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April 15th, 2009
11:23 AM ET

An Uphill Battle? Viewer Feedback

Pirates have attacked more than 75 vessels so far this year. 19 of those ended in hijackings. The U-S Navy is leading Combined Task Force 151, which is basically an anti-pirate patrol.
They have several ships in the Gulf of Aden, and farther off the coast of Somalia. The "Navy Times" recently had an article about the bulk of the anti-pirate surveillance effort. It said that unmanned planes are doing most of the surveillance, looking for possible pirate vessels. Helicopters are also being used for surveillance flights.

The U.S. isn't the only country with ships in the region. The Combined Task Force includes ships from Denmark, Turkey and the United Kingdom. But there are also others out there.
The European Union has their own task force, as does NATO.
A total of 16 nations have ships patrolling the region.

Even with all that firepower, the vast expanse of the area is the pirates best cover. The area off the coast of Somalia and Kenya, plus the Gulf of Aden is 1.1 million square miles, or 4 times the size of Texas. The U.S. Navy says it would take about 61 ships to keep pirates under control in the Gulf of Aden alone, and that's just a fraction of the area they need to cover. There are currently between 16 and 30 ships in the region.

What do you think needs to be done to stop the pirate attacks?
More ships?
Diplomatic efforts in Somalia?
Arming civilian ships?

Leave your comments below.

Filed under: Heidi Collins
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Ray

    It would appear with the size of ocean area to patrol there could never be enough ships to protect all the cargo ships going through the area.

    We need to have armed guards aboard all cargo ships and use the new tools like LRAD sound system to ward off attacks.

    While this is in place ... a diplomatic approach must be done to stablize Somalia and get its' people to work rebuilding the country so they don't have to resort to piracy.

    April 29, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  2. ethel

    you people are letting the repuks tear this country apart and doing nothing to stop it..when you have a guest why have two to set there and talk over the other to the point we cannot hear what either is saying it so stupid.....i know people are not listening to cnn anymore because of Lou dobbs and others but i still try to watch you but sometimes i have to turn it off its so dam stupid ..we have a repuk sentate mitch mcconnel that is one step from being a nut job and you never put him down....his wife owns all the plants around here and work only repuks.

    August 12, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  3. Abdul Kamara

    Spread this beacon of democracy.
    It was Germany that tried to rule the world by force, so it did not work. But if the united states allow other nations to join the union after they meet certain criterias, it will lead to a greater America and a greater world. It will prevent the United States from disintegration; like other powers before it. The standard of living of other nations will be elivated to be like the united states. There will be an end to most wars and it will allow us to be more develop, to embark on space discoveries. Moreover, we will be more equipt to face the challanges that come with these discoveries, instead of us wasting time in petty matters that arise from our divisions.

    September 27, 2009 at 7:21 pm |

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