There seems to be no end in sight to the scourge of the maritime link in the global supply chain—PIRACY. This epidemic, which presents an enormous threat to shipping in several of the world’s critical shipping lanes, proceeded relatively unabated for several years after developing steadily since the demise of Somalia and the international community’s retreat following the “black hawk down incident” and related U.S. forces withdrawal. Mariners, vessels, and their cargo are continually at risk off the coast of East Africa and the Indian Ocean and since the attempts to prevent the pirate attacks have been mostly ineffective to date, hostage taking and ransoms have become part of the business model for maritime cargo transport in those areas.
There are potentially successful alternatives to allowing the pirates to have their way. These alternatives involve effective security assessment, careful and precise voyage planning, actionable intelligence analysis, crew readiness training, appropriate utilization of armed security teams, the disestablishment of the shore side piracy logistical and financial infrastructure, and finally and most importantly, the renovation and rebuilding of the failed state of Somalia.
Recorded March 9, 2011.
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