The East African nation of Somalia has seen some turbulence over the past quarter century, and recent years have been no exception. In the middle of a massive civil war, Islamic extremists are using piracy to finance their war for control of the nation. In September, the became an international stir when some of the pirates seized control of a Ukrainian ship carrying Soviet weaponry, including tanks and shells.
NATO responded with a US led coalition of several international warships to Somali waters. Even the Russians have a warship en route to the area. The coalition was hoping presence alone would deter the pirates, but several more attacks have come since September.
Using a strategy of proactive defense, 5 additional attacks have been thwarted Tuesday. It seems like the threat of pirate raids in Somali waters is diminishing, but $18-30 million dollars of ransom money is known to be used to finance the bloodshed.
Besides the glorious title of “defender of the world”, why would NATO and the US be so involved in Somalia after we’ve had so much failure their in the 90’s? It turns out the US is very much involved in the Somali conflict. Apparently US forces have been involved in the fighting since 2003, and are likely still maintaining stability in the region today.
I thought that after the failed efforts of the early nineties, our government would realize that foreign intervention would not work. It seems that no-one really gets this, but there must be a greater reason for Ethiopia and the rest of the world to be so interested in the outcome.
Obviously Somalia is a poor nation with a low GDP and what not, but clearly the US and others have more invested than their image. It would be nice though, to see the cargo ship owners spend for their own pirate defense, rather then have the international taxpayer front the bill.