Somali piracy is repeatedly associated with the historical specter of barbary. The world now fears Somalia has taken on its mantle by becoming a safe haven for terrorists wishing to wreak havoc on civilized societies. Western policy towards Somalia focuses on the country's poverty-stricken Islamic population, but are these efforts misdirected? Is an aggressive naval solution to the piracy problem adequate? Is the failure of the Somali state a useful explanation for piracy and will violent Islamism exploit modern piracy for its own ends? Martin Murphy, author of the definitive guide to modern maritime piracy and terrorism, employs his critically-acclaimed approach to review the history, motivation, organization, criminal methods, and operational tactics of Somali piracy, from its initial manifestation in the early-1990s to today. He links their activities and fortunes to the rise and fall of Somalia's political groups; explains how and why violent Islamists operate within Somalia; and outlines the extent to which they may exploit maritime dimensions in the future.
He concludes with a consideration of the various political and military solutions being used to meet these challenges and whether they will resolve them effectively.
Martin Murphy is an internationally recognized expert on piracy and irregular conflict at sea. He is a research fellow at the Center for Foreign Policy Studies, Dalhousie University, and visiting fellow at the Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies, King's College, London. Between 2008 and 2010, he was a senior fellow at the Center forStrategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington, D.C. He is the author of Small Boats, Weak States, Dirty Money: Piracy and Maritime Terrorism in the Modern World, widely recognized as a top academic and naval title.