Navies Must Band Together to Fight Piracy: Experts

To beat back bandits, navies need cohesive international strategy
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2009 2:19 PM CDT
Japan dispatched the two destroyers, which are carrying two SH-60K patrol helicopters and two speedboats, to Somali waters to join an international anti-piracy mission.   (AP Photo/Kyodo News, Sadayuki Goto)
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(Newser) – If EU and NATO leaders are serious about ending Somali piracy, they need to develop a coordinated strategy, say experts. Patrolling the high seas and protecting merchant ships has long been an individual effort among states, Time reports, but with piracy on a precipitous rise—there have already been 65 high-seas abductions this year—world leaders need to create a cohesive anti-piracy operation.

Though NATO has redoubled patrols off the Horn of Africa and Europe’s Operation Atalanta has deployed naval strength to the region, militaries seem willing to engage pirates only when their own citizens are threatened. “The two separate missions won't cooperate as they should,” one research fellow wrote in Foreign Policy. “They will needlessly duplicate already expensive efforts, and the resulting disarray might even give pirates the upper hand.”