During the past few decades, pirates increasingly have been operating off the coast of Somalia and each year they seizes dozens of ships without concern for intervention by navies of the world. In the latest episode of bravado, pirates seized a ship from the Ukraine loaded with arms, ammunition, and tanks that was headed for Kenya. The pirates are now sitting at ease in a harbor while naval ships from the United States and Russia sit at anchor watching the scene. The maritime industry is furious at the lazy manner in which navies deal with pirates in sharp contrast to world concern over airline highjacking. Several leading maritime organizations issued a statement claiming, “if civil aircraft were being hijacked on a daily basis, the response of governments would be very different.”
The latest example of inaction is bewildering. A cargo ship laden with dangerous weapons and tanks is sitting in a harbor while US and Russian naval vessels observe the scene. If the weapons and ammunition get to shore and are sold to Islamic groups, thousands will die. There is no excuse for inaction.