Maritime piracy is an increasingly deadly danger to all that work at sea. It poses danger to the maritime commerce and global economy. This is in addition to limiting the basic right enjoyed by humanity to travel securely and liberally thereby crippling the tourism industry. Maritime piracy is a leading economic and national security threat. It is an onslaught on global economy. This is in consideration that over 80% of international trade is conducted through marine transportation.
Maritime Piracy as Security and Economic Threat
Among the least understood international security danger is the struggle to contain piracy in the Gulf of Aden, Somalia, and the Indian Ocean. Unfortunately, these are not the only fronts where piracy is a menace since it does not affect the daily lives of most people compared to cyber crime or terrorism.
Cargo owners, insurance companies, and shippers are directly affected. The security measures that companies have to put in place increase the cost of shipping. Consequently, the price of goods increases thereby affecting consumers and eventually the economy (Farrell, 2012).
Maritime piracy is increasing becoming a danger to global trade. For the United States, it is actually a national security issue given that pirates are establishing links to international terrorism. Previously, payments have been made to pirates hence expanding their activities and consequently driving up the costs of maritime trade. Pirates have used these funds to support terrorism activities in diverse regions including the Middle East and homegrown terrorism in the US.
Pirates strategically position themselves in routes that disrupt main maritime transportation routes between Asia and Europe. It affects the flow of manufactured goods and commodities along the Horn of Africa. This acts as the strategic trade route that connects maritime commerce between the west and the east at the Gulf of Aden.
In addition to the threat it poses to transportation, it destabilizes the entire maritime sector. The attacks perpetrated by pirates shatter global shipping industry at a time when the sector faces serious economic and financial hurdles (Carafano & Rodeback, 2011).
Combating Maritime Piracy
In essence, piracy is a transnational security and economic issue. As such, it should be countered using a multidimensional approach. The strategy should focus on security, prevention, international relations, and preclusion. The approach has been embraced by Indonesia and Italy.
The vast of the international community including the US has stepped up support for Kenya in combating piracy, and by extension terrorism, along the Kenya and Somali coastline. Indonesia has an exceptional evidence of fighting piracy. The cooperative patrol system adopted by Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia has proved to be effective. The patrols carried out in the Strait of Malacca have proved to be an effective anti-piracy program (Carafano & Rodeback, 2011).
Every country should commit full-fledge efforts in creating awareness regarding piracy. In addition, appropriate measures should be developed to keep seas safe and protect shippers and the industry. The measures taken by the US government should be augmented with the strategies adopted by Indonesia.
This includes combining efforts with enhanced regional and multilateral collaboration with diverse organizations. Unearthing and combating the root cause as deterrence should be prioritized. Dismantling criminal groups is another effective way of combating piracy. This has been proved effective by the Kenya Defense Forces’ dismantling of Al-Shabab terror networks in Somali and their continued stay in Somali and surveillance of the Indian Ocean high seas and the coastline.
It is in the interest of global economy that piracy should be viewed as a leading source of security and economic threat. Since maritime piracy leads to disruption of maritime trade flow, it affects the world as commodity prices increase. It is imperative to enhance the quality of international security commitment to combat piracy. The current trend in international cooperation is encouraging but much more require doing.
Carafano, J. J., & Rodeback, J. (2011). Taking the fight to the pirates: Applying counterterrorist methods to the threat of piracy. Web.
Farrell, L. P. (2012). Piracy: A threat to maritime security and the global economy. Web.