The U.N. International Maritime Organization has been clamouring for greater international involvement since the summer of 2008.
The U.S. Central Command created the Maritime Security Patrol Area in the Gulf of Aden in August. A coalition force of ships and aircraft are patrolling for pirates and terrorists.
U.N. Security Council Resolution 1838, passed in October, calls on interested nations to use their assets to counter piracy along Somalia’s long coastline.
NATO statistics indicate that 10 commercial ships and several hundred crew members are currently being held by pirates, some of whom have told the Associated Press they will not be deterred from stealing the lucrative bounty aboard 20,000 vessels passing through the region each year.
The Navy’s new Cooperative Strategy for the 21st Century calls for mitigating actions against sea-borne threats including piracy. The U.S. Navy has joined coalition forces to deter pirates and give the shipping industry time “to implement self-protection measures, and the international community [time] to establish a legal framework to hold pirates accountable for their actions,” according to Vice Admiral William Gortney.