Pero en Estados Unidos persiste el fantasma del "Black Hawk down". Según analistas, una intervención en tierra podría desembocar en una alianza entre los piratas y los islamistas radicales de Al Shabaab: los primeros aportan dinero y armas, los segundos tropas y poder en tierra.
The brazen assault made headlines around the world, but it was simply the highest-profile attack in the region of late. More than 70 shipping vessels have been attacked off the coast of Somalia in the past year. Eleven of those ships and 200 crew members are still being held for ransom by rogue Somali pirates.
It's bad news for shippers, but an opportunity for Blackwater Worldwide, the North Carolina-based private military contractor. Last week, the company announced plans to dispatch the MV MacArthur, a 183-foot vessel with a crew of 14 and a helicopter pad, to the Gulf of Aden to provide escort services for ships in need of security.
"Billions of dollars of goods move through the Gulf of Aden each year," said Bill Matthews, executive vice president of Blackwater Worldwide, in a press release. "We have been contacted by ship owners who say they need our help in making sure those goods get to their destination safely. The McArthur can help us accomplish that."
The mercenary outfit--founded by former Navy SEALs in 1997 and heavily involved in U.S. military efforts in Iraq--has tentative plans to build a small fleet of two or three anti-piracy vessels, each able to carry several dozen armed security personnel, according to reports in Lloyds List Maritime. Although the Blackwater vessels will not be armed, the crew will be. Unlike official military personnel, they may have fewer qualms about using those arms against pirates.