Friday, November 28, 2008

Where is the international solution?

Despite a pledge from NATO, a fleet of international ships patrolling the waters in and around the Somali coast, and a new U.N. resolution against the pirates, none of the solutions seem to be ebbing the influx of hijackings. And the pirates are becoming even more daring in their takeovers of some ships.

The U.S. navy declared it is impossible to patrol all 2.5 million miles of sea surrounding Somalia and Yemen. The navy has instead called on the shipping companies to hire private security contractors to protect their ships. 

But according to Cyrus Mody, the head of the International Maritime Bureau, navies are reluctant to seize or detain any pirate ships because they don't know if it is legal.

Three anti-piracy guards (who were supposed to protect the latest chemical tanker that was hijacked today, though they don't carry weapons) were the first three crew members to jump ship. 

But does the reluctance to actually confront and battle the pirates come from the protectors' lack of ability to locate the pirate ships soon enough, or from the fear that the pirates are more than willing to give up their lives for a million dollar ransom?

At what point (when the pirates have hundreds of millions of dollars worth of weapons and artillery? when ships can no longer travel through the Gulf of Aden or surrounding waters? when the pirates begin to travel beyond their surrounding waters?) will international forces actually care about confronting the pirates?

No comments: