Somalia, the New Barbary?: Piracy and Islam in the Horn of Africa [NOOK Book]

Overview

Somali piracy is repeatedly associated with the historical specter of Barbary. Indeed, piracy off the Horn of Africa has matched the spread of conflict and chaos that allow criminal elites to assume power. The world now fears Somalia has become too much of a safe haven for terrorists who wish to wreck havoc on the developed world. Western policy towards Somalia focuses solely on the country's poverty-stricken Islamic population, which, with its proximity to the Arabian peninsula, seems to be a hotbed of Islamic ...

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Somalia, the New Barbary?: Piracy and Islam in the Horn of Africa

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Overview

Somali piracy is repeatedly associated with the historical specter of Barbary. Indeed, piracy off the Horn of Africa has matched the spread of conflict and chaos that allow criminal elites to assume power. The world now fears Somalia has become too much of a safe haven for terrorists who wish to wreck havoc on the developed world. Western policy towards Somalia focuses solely on the country's poverty-stricken Islamic population, which, with its proximity to the Arabian peninsula, seems to be a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism, and ripe for Islamist exploitation.

Martin Murphy, author of the difinitive guide to modern maritime piracy and terrorism, examines whether state failure is a useful and accurate explanation for Somali piracy and whether violent Islamism might exploit modern piracy for its own gain. Murphy employs his critically-acclaimed approach to review the history, motivation, organization, criminal methods, and operational tactics of Somali piracy from its initial manifestation in the mid-1990s to today. He links their activities and fortunes to the rise and fall of Somalia's political groups; explains how and why violent Islamists operate within Somalia; and follows the extent to which they might exploit maritime dimensions in the future. In conclusion, Murphy considers whether the various political and military solutions being used to meet these challenges will effectively resolve them.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Review of Books
A serviceable version of recent Somali history and how it has given rise to piracy.

— Jeffrey Gettleman

Naval Institute Proceedings
Murphy provides a fresh study with cogent arguments directly relevant to the current international approach to the problem.

— Commander John Patch, U.S. Navy (Retired)

The Washington Times
An invaluable and authoritative account of how Somali piracy has become such an entrenched and growing security threat to the international maritime vessels transiting those dangerous seas.

— Joshua Sinai

Naval War College Review
Somalia, the New Barbary? thus takes the reader beyond the breakers, which may be all of Somalia that most analysts of the current maritime scene have examined, and returns us to essential questions on the water. It is an experience every reader with an interest in matters that impel naval operations ought to embrace.

— Charles N. Dragonette

Military Review

Somalia is illuminating reading for those who are curious about the complexities that contributed to the Somali piracy issue.

Proceedings

A Notable Naval Book of 2011

J. Peter Pham

Somalia: The New Barbary? is the first book to comprehensively study Somali piracy within the unique cultural, historical, political, and economic context from which the phenomenon arose in the twenty-first century. Martin Murphy brings both nuance and insight to bear on this important security concern, but does so in a manner accessible to the general reader. Highly recommended.

Rudy Atallah

Martin Murphy outlines a clear history of not only the Somalia piracy problem but also the wider issues of terrorist and insurgent infiltration. He provides in-depth insight that makes his book a must read for anyone interested in this complex topic.

Rear Admiral - Terry McKnight
Martin Murphy does a masterful job capturing the history of piracy, explaining the current threat and making some brilliant recommendations on how to prevent pirates from getting the upper hand in the years ahead. This book should be at the top of the reading list for every well educated naval officer.
Michael Weinstein

In this comprehensive, objective, well-documented, and well-organized study of Somali piracy, Martin Murphy cuts a clear path through the thicket of one-sided analysis and narrow policy positions surrounding his subject. Murphy's book should be read by everyone who wants a firm and reliable basis for understanding piracy and the possible responses to it.

Ioan Lewis

This is the first serious, authoritative study of Somali piracy, which I read with keen interest and agreement; it illuminates a fascinating topic.

New York Review of Books - Jeffrey Gettleman

A serviceable version of recent Somali history and how it has given rise to piracy.

Naval Institute Proceedings - Commander John Patch

Murphy provides a fresh study with cogent arguments directly relevant to the current international approach to the problem.

The Washington Times - Joshua Sinai

An invaluable and authoritative account of how Somali piracy has become such an entrenched and growing security threat to the international maritime vessels transiting those dangerous seas.

Naval War College Review - Charles N. Dragonette

Somalia, the New Barbary? thus takes the reader beyond the breakers, which may be all of Somalia that most analysts of the current maritime scene have examined, and returns us to essential questions on the water. It is an experience every reader with an interest in matters that impel naval operations ought to embrace.

RA DM Terry McKnight

Martin Murphy does a masterful job capturing the history of piracy, explaining the current threat and making some brilliant recommendations on how to prevent pirates from getting the upper hand in the years ahead. This book should be at the top of the reading list for every well educated naval officer.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231800501
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 2/20/2011
  • Series: Columbia/Hurst Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 929,731
  • File size: 609 KB

Meet the Author

Martin Murphy is a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) in Washington, D.C., where he specializes in maritime irregular warfare. The inaugural research fellow at the Corbett Center for Maritime Policy Studies, King's College, University of London, he is the author of Small Boats, Weak States, Dirty Money: Piracy and Maritime Terrorism in the Modern World.

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