28 September 2008

Piracy in the 21st Century

For more than a decade, Somalia has been one of the lawless regions of the planet. One result has been what the Russian TV report below describes as a "renaissance" of international piracy. It's been going on for years, but the audacity of the raid that captured a Ukrainian ship laden with Russian tanks and other weapons has captured the world's attention.

Why is Somalia lawless? Is it because no side can seize and hold power there, or because other forces don't want any one group to hold power? Read the recent history section here and see if you can figure it out.With an "Islamist" faction one of the strongest forces in the country, it's no surprise to find foreign meddling, with Ethiopia likely acting as a proxy for other interests. But no side seems capable, or willing to take the fight to a finish, and that's what Somalia seems to need: the imposition over the whole country of a stable government capable of enforcing laws and suppressing piracy. Any force that impedes this process is guilty, in some sense of the word, of abetting piracy. The United States ought to make its stand clear.


crhymethinc said...

Your link doesn't seem to be working.

crhymethinc said...

Oh Stephen Decataur, where art thou?

Samuel Wilson said...

The link is fixed, and given whose ship this is, we ought to be asking for Stefan Decatovich or someone along those lines to save the day. The last word I heard was that the pirates were scaling down their ransom demands and looking to rendezvous with alleged Islamists who hope remove the more portable weaponry. The tanks seem unlikely to go anywhere.