April 17, 2009

Ole in New York writes:

Violence solves nothing? I beg to differ. It DID solve just about everything in Germany and Japan in 1945, as it did in the Balkans in 1999. precisely in order to create a stable and legit Somali government, which by the way United Nations, U.S.A. and their allies have tried to do for some 20 years now, being thwarted more than anything by those very local 'freedom fighters', requires strong international military support. whoever wants a truly stable and prosperous motherland for Somalia, have to get on board with the international community's efforts there, perhaps start some sort of 'Somali awakening' after the likes of Iraqi one. these pirates, even if they do have legitimate complaints about violation of their country's waters by other countries' fishermen, or exploitation of its natural resources, have only increased the problem, essentially furthering the destruction of their nation. The real freedom fighters do not take innocent people hostage and hold them for ransom. Using injustice to justify banditry makes the crime only more despicable. if the former leader of Islamic Courts Union has gotten on board with the international community, becoming Somalia's new president, why the 'pirates' don't do the same, abandoning their violence against the very international community that wants and tries to save their land?

Understand the roots of the problem, we must; but equally so--- use every means necessary to stop the criminal chaos that has gone on for too long. As for possible civilian victims, both among the seamen and local population, we must lay blame for it squarely on the pirates themselves. It is their actions that essentially have made regular Somalis trapped in vicious circle of violence; whereas all we are trying to do , is to stop it and normalize life there. By the way, the same can and should be said about such other conflict zones as Afghanistan or Mexican drug war. There may be a lot of mistakes and neglect committed by world's main powers, when it comes to places like Somalia; just like there surely was injustice in the way Germany was treated in the aftermath of WW2; yet, that doesn't justify pirates' thuggery in the littlest bit, just like it didn't justify the Nazi regime. I think there should be a ground operation, broad as needed-- I believe the reason for the previous operations' failures was lack of scope and determination on U.S. and UN's part, rather than the idea of using military force to back up political settlement, as such. As I said, the blame for the possible victims must be laid squarely at pirates' door; and only after dealing with immediate violence, we may start true political settlement. I actually think, if these thugs-- pirates, Ash-Shabab etc.-- are shown clearly the determination of International community to put a stop to their actions, there will suddenly be much more readiness for settlement on their part.

Donna D.
|
Florida, USA
April 17, 2009

Donna D. in Florida writes:

Follow the money.

Sylvain
|
France
April 17, 2009

Sylvain in France writes:

Blow them out of the water ! there are enough of these pirates!

Sofia
|
Portugal
April 17, 2009

Sofia G. in Portugal writes:

I would like to hear Secretary Clinton comments on a particular issue regarding Somalia,that is, the thousands of displaced people, trapped in a land which is impossible to cultivate and how that affect the population, particularly the women.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/human-tide-of-misery-flee...

Here is an article which that reports the situation I have mentioned above.

Best regards,
Sofia

david
|
California, USA
April 17, 2009

David in California writes:

A suggestion. Why not consider placing on ships traveling through the region armed guards similar to the air marshall program that was (or still is) instituted on airplanes after the incidents of hijackings of airplanes. The program could be administered by an international agency such as the United Nations and would consist of trained military personnel from several countries. The guards could board a ship before entering the region and remain on board until exiting the region. They would be given instructions to repel pirates trying to board the ship. Ship owners would be required to pay a fee for the guards services. While it might be expensive, it probably would be less expensive than having to pay several million dollars to ransom their ships and crews. It also would be less expensive and efficient for the countries currently maintaing naval ships in the area who apparently now cannot within a reasonable time arrive and assist a ship that is dealing with pirates.

Anna
|
District Of Columbia, USA
April 17, 2009

Anna in Washington, DC writes:

@ Donna in FL -- I completely agree with you. Track the money. Where is it going? Terrifying thought. The ransoms are funding more terrorism.

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