Lasting solutions to the problem of piracy must play out on land, analysts say. But that doesn’t mean that the developed world should invade Somalia, as Russia has just proposed:
Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s envoy to NATO, said this week: “It’s up to the European Union, NATO and others to launch a coastal land operation to eliminate the pirates,” adding that this “should be coordinated with Russia.”
Pleas recall that the last time Western troops had a large presence in Somalia, in 1993, 18 Americans and hundreds of Somalis died in a brutal gun battle. And much of the bloodshed in Somalia today is an outgrowth of a brutal Ethiopian occupation. Somalia is not the kind of place you invade lightly, and certainly not just to kill a few pirates. (Hijacked tanker pictured.)
Ending piracy means encouraging Somalis to establish law and order on their own territory, while deterring pirates with naval patrols in international waters. An armed invasion would be counter-productive, by exacerbating the present nationalist insurgency and prolonging the country’s instability.
(Photo: U.S. Navy)
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