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Pentagon Official Urges Broad Approach to Piracy

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12, 2008 – The United States has submitted to the United Nations Security Council a draft resolution that reportedly seeks to allow forces to pursue Somalia-based pirates onto Somali turf.

But Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman today emphasized that addressing piracy in the region -- where more than 60 ships reportedly have been attacked this year -- requires more than a military response.

“I think there are many that are seeking a simple military solution, or solely a military solution, to address the piracy issue,” he said. “And I think we need a more comprehensive look at this.

“While there may be a military component, this is an issue that has to be addressed more broadly,” Whitman said, adding that representatives of diplomacy, industry and law also could play roles in a response.

Whitman said the military is assessing how it can contribute in dealing with piracy.

“As the United States military, we are looking at the full range of options that might be available to the commander in chief to address these kinds of things,” he said.

The resolution reportedly will be discussed next week during a meeting of the 15-nation U.N. Security Council.

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