Friday, March 23, 2012

From containment to reduction

At extraordinary financial cost and amidst never-ending political second-guessing, the "answer" to the problem of the Somalia Pirates has been almost entirely defensive; containment with a little bit of armed resistance (by placing armed contingents aboard some merchant shipping in the region). Both worked, to some extent. Both also failed in that they rarely if ever actually reduced the problem.

Maybe, just maybe, that is about to change:
The European Union has agreed to expand its mission against Somali pirates, by allowing military forces to attack land targets as well as those at sea.

In a two-year extension of its mission, EU defence ministers agreed warships could target boats and fuel dumps.
There are still the usual weak-hand gestures of politicians stating the RoE is "to avoid harming people", though, so how this goes in practice remains to be seen. Blowing up pirate boats and fuel supplies, and placing an effective blockade on pirate vessel departures may be enough to take the profit out of piracy... but the only usually effective answer is to reduce the number of pirates. Whether that happens by disincentive or by demise is of little importance. It wouldn't hurt to cap off interdict and arrest the money-men supplying the pirates either...

So let's call this a step from containment to reduction... a step in the right direction.


Here's Eagle1's take on the same. He started his say late yesterday and updated it to include more about the EU authorization.

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