PIRATE ALLEY

If you are a member, log in to receive member pricing
PIRATE ALLEY
Commanding Task Force 151 Off Somalia
  • ISBN/SKU: 9781612511344
  • Binding: Hardcover & eBook
  • Era: 21st Century
  • Number of Pages: 272
  • Subject: Piracy
  • Date Available: October 2012
If you are a member, log in to receive member pricing
$29.95 List Price
$17.97 Member Price
Or Purchase as an Ebook
Full Description:

Also Available in an Audio Edition from Audible via Amazon

Named a "Notable Naval Book of 2012" by Proceedings Magazine

A Select Book on the CNO's Professional Reading Program as a "Title of Interest"

“McKnight provides a useful history of pirate activities and efforts to stop them. Particularly interesting are his interactions with the Chinese and Russian naval forces that were participating in the campaign… [and] the lengthy account of the pirate capture of the container ship Maersk Alabama and the subsequent rescue of her captain, Richard Phillips…. Pirate Alley is a valuable look at this interesting and important subject.”

Proceedings, January 2013

“Pirate Alley is a frank, no-holds-barred examination of Somali piracy from the perspective of an insider tasked with fighting this scourge.  ‘I saw pirates up close, saw the havoc they raised and the economic, emotional, and physical toll they took.’ (35)  In addition to McKnight’s personal assessments and evaluations, his inclusion of perspectives from authoritative people for whom the study of Somali piracy is a day-to-day occupation provides a wealth of information not readily found in other books on this topic.  Pirate Alley is fascinating, insightful, down-to-earth, and written in terms a lay person unfamiliar with law, piracy, or the navy can easily comprehend.”

Pirates and Privateers, 30 November 2012

“Admiral McKnight’s valuable book is a frontiersman’s account of a maritime Wild West.  He puts readers on the flying bridge for an up-close view of the fight against modern piracy on the world’s unfriendly seas.  His difficult mission would be all too familiar to Stephen Decatur and his captains, and to the lieutenants of the old China Station.”

—James D. Hornfischer, author of Neptune’s Inferno

With piracy on the rise and fast becoming a serious global security issue, Admiral Terry McKnight took command of a new multi-national task force in 2009 to combat piracy in the Gulf of Aden. As task force commander, he directed operations that disrupted several hijackings and resulted in the capture of sixteen Somali pirates. After running head-on into a U.S. policy of catch-and-release, he realized that there was more to fighting piracy than just catching youngsters armed with AK-47s and RPGs.

McKnight retired from the Navy and began researching the problem. This book, co-written with journalist Michael Hirsh, is a very readable yet authoritative introduction to the subject. The authors explore every aspect of Somali piracy, from how the pirates operate to how their actions have impacted the world economy. They examine various attempts to solve the problem, including placing armed guards aboard merchant ships, and highlight the best ways to outfit ships for travel through high risk areas. But they warn that a consequence of successfully protecting such targets as container ships and crude oil carriers may be that pirates turn to crime on land, such as the kidnapping of foreigners.

In addressing the worldwide economic impact of piracy, they note that piracy costs as much as $13 billion a year, and in 2011 took 1000 seafarers into captivity. One shipping company argues, however, that over-reaching shipping regulations have a greater negative effect on the economy. The book concludes that in the interest of justice and to protect the free flow of commerce throughout the world, the United States government needs to take additional measures to stop the flow of U.S. dollars for ransoms payments that serves as the only reason for piracy in the region. With a foreword by Jim Miklaszewski.

RADM Terry McKnight, USN (Ret.), is a thirty-oneyear Navy veteran who rose to command the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge and served as the first commander of Combined Task Force 151. He lives in Fairfax Station, VA.

Michael Hirsh, an Army combat correspondent during the Vietnam War, is an award-winning journalist who has produced documentaries and specials for PBS, CBS, ABC and HBO. The author of six other books, including None Braver—U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen in the War on Terror, he lives in Punta Gorda, FL.

