Feature

Why Somali pirates are scary

Facing the threat posed by a failed state where pirates thrive

“There is a silver-bullet solution to problems in the troubled waters off the coast of Somalia,” said Charles R. Stith in The Boston Globe. This time, a heroic sea captain—Richard Phillips—a brave crew, and highly skilled Navy SEALs saved the day. But containing the "pirates gone wild" and stabilizing the region will require “a comprehensive policy agenda rather than just stellar police action.”

Really turning things around in Africa, or Afghanistan, or Pakistan, said Thomas Friedman in The New York Times, will require the full force of "U.S. and allied power." In this "age of pirates, nonstate actors, and nation-building," diplomats often fail where "snipers, drones, and generals" succeed.

We learned on Sept. 11, 2001, what can happen when we let a failed state fester, said Ali Soufan in The Wall Street Journal. Like Afghanistan in the days of the Taliban, Somalia is a mess where extremists with ties to al Qaida roam unchecked. If al Qaida pulls off another attack, “there is a strong chance it will be linked to Somalia. This time we’ve been warned.”

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