Understanding the reasons for piracy is very important. It's something that happens anywhere when there are desperate people and no rule
of law. It's astonishing how often those items coexist. That said, the coastal areas of Africa
and the Middle East have a long tradition of fishing both for fish
and anything else one can overpower. Piracy has been a significant threat in those areas since time out of mind and though the US can be an obnoxious boor at times (I can say that cause I am one) we didn't cause it. At least these days they aren't chaining captured slaves to the oars of their galleys as a propulsion
system. Fortunately, we've got the tools to fix it these days because we've got the technology to find any ship they take really quickly. You just need to have the will to fight harder than the pirates.
The solution is simple and it was known and acted on for eons. When a pirate takes a ship from any country, you track it down. Then you retake, burn or sink it and any pirates with it. Loss of cargo and hostages is less of a concern than making sure that the pirates are exterminated. You don't try them or hand them over to their goverments. You kill them on the spot after you get what info you can out of them. Then you go after their nest and burn them out. Piracy is an act of war, and of brutal force. It can only really be countered by greater brutality. Sucks but it's true.
We should be using our navies to retake or destroy every siezed vessel regardless of nationality. Every vessel that is willing should be equipped with a remotely activatable GPS transponder so it can be found if taken. I give a crap if it's cheaper for the europeans to just pay a ransom. The ransoms are the fuel
for the fire we need to put out. Payment of a ransom should be criminalized as being an accessory to piracy with the same penalties as the primary criminals.
About 6 months of uncompromised naval warfare against the pirates should remove the incentive to take ships and people hostage. If taking a boat gets you attacked by the world's navies, your house (If you have one) destroyed and (probably) your family
blown up in the process, and then you don't get any money
out of it why take the risk?
Then we can get back to the business of helping those nations that are willing, to become more self-sufficient.
Time to cowboy up and dust off the John Wayne routine again. There's good folks out there getting hurt by bad guys that need killin'.