No Troops for Somalia

A senior U.S. diplomat has outlined new U.S. efforts to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia.

Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro stated on Wednesday that the United States has no plans to use ground forces to protect commercial shipping in pirate-infested waters off the Somali coast.

The senior U.S. diplomat said “We have not endorsed to use any land base and ground forces to combat the pirates. It’s better to work with security forces of Somalia,” Shapiro added that “We should organize counter-piracy operations exploring expanded military options which do not place under risk our forces.”

Shapiro pointed out that the new U.S. strategy will rely on “non-military” solutions, for example more efficient court procedures to prosecute pirates, greater efforts to trace and freeze financial assets, and a more extensive use of technology to monitor the movements of the pirates.

Currently, the United States is part of a coalition of over 20 countries attempting to combat piracy in the region. As part of the Combined Task Force 151, the international naval task force established in January 2009 to conduct counter-piracy operations off Somali coast, U.S. warships operate in the Gulf of Aden on a rotation basis.

U.S. Navy photograph by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brien Aho

See also:  The US Approach


Mark Lowe, Friday 01 April 2011

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