Ending Piracy: the Yglesias Plan

I have to say, this proposal for dealing with Somali piracy from Matt Yglesias makes a lot of sense to me:

A different idea would be to go “Anbar Awakening” on the whole
situation. Suppose there were a group of armed Somali possessing
maritime skills and a spirit of derring-do. The international community
could find leaders of these Somalis and provide funds to assist them in
their brave effort to battle the pirates who’ve been plaguing their
community. It’s true that to some this would look like paying
protection money to extortionists. But if you call the protection money
“aid” and call the pirates you’re paying off “former pirates” and call
the process by which the pirates you’re paying try to kill their rivals
“anti-piracy operations” then I think it looks perfectly legitimate to
recruit some former pirates to conduct anti-piracy operations that are
financed by international aid.

This is a less morally tidy approach, but it’d almost certainly be
cheaper. You could call ‘em the Somalia Coast Guard, reach an agreement
with them about fishing rights and so forth, and they’d be national

My guess is that pretty much every plan I've heard for solving piracy, it's got significant flaws, but I've yet to hear anything more likely to succeed.




About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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