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Piracy News & Commentary

Private Security for Commercial Shipping

The issue of responsibility for the protection of commercial shipping in pirate waters has been much debated recently, particularly with the rise of Somali piracy. Until the mid-nineteenth century, responsibility was divided between navies and merchant vessels. Navies did what they could, patrolling pirate waters and occasionally raiding pirate strongholds, but the sea is  Read More 
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Fear of Consequences

Although the US Navy inspected the boats of departing pirates after a ransom was recently paid to free the arms vessel MV Faina, it took no action against the pirates. (The boats were inspected in order to ensure that no arms from the vessel's cargo were being transported ashore.) The Associated Press quotes a spokesperson for the  Read More 
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Tactical Adaptation

It is a fact of war--and of life in general--that tactics inspire countermeasures, which in turn inspire the improvement of tactics, and even new tactics. The principal military response to the Somali pirates has been an increase in naval patrols, and which has initially been successful in reducing the number  Read More 
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Piracy versus Terrorism Part 2

On January 28, the New York Times published "Backgrounder: Combating Maritime Piracy" by Stephanie Hanson. The following is an expanded version of a letter to the editor I wrote in response, but which was not published.

The article points out correctly that experts (a word much  Read More 
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