Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy

How Do You Eradicate Piracy? Eradicate the Pirates

Washington, D.C. -- In a dramatic rescue operation a week ago, U.S. Navy Seals succeeded in freeing Capt. Richard Phillips from captivity by Somali pirates.

According to Elan Journo, analyst at the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, even though the operation was successful, it did not teach the pirates the appropriate lesson, as evidenced by news of a pirate attack on another American-flagged ship, the Liberty Sun.

“The pirates have not been deterred,” said Mr. Journo, “because we have emboldened them for years through an entrenched policy of passivity and accommodation--and the freeing of Capt. Phillips was unfortunately just one halting step in a better direction.

“What we need--in response to piracy as well as other foreign threats--is an across-the-board reversal in U.S. policy. When, for example, it became clear more than a year ago that the waters off the coast of Somalia are a playground for pirates, the minimum that Washington should have done was to lay down an ultimatum to the pirates to leave Americans alone or else--and lived up to it.

“The substance of that warning: if any American vessel is captured by pirates, we will use military force to destroy every last pirate base in Somalia. When such a threat of retaliation is made fully credible, it can be sufficient to deter would-be aggressors. If any dare test us, then we must unapologetically respond with force.

“When America has once again earned a reputation as a power that none dare cross,” Mr. Journo concluded, “we won’t have to worry about pirates.”

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