President Obama pledged to halt the increasing threat of piracy off the Horn of Africa as he praised the military's successful attempt to rescue Capt. Richard Phillips. "I'm very proud of the efforts of the US military," the president said in his first public remarks on the five-day standoff that ended yesterday with Phillips' release.
"We have to ensure that those who commit acts of piracy are held accountable for their crimes," Obama said. Earlier, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whiteman noted that the shootings could make pirates less inclined to attack ships: "This is a complicated and serious international problem that needs to be addressed broadly," he said. It cannot be "solved entirely from the sea or through military means."