Flying with Pirates: A Somali Solution

Pirates have somehow become an important piece of Solmali’s protection against extremist insurgents who look to take the country over for itself. The consequences if done–no music, soccer and bras. The penalties–a good old head smashing with a rock or a manicure of hand-chopping.

So why does the government need the help of pirates, who have terrorized the area for the past couple decades, costing the government millions if not billions of dollars? Because without the help of already-trained-baddass-sea-fighters the local government’s forces couldn’t defend themselves against the insurgents–groups like Shabab who feed on the fear of a failed central government since 1991.

However, pirates seem to be taking both the local government’s and the extremist group’s sides, most likely staying true to their mantra “we just want the money.” As such this could mean trouble for the government whose money is limited by earning it the old fashioned way of commerce and trade, while extremist insurgents depend on means of immoral and illegal actions for their funding.

What will be interesting is to see which side becomes the strongest first. And it’s a race between the extremist groups, the local government and the pirates. It reminds me of the last game of Risk I played. While it’s the purpose to become the most dominant player on the board, you’re depended on those who may end up your enemy and some who need to stab you in the back to win.

And very much like the game, the real purpose–the people of your society–are absent, leading you to play war with no consequences for losing other than bitterness and, if you have money on the game, a little money.

Written by Devin Katayama

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