Praise for Pirate Alley

"...McKnight and Hirsh's book provides a useful snapshot of one specific example in the context of a much wider story."

Warship 2014

“Rear Admiral McKnight has provided an important insight into this issue; and his remains one of the only books by an ex-serviceman, and certainly the most senior naval officer to write on this subject.”

Middle East Media and Book Reviews Online

“This intriguing book deals with a subject that should be scrutinized closely by U.S. authorities if piracy is to be curtailed so that ships can travel freely without being molested by seagoing criminals.”

Military Heritage, July 2013

Pirate Alley, co-written with journalist Michael Hirsh, is a very readable yet authoritative introduction to the subject. The authors explore every aspect of Somali piracy, from how the pirates operate to how their actions have impacted the world economy. They examine various attempts to solve the problem, including placing armed guards aboard merchant ships, and highlight the best ways to outfit ships for travel through high risk areas. It’s an interesting and important book!”

NavyFiction.com

“…[McKnight’s] well-crafted memoir reveals just how complex, difficult, and frustrating antipiracy operations can be.”

Military Officer, March 2013

The authors have produced an entertaining yet businesslike book that exposes the good, the bad and yes, the ugly story of the international effort against piracy on the high seas. It’s not quite Terry and the Pirates, but it’s close enough.” 

Portland Book Review

“Retired Rear Admiral Terry McKnight and Michael Hirsh have written a book about Somali piracy that is both of topical interest and designed to provide a lasting influence on future policy for the United States, that is both intensely personal as well as wide-ranging in its examination, and that manages to be a thorough account of one man’s time commanding in a volatile region of the world as well as short and easy-to-read. Anyone who has an interest in naval policy, is concerned about logistics and shipping worldwide, or has an interest in the rise of China and India or of armed merchantmen and the potential for mercenary activity in dangerous waters, or wants to be cured of the romance of piracy in the modern world should read this most excellent book. Fortunately, the skill of the authors and the seriousness of the subject, as well as the gripping nature of the book’s contents and its many varied and detailed accounts, should ensure a wide and appreciative audience…The combination of brevity as well as striking detail makes this book enjoyable for an audience that includes naval history buffs as well as people interested in questions of logistics, trade, and naval policies, and this book deserves to be read and pondered by that wide audience.”

Naval Historical Foundation

“Together with Michael Hirsh [McKnight] presents an authoritative look at the problem [of piracy] and offers potential solutions to the problem and how best to equip ships traveling through high-risk areas.”

Ocean Navigator

“An excellent must-read for anyone about to deploy on anti-piracy operations (and for politicians and diplomats who ought to know about the practical aspects of dealing with pirates.”
Warships International Fleet Review

“Terry McKnight brings unparalleled experience and exceptional insight to bear on how the Navy can better address the modern piracy issue. Nor does he rest on his laurels; he addresses the issue with comprehensive research and interviews, as well as an open mind, as he looks at all the options. He offers ideas and solutions, and then backs them with well-considered reasoning. A must-read for anyone struggling with this complex issue.”

—Doug Brooks, president of the International Stability Operations Association (ISOA)

“The fight against the Somali pirates grabbed the world’s attention: it has certainly grabbed the attention of the world’s navies, none more so than the U.S. Navy’s. It was among the first to deploy ships off the Somali coast and to form a dedicated task force, CTF-151, to curtail the pirates’ actions. RADM McKnight was the first commander, and he tells his story—and the pirates’ story—well.  His recommendations for how we can end this powerful challenge to world trade deserve a wide audience. This is an account that anyone seriously interested in Somali piracy needs to read.”

—Martin N. Murphy, senior fellow, Atlantic Council of the United States

“A fascinating and engaging sea story set in the Gulf of Aden and skillfully told by a Navy warrior who led Task Force 151 against the Somali pirates. The book carefully documents the most recent chapter of the Navy's war without end against those who highjack and kidnap. It is a vivid reminder of the critical importance of U.S sea power to the free flow of commerce.”

