What happened today was, in my view, the proper response at this time. These pirates need to know that if they mess with American ships, our Navy carries big guns for a reason. Threaten American lives, and there will be a response.

That’s not to say that these criminals won’t learn from what transpired today. They’ll up their efforts. But we’ll up ours too.

However, there is a deeper issue. Somalia is a global tragedy. No functioning government since the 90s, mass starvation, and other nations taking advantage of the situation by stealing their food shipments and dumping nuclear waste off their shores.

That doesn’t excuse the actions of the pirates, just as poverty here doesn’t excuse the actions of homegrown criminals. But the deeper problems in Somalia need to be addressed if there’s going to be a long term solution to the piracy problem in that region.

Jennifer Loven of AP has written a very good analysis of the Obama administration’s response to the immediate situation that was resolved today:

Analysis: Obama scores win on pirate crisis: His administration passes its first critical national security test