Yesterday, Somali pirates seized a Saudi Arabian oil supertanker, carrying about two million barrels of oil. It is a tangible demonstration of just how insecure marine traffic in some parts of the world has become. According to the Associated Press, “piracy is considered the most lucrative work in Somalia.” It is estimated that pirates have taken in $30 million in ransoms this year.
As discussed here before, piracy is a growing challenge for private shipping firms and the world’s navies. In the end, maritime insecurity derives from the lack of security on land. Pirates need means to acquire arms and recruits, as well as means to collect and launder ransoms and sell stolen goods. In the end, it is just another reason for which failed and failing states are of global concern.