Over the Horizon: Piracy, Metrics, and Strategy

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A multinational flotilla of warships has been assembled off the coast of Somalia to do what warships have done for as long as navies have existed: fight pirates. However, the combined efforts of France, Britain, Russia, China, India, the United States, and others have not sufficed to prevent the pirates from targeting ships across the breadth of the Indian Ocean. In much the same way that poorly equipped insurgents are resisting U.S. military efforts in Afghanistan, impoverished Somalis continue to frustrate the great naval powers. Indeed, counterpiracy and counterinsurgency share a common frailty: Both lack good metrics for evaluating success, […]

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