White House Releases Plan for Fighting Sea (Rather Than Internet) Piracy
Posted at 4:30 p.m. on June 20, 2014
Type “piracy” into Google News and you’re more likely to get stories back about people stealing episodes of “Game of Thrones” than you are about the sea scourge that led to the film “Captain Phillips.” Perhaps that’s because, after a resurgence, sea piracy is on the wane, down to its lowest levels since 2006.
Nonetheless, as of Friday, there’s a White House plan for it, and the Department of Defense has a role.
Combating piracy and related maritime crime requires the judicious use of all the tools of national power, including diplomatic, economic, social, military, intelligence, law enforcement, and judicial measures. A decisive and effective response to criminal activity and its perpetrators sends an important message of deterrence but requires coordination among all departments and agencies of the United States Government, as well with international partners. The primary efforts of the United States should focus on preventive actions, interruption of piracy acts, and building maritime security and governance capacity in affected States to hold pirates accountable.
A Counter-Piracy Steering Group, led by the departments of State and Defense, will be charged with implementing the plan.
The Navy and Coast Guard play a role off the Horn of Africa, where they will “prevent suspected pirate vessels from operating, respond to reports of pirate attacks with the objective of disrupting such attacks, and, in appropriate circumstances, terminate the act of piracy and any resultant hostage situation with intent to deliver any surviving pirates ashore for prosecution.”