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Pirate Alley: Commanding Task Force 151 Off Somalia

Mar 1, 2013

By RADM Terry McKnight, USN (Ret.) and Michael Hirsh
Naval Institute Press, 2012
272 pages


There have been a number of books and articles dealing with the global security issue of Somali piracy in the Gulf of Aden. Some are merely the observations of academics that specialize in this type of terrorism, and others are heart-wrenching tales told by the victims themselves. But none have been able to address the problem with the candor and professional perspective that RADM Terry McKnight, USN (Ret.) offers in his new book on the subject, Pirate Alley: Commanding Task Force 151 Off Somalia.

In 2009, McKnight took command of CTF 151, the multi-national task force on patrol in the Gulf of Aden. Despite his success in thwarting several hijacking attempts and the capture of 16 pirates, McKnight realized that the problem is much bigger than simply apprehending pirates.

Since his retirement from the Navy, McKnight has focused his attention on developing a comprehensive strategy to prevent piracy. Together with co-author Michael Hirsh he presents an authoritative look at the problem and offers potential solutions to the problem and how best to equip ships traveling through high-risk areas. In conclusion, McKnight and Hirsh point out that the U.S. government must take additional measures to stop the flow of U.S. dollars for ransom payments, the very reason for which piracy exists in the region.

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