Disrupting Somali piracy via trust and influence operations
Bair, Robert S.
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This thesis analyzes the piracy problem in East Africa focusing specifically on Somali pirate networks. It provides an historical background of the political unrest in Somalia during the late 1980s and early 1990s and the subsequent government collapse that followed in an attempt to identify the root cause of the piracy problem and facilitate the derivation of solutions based on trust and influence operations. The study then examines the make-up, motivation, and structure of Somali pirate networks to understand how they organize and operate, and how the organizations might be disrupted. The study addresses current anti-piracy efforts and the reasons why they are not effective in preventing and deterring Somali pirates. Alternative solutions based on instilling distrust and suspicion within the groups and undermining the alliances between the pirate groups and their support structures are proposed. The techniques and methods proposed in this study have been used to disrupt criminal organizations in the past and may be effective in combating Somali piracy.
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