Patrick O'Brian Discussion Forum

Cooperation is the key to defeating pirates – here’s why


‘PIRATES are notoriously hard to capture. Their actions occur on the shifting, vast expanse of the open oceans. Perpetrators cannot simply be “arrested” by a conventional police force and, even if they are caught, it’s a challenge to prosecute an offender who by their very nature transcends borders. There is no single answer to the problem, particularly given pirates’ different guises and motivations. Yet a study of historical anti-piracy operations, both ancient and recent, does reveal one commonality in the repression of piracy: international cooperation . .

Yet piracy is going nowhere anytime soon. The Gulf of Guinea and the seas of South-East Asia, both areas where valuable maritime trade clashes with lacklustre governance, have superseded East Africa as new “pirate hotspots” where successors to Blackbeard’s brethren continue to put maritime trade to the sword.
New approaches are needed, and the root causes have to be addressed. Yet the core of any successful strategy will always be the same: international cooperation and unity of purpose. The international community must constantly unite against common threats, be they piracy, terrorism, or international crime.


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