A NEW REPORT BY THE U.S. FIFTH FLEET COMMANDER AND THE INTERNATIONAL MARITIME BUREAU INDICATES A GEOGRAPHIC SHIFT IN PIRACY PATTERNS
Photo: U.S. Navy
The shift doesn't appear to be a change in patterns to something previously unseen so much as a return to an older pattern. The focus of the pirate effort changed with the arrival of multinational anti piracy naval forces off of the coast of Somalia . In response to the naval forces patrolling their former happy hunting ground near the coast the pirates moved offshore and eventually the naval forces followed. So now naturally the pirates have resumed old patterns in more near shore waters but depredations continue off shore. The pirates are splitting the naval forces, which will eventually require a larger force. A peaceful resolution of the piracy problem off of Somalia won't be coming anytime soon, especially with the multi- national force so often being forced to play a "catch and release" game with the pirates due to modern day aversion to trying pirates by naval authority and hanging the guilty from the yard arm. The modern world wants them to have a trial in a real courtroom with a real judge but few courts want to clutter their docket such cases involving real crime but rarely a witness and even more rarely a witness within the jurisdiction of the court.
This re-emergence of older patterns of piracy and increased activity off of Somalia points out that reports of several months ago predicting a slackening of pirate efforts in the region was the result of projecting some wishful thinking onto some short term data. We think now is a good a tome to reexamine the situation in Somalia. We were going to do a blog post on developments in Somalia but discovered that someone more knowledgeable ( well, maybe not more knowledgeable than Namazu, but certainly more so than the rest of the staff here) had already done so. For detailed and skilled analysis on piracy and related developments in Somalia go to: Choke Point Challenge
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