Just who can stop the Somali pirates? We may not know who can stop them, but we know who did stop them. According to this report from Chatham House:
Piracy has been a problem in Somali waters for at least ten years. However, the number of attempted and successful attacks has risen over the last three years. … The only period during which piracy virtually vanished around Somalia was during the six months of rule by the Islamic Courts Union in the second half of 2006. This indicates that a functioning government in Somalia is capable of controlling piracy. After the removal of the courts piracy re-emerged. (p3)
Piracy returned and has increased since the US/Ethiopian invasion of Somalia at the end of December 2006. A Somali government with some support from Somali people can actually govern. But the US and the Ethiopians decided to crush it, resulting in humanitarian disaster and the return of piracy.
There is no question that piracy is a serious problem off the coast of Somalia. It is also a problem that is being hyped by western media resulting in certain inconsistencies in the story, some described in these three September posts from Kotare: Somali pirates and their lair, Pirates in Puntland, and The Bullshit Files: Pirates of Puntland.
It looks like the upsurge of piracy in Somalia is another result of the failure of Bush administration strategic thinking, and failed US foreign/military policy.