There’s been a lot of news about the epidemic of piracy off the coast of Somalia — and about the expensive and not very effective efforts to quell it by the navies of various countries. Now piracy is popping up off the West African coast near Benin, reports the BBC.This is potentially an even worse problem than the East African pirates — especially for the United States. The coast of West Africa is expected to expand oil exports to the US dramatically, and many of the best deposits are offshore. Pirates and oil are a bad mix; this needs to be nipped in the bud or it will grow.Nipping in the bud, by the way, generally does not involve taking ‘alleged’ pirates to Europe or the US for long civilian trials. It involves far more direct forms of action which have been well understood since the Romans suppressed piracy in the Mediterranean two thousand years ago.