This book explores the increase in pirate attacks off the Horn of Africa which is directly linked to continuing insecurity and the absence of the rule of law in war-torn Somalia. The absence of a functioning government in Somalia remains the single greatest challenge to regional security and provides freedom of action for those engaged in piracy along the Somali coast. Some observers also have alleged that the absence of coastal security authorities in Somalia has allowed illegal international fishing and maritime dumping to occur in Somali waters, which in turn has undermined the economic prospects of some Somalis and may be providing economic or political motivation to some groups engaged in piracy. The apparent motive of many active Somali pirate groups is profit, and piracy has proven to be a lucrative activity for many thus far. Beginning in January 2009, the Obama Administration signalled its intention to continue working with U.S. partners in the Contact Group on Somalia and the Contract Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.
Enhanced diplomatic engagement with Somali Transitional Federal Governmental officials and leaders from the semi-autonomous region of Puntland also will be launched with the aim of encouraging local Somalis to take steps to secure regions where pirates currently enjoy safe havens. This book consists of public documents which have been located, gathered, combined, reformatted, and enhanced with a subject index, selectively edited and bound to provide easy access.