What restraints, historically, have been seen as working against curbing the activities of pirates? Why wasn’t piracy addressed sooner? Looking at figures from the International Maritime Organization, in 2006 there were 10 recorded pirate attacks off Somalia. In 2007 there were 31, in 2008 there were 111, and as of mid-June 2009, there have been 114. Ten attacks are not going to attract attention. When you get 111 attacks, people start paying a lot of attention. Capturing a Ukrainian vessel full of tanks, ammunition, and small arms destined for southern Sudan attracts enormous attention. A super tanker loaded with oil for the US results in even more interest. When an American freighter with an American crew and captain on board are kidnapped, you really rock the meter. The only thing that gets international attention is when international interests become adversely impacted. So long as it’s just a horrible situation on the ground in Somalia, there is little interest.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
I was extensively interviewed by Lorna Tychostup for her piece "Fishermen & the Failed State" in the Hudson Valley-based Chronogram Magazine. Here is one of the 17 questions she asked: