On the Origin of Pirates

I write this from a position of relative ignorance on the issue of the Somali pirates, except for that information widely available in the press. However, after reading this article from the New York Times, I felt empowered to make some mildly dubious gratuitous historical comparisons to two periods of piracy along the Chinese coast.

Despite the headline, the article mostly discusses the Obama administration’s efforts to downplay the likelihood of expansive military action, especially raids against pirate bases on shore. However, with both NATO and EU anti-piracy forces in the region, it is clear that more military solutions are being sought. This should not be the only course of action. Piracy, like banditry, is largely a product of economic circumstance and the weakness of local government – these causes must be addressed in addition to military action.

More on the flip. (more…)

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Published in: on April 15, 2009 at 4:03 pm  Comments (1)  
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