Tuesday, April 29, 2008
The Politics of Fighting Piracy
As promised, a UN draft resolution has been sent to the Security Council by France and the US, also sponsored by Great Britain and Panama, that would give foreign vessels a role in actively thwarting piracy off the Somali coast. This would include boarding, searching, seizures, arrests and, I assume, permission to engage in military interdiction and combat-type operations.
The resolution still must pass a majority vote of the security council, which won't be easy. I think there are more than a few countries who will think twice about giving foreign governments permission to violate their sovereignty.
But it's really a moot point anyway. Ships and their crews are their own country at sea and as such have a right and obligation to defend themselves against piracy by any means possible. Vessels transiting between the Somalia and Yemen coasts should simply announce that the slightest provocation, intrusion or threat from any vessel, no matter how large or small, will be met with deadly force.
The resolution, if passed, will give countries a chance to act pro-actively against terrorism and piracy in the area, set up patrols, etc.
As usual, countries like the US, France, and the UK will be footing the bill for these patrols.