Accordingto Bueger, there are two primary aspects from which to view the actionsconducted by the pirates. One is an economic lens that focuses on acost-benefit analysis employed by the pirate who evaluates the relationshipbetween treasure and punishment. The second involves the structuralunderstanding of piracy, seen as a result of structural conditions such as aweak/failed state, lack of economic opportunity, and a dearth of coastalmanagement capability. However, Bueger states this structural approach tends toignore individual analysis which each pirate conducts (Bueger, 2013, pp. 1814).
As Bueger finds deficiencies in both positions, he combines both into what heterms as the “practice of piracy” (Bueger 2013, pp. 1815). A “practice” isa “type of behavior which consists of several elements, interconnected to oneother: forms of bodily activities, forms of mental activities, ‘things’ andtheir use, a background knowledge in the form of understanding, know-how,states of emotion and motivational knowledge” (Bueger 2013, pp. 1815).
- Thesis Statement
- Structure and Outline
- Voice and Grammar
“Activities” include the operationsconducted by the pirates (hijackings, hostage tacking, theft, negotiation,navigation etc.); “Objects” are thephysical tools of the pirate (weapons, navigational systems, vessels etc.); “Know-how” concerns the skills garneredthrough experience of fishing (navigation, operation etc.) as well as throughthe experience of civil war (weapons skills, negotiation etc.) (Bueger, 2013, pp.
1815). Bueger states that pirates had this latter ‘know-how’ due to theiroccupation as fishermen, coupled with the experience of decades of civil war(Bueger, 2013, pp. 1815). Combined intandem with the “Coast Guard narrative” regarding ‘community’, piracy can thusbe seen as a “community of practice”, thus sharing all of the common characterizesof communities (Bueger, 2013, pp. 1816).
Daxeckerand Prins posit that it is a combination of economic and environmentalconditions within Somalia that create a permissive setting for pirates byproviding “safe-havens” (Daxecker and Prins, 2013, pp. 942, 960). Their studyfound that state weakness and its failures provide ripe environments for piracyto flourish (Daxecker and Prins, 2013, pp. 949) in addition to finding that”increased in fisheries production values reduce opportunities for piracy asexpected (Daxecker and Prins, 2013, pp. 950).
Therefore, as fishery productiondecreases, the opportunity for piracy increases (Daxecker and Prins, 2013, pp. 942.960).
Furthermore, their results find that material power, that is hard kineticmilitary power, is able to resist piracy via enforcement mechanisms (Daxeckerand Prins, 2013, pp. 952). Thus, following the collapse of the Somaligovernment in 1991, no monitoring or policing mechanism is operational inSomalia therefor inadvertently provided for a permissible environment forpiracy. Thesemoral and sociopolitical justifications aside, piracy can be seen as economicallyviable and thus a type of industry that provides goods and services to people(Anderson, 2010, pp.
324). According to Roger Middleton, piracy in Somalia “isnow likely to be the second largest generator of money in Somalia, bringing inover $200 million annually” (Alessi and Hanson, 2012, pp. 2). The averageyearly income for a typical Somali is $200 and the average acquired ransom of$4 million USD, rather tempting for those in economic disparity (Nelson andFitch, 2012, pp. 1). Alessi and Hanson note that there is typically a lack ofviolent tactics as part of the pirate attacks because it is in their economic interestto keep hostages alive – one does not get paid for a dead body (Alessi andHanson, 2012, pp.
2). Thelocal economies from which the pirates operate typically have a love-haterelationship with the pirates. According to Bueger, some locals view thepirates as heroes, further enhanced by the ‘Coast Guard narrative’ presentedabove (Bueger, 2013, pp. 1823). The World Bank states that pirates need secureports from which to operate and thus are reliant upon “onshore support thatprovides shelter for returning pirates and access to markets for stolen goodsand for the goods, services, and manpower needed for pirate attacks” (The WorldBank, 2013, pp. xiv)1. AsDaxecker and Prins assert, “Piracy, while implemented at sea, begins and endson land” (Daxecker and Prins, 2013, pp. 943).
However, not all locals are fondof the pirates (Bueger, 2013, pp. 1823). Ofteneither on the pirate’s bankroll or taking bribes (The World Bank, 2013, pp. xv),local authorities and officials also possess a love-hate relationship with thepirates. For other local authorities, “ifnot directly involved, they are willing to look the other way and refrainfrom prosecuting pirates (Alessi and Hanson, 2012, pp. 4). Bueger states thatthe “Coast Guard narrative” is used to “rally support not only among thelocal populations, but also among Somali elites and officials” (Bueger, 2013, pp.
1824). I surmise that for those politicians who are willing to look the otherway that it may be political suicide (and thus they could be out of a job – abig deal in Somalia) for local politicians to go after pirates so long as thepirates provide income to the domestic economy. The people of those towns, evenwhile maintaining this mixed relationships, have (physically) seen economicgrowth. Indeed, as Chalk from The Rand Corporation is quoted as saying,”Pirates have reinvested their profits in coastal communities, so ‘the communities’have a vested interest in supporting piracy” (Alessi and Hanson, 2012, pp.
4). Itis not simply one or two attacks or successful hijackings by pirates whichleads them to support themselves, local communities, and pay off politiciansbut rather over one-thousand attacks over a period of half a decade. Attacksgrew significantly in the period from the ‘first’ attack in 2005 until theperiod of decline in 2011 (The World Bank, 2012, pp. xi)2. Daxeckerand Prins quote IMB as stating that as of 2004 there have been 2,600″incidents” involving pirates (Daxecker and Prins, 2013, pp.
940). Attacks areaimed at a variety of vessels. According to the World Shipping Council, “In2010, 32 liner vessels fast ships with a high deck line were attacked and sixwere hijacked. In 2011, 65 liner vessels were attacked and one was hijacked. Asof spring-2012, eight liner vessels have been attacked and one has beenhijacked” (World Shipping Council, n.d.). Furthermore, according to the WorldShipping Council, what accounts for the increasing range of Somali attacks isthat Somali pirates seized merchant vessels under the guise of a “mother ship”in order to conduct operations further out to sea, “more than 1500 nauticalmiles from Somalia” (World Shipping Council, n.
d.). Over time, and as I surmisedue to greed (i.e. losing their “coast guard”-like veil and opting for money),Somali piracy has migrated from the coast of Somalia to seas such as the IndianOcean (Alessi and Hanson, 2012, pp.
2).1Nelson and Fitch also note this. They state that, “Land bases are vital forpirate operations; pirates exploit the safe haven of Somalia in order to planoperations, solicit donors, and recruit new members” (Nelson and Fitch, 2012, pp.2). 2I utilized the ‘Executive Summary’ for this report. However, the full WorldBank report can be found at: Do, Quy-Toan. 2013.
The pirates of Somalia :ending the threat, rebuilding a nation (English). Washington DC ; World Bank.http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/182671468307148284/The-pirates-of-Somalia-ending-the-threat-rebuilding-a-nation