To the shores of Somalia

The reign of Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean may be at an end. All it took was for the civilized world to start fighting back:

The empty whiskey bottles and overturned, sand-filled skiffs littering this once-bustling shoreline are signs the heyday of Somali piracy may be over. Most of the prostitutes are gone and the luxury cars repossessed. Pirates while away their hours playing cards or catching lobsters. . .

Armed guards aboard cargo ships and an international naval armada that carries out onshore raids have put a huge dent in piracy and might even be ending the scourge.

While experts say it’s too early to declare victory, the numbers are startling: In 2010, pirates seized 47 vessels. This year they’ve taken five. . .

“We have witnessed a significant drop in attacks in recent months. The stats speak for themselves,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jacqueline Sherriff, a spokeswoman for the European Union Naval Force.

Sherriff attributes the plunge in hijackings mostly to international military efforts — European, American, Chinese, Indian, Russian — that have improved over time. In May, after receiving an expanded mandate, the EU Naval Force destroyed pirate weapons, equipment and fuel on land. Japanese aircraft fly over the shoreline to relay pirate activity to nearby warships.

I found it quite astonishing that people thought the best way to deal with piracy was to keep paying them off. (“Fighting pirates is dangerous!” Not fighting them is more dangerous.) A lot of people are just stupid I guess.

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