—Michael Phelps, publisher, The Washington Examiner

“Piracy off the coast of Somalia poses a significant challenge to the international community. In just the last five years, Somali pirates have hijacked more than 175 commercial vessels and taken more than 3,000 of their crew members hostage along one of the world’s busiest and most vital shipping corridors, potentially disrupting both regional trade and the global supply chain. Moreover, links have emerged between the pirates and transnational criminal networks and terrorist groups, which give cause for even greater concern. Unlike the armchair analysts and pundits—many of whom have pontificated about this threat without ever having set foot anywhere near Somalia, much less ever encountering a Somali pirate—Rear Adm. Terry McKnight has chased the marauders on the high seas and brought some to justice as commander of an unprecedented international task force to combat piracy in the Gulf of Aden. However, Pirate Alley is more than the memoir of a tour of duty; it is a comprehensive, but accessible, introduction to an important security issue and has the merit of offering practical policy guidance. . . . Highly recommended.”

— J. Peter Pham, director, Michael S. Ansari Africa Center, Atlantic Council, and editor in chief, The Journal of the Middle East and Africa

Pirate Alley is a compelling read that vividly shows how difficult it is to deal with the situation in the seas off Somalia. For the first time we hear from a pirate hunter and see the pride of those sailors serving under him, from a variety of navies. But there is also frustration from those like McKnight who must grapple with government bureaucracies, political interference, and commercial indifference to the plight of thousands of people.”

—Daniel Sekulich, author of Terror on the Seas:  True Tales of Modern Day Pirates and Ocean Titans

RADM Terry McKnight, USN (Ret.), is a thirty-oneyear Navy veteran who rose to command the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge and served as the first commander of Combined Task Force 151. He lives in Fairfax Station, VA.

More by this Author

PIRATE ALLEY
Also Available in an Audio Edition from Audible via Amazon Named a "Notable Naval Book of 2012... Read More

Events and Conferences

Meet the Author & Book Signing
6:30pm, Army Navy Country Club, 1700 Army Navy Dr., Arlington, VA Read More
Meet the Author & Book Signing
The Lexington Institute, Ritz Carlson at Pentagon City, 1250 S. Hayes St., Arlington, VA Read More
Guest Speaker
7:30pm, Kiwanis Club of Potomac, c/o Potomac Presbyterian Church, 10301 River Rd., Potomac, MD Read More
Guest Speaker & Book Signing
6:00pm, Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy, Vieve Gore Concert Hall, Westminster College, Salt Lake... Read More
Customer Reviews
1 Review
(0)
(1)
(0)
(0)
(0)
Average Customer Reviews
4.00 Stars
"Interesting Book"
Monday, October 22, 2012
By: Eric Smith
I have a hard time reading books by professional military people because they often get tangled up in details and use a lot of confusing, alphabet-soup acronyms. That's not really the case here, although the retired Navy admiral who wrote "Pirate Alley" (with a journalist's help)certainly gives you a factual, basic textbook on how dirtbag Somali pirates operate. It turns out they are both sophisticated and stupid - they're well-financed and organized by gangs in Somalia, but the drugged-up kids and lowlifes with AK-47s who go out to prey on shipping lanes are not exactly MIT graduates. Admiral McKnight commanded an anti-piracy task force in the Gulf of Aden, so knows well what he is talking about. He describes various missions against the pirates and offers advice on how to protect against, and negotiate with, the Somali gangs. Although it is a little heavy on the details, I liked this interesting book.
 

 
 

Conferences and Events

2014 U.S. Naval Institute History Conference

Wed, 2014-10-01

The 2014 Naval History Conference is hosted by the U.S. Naval Institute and the U.S. Naval Academywith support from The William M...

Defense Forum Washington 2014

Newseum - Knight Conference Center

2015 WEST Conference

Why Become a Member of the U.S. Naval Institute?

As an independent forum for over 135 years, the Naval Institute has been nurturing creative thinkers who responsibly raise their voices on matters relating to national defense.

Become a Member Renew Membership