The Gulf of Aden is located in the Arabian Sea between Yemen and Somalia. The waterway is part of the important Suez Canal shipping route between the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Sea with 21,000 ships crossing the gulf annually. The Gulf of Aden is a vital waterway for shipping, especially for Persian Gulf oil, making it an integral waterway in the world economy. The Gulf of Aden is an area known for acts of piracy, earning it the nickname “Pirate Alley”, and making its waters dangerous for transport. The main cause of piracy in the gulf is the lack of any viable government in Somalia which has been defined by the state of civil war since 1991. The International Maritime Bureau reported over two dozen actual and attempted attacks in 2007 in the gulf off the coast of Somalia. In order to deter piracy, the Maritime Security Patrol Area, a specified patrol zone in the Gulf, was established on 22 September 2008 by the Combined Task Force 150, a multinational, coalition naval task force in order to deter de-stabilizing activities, including piracy. Its borders are unmarked, but are a narrow, rectangular corridor between Somalia and Yemen. The establishment of the MSPA was directed by the Commander, United States Naval Central Command. The United States Navy's Combined Task Force 151 caught the first pirate in 50 years in the Gulf of Aden on Feb. 11, 2009. The actions by the United States Navy were authorized by the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff via a Counter Piracy Execute Order. In January 2012, American commandos raced into Somalia and rescued two aid workers, an American woman and a Danish man, after a shootout with Somali pirates who had been holding them captive for months. The American forces swooped in and killed nine pirates before spiriting away the hostages, who were not harmed.
The next area of concern is the Strait of Hormuz- a narrow, strategically important strait between the Gulf of Oman in the southeast and the Persian Gulf. On 18...
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