Thursday, April 23, 2009

Counter-piracy: Success in the Strait of Malacca

"It dawned on the states that piracy is transnational and nothing that could be handled by one nation alone. The sea doesn’t respect borders.”
Nazery Khalid, senior fellow at the Maritime Institute of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur

As noted in an April 22 Time article, acts of piracy in the Strait of Malacca have dramatically decreased since 2004, when Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore – and later Thailand – embarked on a coordinated effort to patrol the critical waterway that links major Asia-Pacific economies.

More than 50,000 vessels pass through the strait each year, carrying more than one-quarter of the world’s traded goods.

Only two or three piracy attempts – depending on the source – were reported in 2008 in the Strait of Malacca, down from 38 in 2004.

The commitment of the governments of the nations along the strait to address piracy is highlighted by a cooperative approach that includes coordinated patrols and information sharing.

U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) supports its friends and allies in this critical area by promoting information sharing, collective action, and capacity building through frequent maritime security exercises and funding technology initiatives. Contributing to the enhancement of our partners’ maritime security capabilities through such partnership remains a PACOM priority.

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