This chapter explores the diverse factors that created the conditions for a resurgence of piracy in Southeast Asia during the late 1970s and early 1980s, including the regression of a colonial naval presence and the impact of the end of the Cold War. It introduces the reader to different manifestations of piracy and the difficulties in mounting an effective response, including competing maritime claims, institutional corruption and limited naval capacity. In addition, this chapter challenges the orthodoxy of the genesis of modern Southeast Asian piracy, such as the misconception that it occurred chiefly as a result of the Asian financial crisis of 1997.