Secretary Clinton Announces Counter-Piracy Initiatives

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
April 15, 2009

Secretary Clinton announced steps to counter piracy today at a press availability with Haitian Prime Minister Michele Duvivier Pierre-Louis after their meeting. Secretary Clinton said:"I’d like to take a moment to discuss an issue that affects us all, and that is the scourge of piracy. The attempted capture of the Maersk Alabama and the attack yesterday on the Liberty Sun off the coast of Somalia are just the most recent reminders that we have to act swiftly and decisively to combat this threat. These pirates are criminals. They are armed gangs on the sea. And those plotting attacks must be stopped, and those who have carried them out must be brought to justice.

Last weekend, we were all inspired by the courage and heroism of Captain Phillips and his crew, and by the bravery and skill of the U.S. Navy. These men are examples of the best that America has to offer. And I salute and thank them. But now it falls to us to ensure that others are not put into a similar situation. As I said last week, we may be dealing with a 17th century crime, but we need to bring 21st century solutions to bear.

I want to commend the work that this Department’s anti-piracy task force has already done, along with their counterparts throughout our government. In the past several months, we have seen the passage of a robust United Nations Security Council resolution, a multinational naval deployment, improved judicial cooperation with maritime states and an American-led creation of a 30-plus member International Contact Group to coordinate our efforts.

But we all know more must be done. The State Department is actively engaged with the White House and other agencies in pursuing counter-piracy efforts, both unilaterally and in concert with the international community. This Friday, a steering group that includes State, the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Homeland Security, and the intelligence community, will meet to consider recent events and potential responses.

This week, the State Department is taking four immediate steps as we move forward with a broader counter-piracy strategy. But let me underscore this point: The United States does not make concessions or ransom payments to pirates. What we will do is first send an envoy to attend the international Somali peacekeeping and development meeting scheduled in Brussels. The solution to Somali piracy includes improved Somali capacity to police their own territory. Our envoy will work with other partners to help the Somalis assist us in cracking down on pirate bases and in decreasing incentives for young Somali men to engage in piracy.

Second, I’m calling for immediate meetings with our partners in the International Contact Group on Piracy to develop an expanded multinational response. The response that came to our original request through the Contact Group for nations to contribute naval vessels has turned out to be very successful. But now we need better coordination. This is a huge expanse of ocean, four times the size of Texas, so we have to be able to work together to avoid the pirates. We also need to secure the release of ships currently being held and their crews, and explore tracking and freezing pirate assets.

Third, I’ve tasked a diplomatic team to engage with Somali Government officials from the Transitional Federal Government as well as regional leaders in Puntland. We will press these leaders to take action against pirates operating from bases within their territories.

And fourth, because it is clear that defending against piracy must be the joint responsibility of governments and the shipping industry, I have directed our team to work with shippers and the insurance industry to address gaps in their self-defense measures. So we will be working on these actions as well as continuing to develop a long-term strategy to restore maritime security to the Horn of Africa."



Tennessee, USA
April 15, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

Israel exists and is strong because it TAKES ACTION and does not waste time, money and effort.

Russia exists and is strong again because it TAKES ACTION and does not waste time, money and effort.

Both do what is best and most secure for its citizens, not the International Community.

Why do we bandstand so much? Is it that important that we include the whole class when it only concerns one element which does not include the class at all?

Where is all this money coming from? Is the United States supposed to the worlds corporate police force? It is just more money the U.S. citizen will put out. Let the shipping lines Hire private contractors...and put the responsibility where it belongs.

You already spent more money on them then prosecuting the people who defrauded the American Public and U.S. Government and continue to...

New Jersey, USA
April 15, 2009

Christina in New Jersey writes:

Dear Secretary Clinton,

A. How does our government send an envoy to attend the international Somali peacekeeping and development meeting scheduled in Brussels when they don't have an Established, Stable government???

This isn't very diplomatic but I'm sort of going for "Highly Effective," as evidenced by results: Shoot those pirating bastards out of the water and ask questions later!

My greatest fear is having anyone, foreign or domestic, viewing our gov't leadership as 'weak.' While I agreed we handled our initial hostage situation correctly w/ diplomacy, the pirates have obviously mistaken our generocity for weakness. I mean, seriously, they want to exact REVENGE on us?!? I believe this calls for a slightly more iron-fisted approach.

