Horn of Africa

  • Somalia: Beyond the Famine

    Today Somalia is not only the world’s most spectacular case of a failed state—it has, after all, been more than twenty years since the benighted land has had anything resembling a central government—but, thanks to the worst drought in six decades, it is what the United Nations refugee agency has described as the “worst humanitarian disaster” in the world.
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  • Beyond Piracy: Maritime Security and Safety Challenges

    For the last year, piracy in East Africa has captured the world’s attention, as evidenced by the more than a dozen countries’ warships deployed to the Gulf of Aden and the Somali basin. This includes unprecedented out-of-area naval deployments for the European Union, NATO, China, India, Japan, and South Korea. In spite of this, naval action hasn’t reduced the number of pirate attacks this year, which already exceeds 2008 levels. (See this earlier post for more on why navies fail to end piracy .)


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  • Somali Pirates: Al Qaeda's Navy?

    Hollywood's glamorization of the Barbary Pirates over the years blurred the horror of a seaborne plague. Between 1530 and 1789, some 1.5 million European Christians and Jews, and American sailors and travelers, were kidnapped and enslaved in Islamic North Africa.


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  • Tactical Options for Fighting Somali Pirates

    There have been a number of ideas floated regarding options for dealing with the pirate activity around the coast of Somalia.


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  • NATO Foils Pirate Attacks

    NATO Somali Pirates

    NATO forces thwarted two pirate attacks over the weekend. BBC reports that an attempted attack on a Norwegian tanker was "foiled by NATO warships and helicopters after an overnight pursuit in the Gulf of Aden."  Dutch commandos also freed 20 Yemeni fishermen who had been taken hostage, Reuters reports. 


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  • Taking On Somali Piracy

    Sunday's rescue of Richard Phillips, the skipper of the Maersk Alabama, from Somali pirates brought home an old story.


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  • Game Changer in Somalia? Not yet

    The seizure of the M/V Maersk Alabama represents a first in the recent increase in ship hijackings in the vicinity of Somalia. It is the first US-flagged vessel to be seized and its crew are the first Americans to be kidnapped by Somali pirates.  While significant, this does not necessarily make it a problem for the US government to solve.


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  • Somali Pirates Capture U.S. Vessel, World Attention

    Over the past week, there has been a rash of maritime hijackings off the East African coast after what had been something of a lull.  But New Atlanticistreaders were not surprised.


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  • US and Russian Navy Arrest 26 Somali Pirates

     U.S. Navy and Russian warships arrested 26 suspected Somali pirates this week, Andrew Njuguna reports for AP.


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  • The End of Piracy: Can NATO Contribute?

    Now that the piracy crisis centered off the Somali Coast/Gulf of Aden, the Horn of Africa and, to a lesser degree, the West African Coast in the Gulf of Guinea has become big news, the international community, most recently the United Nations, has sprung into action.  The end of piracy draws nigh.  In fact, those Somali pirates are reportedly shaking in their Sperry Topsiders while bending over and kissing their booties goodbye.  OK, perhaps not.


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