Tackling Somali piracy ashore: Maritime security and geopolitics in the Indian ocean

  • Holmes J
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Abstract

As high-profile incidents of piracy become more common off Somalia, strategists have taken to urging the US government to send expeditionary forces ashore. The article uses history and Clausewitzian theory to estimate the nature of the threat and the likely efficacy of a land campaign. Even successful operations would entail costs exceeding the value of the political stakes. For this reason alone, going ashore is inadvisable. The article also spotlights the geopolitical implications of counterpiracy, forecasting that an overbearing or botched campaign would damage the US efforts to marshal a maritime coalition in the Indian Ocean region. This further militates against hasty action. R

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