While I normally think that armed intervention in other peoples’ quarrels generally turns out poorly, there are times when a little overwhelming force can be salutary.  The current situation with pirates operating freely out of Somalia, which has no effective government, begs for just such a solution.  The pirates use well established and well known bases along the coast.  The bases are heavily fortified but would stand no chance against a regular military and naval force.  In spite of their vulnerability, they have not been attacked or even seriously threatened. 

Under the later Roman Republic, the eastern Mediterranean was infested with pirates, many of whom operated out of Cilicia in Asia Minor.  Attempts to root them out failed because they would withdraw inland or move down the coast whenever Roman warships appeared, declining battle and living to fight another day.  In 67 BC Pompey was given an unprecedented mandate under the lex Gabinia to assemble a fleet and army to deal with the problem.  He divided the entire eastern Mediterranean into thirteen zones and sent a flotilla to each simultaneously so that the pirates would have nowhere to run to.  He landed marines at each pirate base to destroy the ships and fortifications, capturing and killing the pirates whenever possible.  Those who surrendered he resettled.  He ended the piracy problem in only three months and the Mediterranean remained pirate free until the turmoil of the late third century AD.  The downside was that the extraordinary command given to Pompey led to other extraordinary commands given to others, Julius Caesar included, which eventually resulted in the end of the Roman Republic.  I guess today we would call that blowback.