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Somali Pirate Attacks Point To Need For More Somalia Aid


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Today, Easter Sunday, an after an kidnapping affair that lasted for several days, American sea Captain Richard Phillips was rescued after NAVY Seal Snipers took three precision shots and killed three pirates from Somalia.

Conservative blogs and websites like "HotAir" have unintelligently called for us to go into Somalia "bomb" the pirates, but such saber-rattling will only kill innocent women and children. In other words, "American Machismo" worked to rescue the captain, but it will not work for the resolution of this problem.

In what can be described as a "growth industry" pirating in Somalia is a function of the country's lack of a government, weak economy, little military funding, and lack of financial aid from the World. In order to stop these attacks, the people of Somalia themselves must be helped.

What will work is increasing aide to Somalia and helping them establish a central government but from a distance, not via invasion. Somalia has been without a true central government since 1991, and that country's civil war. (And the United States doesn't need another incursion into that country, or for that matter another situation where American solidiers are killed, which were the events captured in a movie called Black Hawk Down.)

We can't afford to take on the task now. But we can work with the United Nations and other countries impacted by piracy to improve the Somali economy. Somalia is poor. According to the CIA, its' Gross Domestic Product is just over $2 billion, and the average life expectancy is just 47 years old. That's right: 47 years old.

So when the average Somalian hears that a pirate's making as much as a share of $22 million for a heist, that's attractive. Indeed, the BBC reports that Somalian pirates are "living the high life" becoming very wealthy even by American standards in a country that's very poor by the World's standards. So much so is the economy a problem and piracy attractive that recruiting participants has become easier over the years. The monetary spigot has to be shut off in two ways: economic and military, but we can't afford to constantly patrol several hundred thousand square miles of ocean to watch every action a band of pirates might take.

Aid to Somalia must be increased -- dramatically. But for now, I don't expect these attacks to stop, indeed, the lure of money and the culture that's developed around it is too intense to be curbed by America's success at recovering its people, even if the pirate hostage-takers were killed. They will try again, perhaps with some other country's vessel, but they will strike again.

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