US Military May Strike Pirates on Land
In Jefferson's time, US hit land bases
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2009 10:27 AM CDT
Unidentified crew members of the Maersk Alabama are seen on the ship's deck at the port of Mombasa, Kenya, Monday, April 13, 2009, before the cargo ship was taken by pirates.   (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim)
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(Newser) – One way for the US to combat piracy in the Gulf of Aden is to cut it off at the source, targeting Somali pirate land bases. Coupled with economic and food aid for Somalia’s citizens, this plan is the only “silver-bullet solution,” an analyst tells Bloomberg. Such a strategy hearkens back two centuries to Thomas Jefferson’s eradication of the Barbary pirates.

But no anti-piracy efforts will be effective unless Somalia is able to start better governing itself: the poverty and lack of a strong government are key causes of marauding in the first place. Some have called for increased patrols in pirate-infested waters, but their sheer size makes that difficult. The Obama administration has also recommended security upgrades for ships.