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Critics say US should attack Somali pirates' land bases

Is it time to replace bluewater policing with tactics of Jefferson, who defeated the Barbary pirates on land?

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As the US Navy moves additional ships to the Indian Ocean to attempt to free the American captain held hostage by pirates, some are criticizing Washington's tactics and calling for strikes on the Somali pirates' land bases.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the US is sending additional naval vessels to join the USS Bainbridge, which has been in a standoff with the pirates who took an American captain hostage Wednesday. But experts say that an increased US naval presence will not solve the ongoing issue of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the western Indian Ocean, writes The Wall Street Journal.

"I actually think this naval response is not the right thing to be doing at all," said [Peter Chalk, an expert on piracy at the Rand Corp.,] of the presence of the USS Bainbridge, a guided missile destroyer which reached the Maersk Alabama early Thursday morning. "We have ratcheted up the situation."...
"Governments like the US have little choice, given the public pressure and the political pressure," Mr. Chalk said. "I don't think that the naval presence out there has anything to do with the protection of ships. It's been politicized."
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