Huffington Post puts Somali pirates in context:
So here's where we're going to end up: liberals are going to try to solve the underlying problems that make piracy a valid career choice in Somalia, dumping massive aid and effort into a country that really isn't a country at all. Conservatives are going to want to ramp up the military effort, if necessary eradicating all signs of life on the pirate coast.
Either policy would solve the problem; I'll leave it to you to decide which is more practical because, in all honesty, I don't really have an opinion.
But here's the inevitable thing: we won't adopt one policy or the other. We'll compromise and adopt half of each. We'll beef up our military presence, which the right will like because it sounds tough and gives them lots of macho bully moments to celebrate. (We're currently thumping our chests about the great victory of the USS Bainbridge, an Arleigh Burke-class Aegis destroyer that carries a wide variety of guided missiles and can engage 100 supersonic targets at a time, over a plastic lifeboat manned by three teenagers.) On the other hand, we'll beef up our "humanitarian" aid and nation building effort, which will have the effect of keeping everyone alive without giving them a realistic road to self-sufficiency.
The result will be a perpetually festering Somalia, a state just failed enough to stay out of the headlines but not successful enough to allow us to disengage. This will continue, roughly, forever, becoming another invisible $20 billion a year budget line item that no one really thinks about.
It will also, perhaps not coincidentally, give politicians something to beat each other over the head with. The right will accuse the left of being weak; the left will accuse the right of not caring about starving babies.
How long this policy will last is anyone's guess, but we've had a similarly, obviously unproductive policy in Cuba for 50 years and it's still going strong, so the potential is almost unlimited. Careers will be built; fortunes will be made.