15 April 2009

Analysis: US unveils anti-piracy policy

The U.S. Secretary of State has unveiled what is being characterized as a "four point" plan for anti-piracy. Unfortunately, the State Department website has not posted this information yet (04/15/09, 1600 hrs), so we are dependent on news reports for the "points.

BBC lists steps as follows, however these number more than four points:

(1) "...sending an envoy to the Somali donors conference in Brussels on 23 April to work on plans to improve the situation in Somalia..."

(2) "...work with the Contact Group on Piracy Off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) to expand the multinational response to piracy..."

(3) "...states to take responsibility for prosecuting and imprisoning captured pirates..."

(4) "... track and freeze pirate assets..."

(5) "... press authorities within Somalia to take action against pirates operating from bases within their territory..."

(6) "... work with shippers and the insurance industry to address gaps in their self-defence measures..."

It can be noted that all these steps require other parties to do things - this does not appear to be an American plan or policy per se.

Updates (04/16/09)
"Clinton said she has assigned a team of U.S. diplomats to press the Somali government and leaders of Puntland, a semi- autonomous region in Somalia, to take action against the land bases. The U.S. wants 'to know what the Somali government, what tribal leaders, who perhaps would not like to have the international community bearing down on them, would be willing to do to rid their territory of these pirate bases,' she said." (Bloomberg 04/15/09)

The transcript of Clinton's four-point announcement has been released by the state department: Announcement of Counter-Piracy Initiatives (04/15/09). Details are extremely sparse.