DIIS Reports / Danish Institute for International Studies 2009:02
Piracy is an old problem which is now again attracting attention, mainly because of the surge of pirate attacks off the coasts of Somalia. In this DIIS Report, Senior Researcher Bjørn Møller demonstrates that closer analysis shows the problem to be of quite modest proportions. The international naval protection of merchant shipping holds out some prospects of containing the problem, but it is most likely to solve itself. If international shipping opts for the route south of Africa, piracy will die out for a lack of targets. Maritime terrorism is, likewise, a problem of very limited proportions. It is often conflated with piracy, but there are significant differences between the two phenomena, the latter being undertaken for selfish reasons, the former for the sake of some higher cause. Whereas it is conceivable that maritime terrorists will gradually transform themselves into pirates, a transformation in the opposite direction is well nigh inconceivable.