It is increasingly clear that naval power is not going to stop the spread of piracy anytime soon. Take the case of the waters off Somalia. No fewer than three dozen ships from three powerful multinational forces patrol the coast: the EU's Operation Atalanta, the U.S.-coordinated Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, and NATO's Operation Allied Protector, plus independent flotillas from China, France, India, Malaysia, and Russia, among others. Despite this unprecedented mobilization, the number of attacks by Somali pirates this year already exceeds the total number recorded last year.David Axe says that merchant crew are gaining the upper hand in the piracy fight:
Commodore Steve Chick, senior officer of a five-ship NATO counter-piracy task force patrolling the Gulf of Aden, recalls flying across the Gulf of Aden in his Lynx helicopter to survey ships’ defenses. He saw ships with barbed wire on their railings, with access ladders cut or raised, and with fire hoses primed to shoot down any boarders. These tricks, combined with improved security on land and the presence of some 40 warships in East Africa waters, have turned the tide in the “global war on piracy.”Pirates stopped? Not without taking away safe havens like Somalia... but contained? You betcha.