Do we really want a land war in Somalia?

The reporting has been hyperbolic. “Are they terrorist?” “Are they part of Al Qaeda?” Pirates were never more than Captain Hook until it involved an American ship. It’s horrible. It’s terrible. It needs to be stopped, but let’s not lose sight of things. There are methods already in place to bring pirates to justice. It might be one of the only things that the world seems to agree on. And let’s not forget that these are, in the end, kids trying to make a buck. They are sent out by the ‘kingpins’ on the mainland. I’m not defending them, but if you want to stop the pirates, you need to solve the problem which is the failed state of Somalia.

“The ultimate solution for piracy is on land,” said Vice Adm. William Gortney, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and the Combined Maritime Forces. “Piracy around the world stems from activity where there is lawlessness, lack of governance, economic instability; things of that nature. And wherever you have that, you’re going to have criminal activity at sea,” he said at a Monday briefing.

But, that doesn’t mean we should use brute force. Yes, make sure piracy doesn’t pay. Yes, prosecute pirates. But also, remove the root cause.


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