I have previously discussed how effective measures to combat modern day piracy on the high seas won’t come about until the insurance costs get too high. Piracy will continue until the the increase in insurance premiums for getting attacked by pirates exceeds the amount the underwriters will charge if armed guards are placed on board.
This recent post at StrategyPage.com pretty much says the same thing. NATO warships might be tasked with anti-pirate patrol, but they won’t actually shoot anyone for fear of bad press. The pirates know they have a good thing going, and there will be more attacks in the future. The shipping companies aren’t about to place armed guards on board their vessels since the higher premiums they have to pay for pirate insurance is less than what the underwriters will charge for having private troops on the vessels.
I figure one of two things will happen.
The gangs will continue to raid enough ships for them to have a big (in Somalian terms) payday through ransom money, but not enough for it to make sense to actually attack the outlaws. It will be the same-old, same-old for years to come.
More pirate gangs will form to grab a slice of the pie. Either the number of attacked ships passes an economic tipping point, or some undisciplined criminals start slaughtering innocent crew members that they have taken hostage. Eventually NATO starts to clean house, and the number of pirate attacks are reduced for decades afterwards.
It looks to me like more of the same-old, same-old is more likely in the foreseeable future.