Maritime Piracy: Changes in U.S. Law Needed to Combat this Critical National Security Concern

50 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2012  

Daniel L. Pines

Central Intelligence Agency

Date Written: March, 25 2012

Abstract

Many articles have recently been written on maritime piracy. Most of these articles focus on the problem through the prism of the international community and international law. The few articles that view the matter through U.S. eyes tend to examine it as a distant economic or geo-political concern. Yet, for the United States, the true threat posed by piracy is not to our economy or geo-politics; it is to our national security. Just as terrorists exploited aviation hijacking in the 9/11 attacks, a similar terrorist threat looms via piracy. This article therefore seeks to explore the parameters offered by U.S. law to permit the United States to combat this national security problem. It concludes that international and U.S. law offer numerous, wide-ranging authorities for the U.S. government to attack pirates, seize their vessels, and prosecute the offenders under a plethora of charges both in the United States and abroad. Yet much more should to be done if we are to seriously stave off this threat. Changes to U.S. statutes and regulations are desperately needed to allow U.S. vessels to defend themselves from maritime pirates, the U.S. military to capture such marauders, and the U.S. justice system to prosecute such criminals.

Suggested Citation

Pines, Daniel L., Maritime Piracy: Changes in U.S. Law Needed to Combat this Critical National Security Concern (March, 25 2012). Seattle University Law Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2028676

Daniel L. Pines (Contact Author)

Central Intelligence Agency ( email )

Office of Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20505
United States

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