Word came today that the European Union forces fighting piracy off Somalia struck ashore at Harardhere.
It was inevitable, of course, that they took the fight ashore. And more pirates ended their travels and trials ashore than at sea; we note this every time we sing about “the shores of Tripoli.”
That said, five vessels blown up on the beach is hardly an effective campaign. And had there not been signs of an emerging renewed centralized government in Somalia, this would not have made much of a difference. It still may not, and just storming the beach is no guarantor of success. Sometimes that leads to success, and sometimes it doesn’t in the long run, but the truth is that showing up in arms doesn’t resolve the issue, stability ashore does. And shooting up the beach is not reason enough to keep raids from going out, only having an alternative to piracy is, which you don’t provide people through threats alone.
There’s some real fear that some of the hostages in pirate hands may pay for this attack and other shore incursions should they come. The bigger fear is that there’s escalation without engagement, and that a solution will be lost by more power flowing clumsily from the barrel of a gun…