n Conflict Trends - Effectively confronting a regional threat : Somali piracy

Volume 2009, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


The Somali piracy threat is not yet over. Vessels are still being attacked, warships from more than a dozen nations are on station, and some crews are taking alternate routes to avoid the Horn of Africa. But a promising trend is emerging, both in the waters and diplomatically, to confront this maritime crime. In January 2009, of 18 piracy attempts, only three were successful. In 2008, however, Somali pirates achieved considerably better results, boarding about a third of the ships they attacked. The recent positive developments come on the heels of a surge in piracy not seen in generations. Many years from now, the period November 2008 to January 2009 will be remembered as the decisive months in the battle to defeat Somali pirates. What exactly occurred in that period is a lesson in military operations, political initiatives and international partnering.

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