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Somali Pirates Wreak Havoc


Written by Luca

Although apparently archaic and restricted to 18th century history, maritime piracy plagues the seas once more.  The most dangerous stretch of ocean now lies between India and the Horn of Africa, as Somali pirates ravage the Indian Ocean seizing strategic ships.  The most notable incident occurred only a week ago on September 25th when Somali pirates captured the MV Faina, a Ukrainian ship carrying thirty three Russian T-72 tanks.  The fact that a terrorist cell working out of Somalia can hijack a ship of such strategic importance is frightening. The seizure of T-72 tanks poses serious security questions, because the Somali terrorists can fund future missions by selling the tanks to the highest bidder. Skepticism erupted on the intended final destination of the Russian tanks, because official sources declared that the tanks were intended for the Kenyan military, but other non-official sources assert that the tanks were headed to the Sudanese rebels.  Countless other hijackings have occurred in the past year, in addition to the Ukrainian ship’s seizure.  Somali pirates have had a profound influence on international shipping, and the reemergence of the maritime piracy phenomenon forces shipping companies and ocean navigators to reevaluate travel itineraries.

Effects of Somali Pirates

The seizure of T-72 tanks poses serious security questions, because the Somali terrorists can fund future missions by selling the tanks to the highest bidder

The recent outburst of piracy off the coasts of Somalia has driven Jack Lloyd, the director of the legendary Volvo Ocean Race, to request a sizeable favor from the British navy.  The organizers of the trans-oceanic race just recently added a leg in the itinerary from Cape Town, South Africa to Cochin, India.  This route turns out to cross the treacherous stretch of sea off the coast of Somalia.  Considering the recent surge in piracy, the Volvo Ocean Race organizers requested the assistance of the venerable British navy to supply them with an aircraft carrier.  The threat from maritime piracy is so great that a sailing competition requires the assistance of an aircraft carrier, something absolutely remarkable and unprecedented.  British citizens should be furious with its navy, as granting protection through an aircraft carrier to a private sailing competition is absurd.  British taxpayers should not pay for the security of a sporting event, because the event organizers should either change the itinerary of the regatta to reflect the danger in the region or hire a security team to protect the fleet.  Granting an aircraft carrier to a private organization should not create a precedent, for this would lead to further utilization of the British military for private purposes.  The public should not pay for the enjoyment of the few.  The recent increase in piracy off the Horn of Africa has caused unexpected problems.

International Shipping Harmed

Pirates operating out of Somalia now pose as a significant threat to shipping that sails through the Suez Canal

International shipping has felt the consequences of piracy in the Gulf of Aden.  Pirates operating out of Somalia now pose as a significant threat to shipping that sails through the Suez Canal. This indicates that all shipping from Europe to Asia is severely affected, because cargo ships either face higher insurance premiums for the risk of passing by the Suez Canal or need to change their itinerary and pass by Cape Town, increasing both shipping times and fuel costs.  Therefore international trade will cost more, which will perforce reduce total international trade.  Although Somali pirates appear as a trivial phenomenon at first, it is actually adversely affecting international trade.

The United States has begun sending warships to the beleaguered region, in hopes of reducing the damaging impact of the pirates

The United Nations Security Counsel issued a resolution in June permitting nations to encroach Somali territorial waters in order to fight the aggressive pirates.  The United States has begun sending warships to the beleaguered region, in hopes of reducing the damaging impact of the pirates. American warships could protect vital ships on their passage through the Gulf of Aden, which would reduce the chance of an attack from pirates.  Protecting vessels of importance to international trade with a navy is an appropriate use of a nation’s resources.  Instead of protecting the competitors in the Volvo Ocean Race headed from Cape Town to Cochin, the British navy should dispatch is aircraft carrier to the waters off of Somalia to provide assistance to cargo ships that are in transit.

Negative Effects of Piracy

The resurgence of the maritime piracy phenomenon centered in Somalia creates greater problems than conventionally believed, because while the majority of ships passing through the Suez Canal are not attacked by Somali pirates, they all need to pay a greater insurance premium which raises costs to shipping.  This might seem as a menial detail, but a rise in shipping costs also affects consumers, because products travelling through the Suez Canal will see an increase in price.  Therefore, let the Volvo Ocean Race organizers pay for their own security apparatus, and not rely on the British navy for protection.  Although the Somali pirates are not attacking ships near American shores, today’s globalized economy ensures that the burden of global threats is shared by all countries.


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