Anarchy is unacceptable under any circumstances, and must be dealt with in terms that are unequivocably understandable. Our actions must be in harmony with our words. Let our military response speak for itself. These pirates are threatening the very well being of our citizens. This is why we have an army, navy, air force, and marines--not to police other countries or foist democracy on anyone else.

I'm otherwise very pro-Democratic. But when the lives of my fellow Americans are endangered by anarchistic foreigners I'm all for a clear Shock And Awe response of Shoot Now; Ask Questions Later.

Texas, USA
April 15, 2009

James in Texas writes:

The pirates all go to sea in a ship. Then get in small boats and go attack.

Watch the big ships and when a small boat leaves the big ship. wa la blow them up and wait for more. They casnt have that many ships. We have satilites? (of course it is mispelled.) One airplane, one ship, lots of rockets.

This info is free. If you need more, pleaqse feel free to ask.

Pat K.
Texas, USA
April 15, 2009

Pat K. in Texas writes:

Some years back we had an air hi-jacking problem. We implemented the Air Marshall program. It worked. Why not have well armed Sea Marshalls defend the ships with the authority to do whatever is necessary including shooting (killing) the pirates (criminals). Other countries could be encouraged to use a similar program to defend their own ships. It might work.

United States
April 16, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

I saw nothing in Mrs. Clinton's speech that would dissuade a pirate from taking another ship. It seems pirates captured 4 more ships right after the speech was made.

Christina posted what most Americans are thinking -- arm the ship and let the ship's captain decide when to arm the crew and shoot the pirates.

Secretary Gates got it right: "The goal should be larger quantities of well-priced and versatile systems, instead of exquisite machines so costly and complex that they take forever to build and then only in very limited quantities."

We don't need more navy fleets floating around off the coast of Somalia. We need armed ship crews trained to kill pirates. There is no reason why Maritime Academies cannot offer marksmanship training, gun safety, and principles in the use of lethal force.

We don't need more meetings, conferences, studies, white papers, resolutions, etc. The US and other governments might help by limiting the civil liability of ship lines, captains and crew, during the use of deadly force in repelling pirate attacks.

Give the ship's captain an armory of small arms and ammunition to use at their discretion, and piracy will quickly disappear.

California, USA
April 16, 2009

Nancy in California writes:

It would seem to me that it is in the world's best interest, for peace and stability and for the citizens of Somalia to have a Government of some sort installed.

April 16, 2009

Eibhlin in Italy writes:

The effects of piracy are far reaching, and it's unfortunate that yet again people who already have next to nothing will be affected:

The risk to delivering food aid, is a real concern for the millions of hungry in Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, southern Sudan and the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo...

April 16, 2009

John in Greece writes:

@ Abdi in Massachusetts -- QUOTE 2- Hire these kids (pirates) as a Somali Navy and let them protect their ocean. END OF QUOTE. With all the respect, God bless us if we "contribute" this way!

Hello! These "kids" already belong to gangs that they "feed them" with anarchy, super guns, drugs and whatever they want to have in order for Pavlovãs theory to be a reality there and their "actions" harmonized with the local "dictator's" interest.

"Rebels" (their bosses) have millions of already stolen $, local power that you cannot imagine and NO MORALITY or ETHICS at all. For example, if you are a member of the gang, you can rape or have (one way, or another) the most beautiful girl of the "jungle" village. Actually, in any village in Africa. Do you think that these guys are willing to leave their "amenities" and work for a descent 10$/month job against their ex-bosses? Even if they do so, tens of new ones will become NEW PIRATES on a daily basis.

Money cannot always buy everything, especially when the other side is too "expensive".

P.S1. Abdi, with all the respect for your comments (again): it's not their ocean as you write. Oceans belong to Earth. There are no 7 "Seas", but only 1! And the name of this ONE "Ocean" is called HUMANITY & FREEDOM.

2. (I used this very recent entry path -- I changed "frequency" -- to write you back in order to help Blog's web-geo) Otherwise, I will get really "dizzy" (3 similar topics), unfortunately, without even a day for me on an Aden ship board! (LOL)!

Patricia S.
New York, USA
April 16, 2009

Patricia S. in New York writes:

More talk and more money (from the American people) will not solve the problems with the pirates. Let the owners of the merchant ships supply/pay for security service. The U.N. resolution, that SOS Clinton referred to, was not "robust" -- but a bust.


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