The 21st Century has seen a sharp rise in privatization of the military, especially of logistics and security functions during the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The outbreak of Somali piracy that started in 2008 has prompted a similar revolution in maritime security with private security companies beginning to operate armed escort vessels to protect merchant shipping against pirates off the Horn of Africa. Centuries ago, the British East India Company used a private navy against piracy in the same waters with much success. Yet since then, international law has evolved to more tightly regulate the use of force by civilians, and to afford greater protections to suspected pirates.
Thus, the development of what are in effect private warships has presented numerous legal and regulatory problems. How can the companies that operate these vessels be effectively licensed? Under what circumstances should they be allowed to use lethal force? What economic factors drive this struggle between pirates and anti-piracy forces? What are the operational considerations, defensive tactics, logistics, and rules of engagement? How are security companies balancing the rights concerns against the need to defend ships effectively? Join us as John-Clark Levin examines the historical origins, current state, future prospects of this fast-changing sector as well as the implications for wider naval privatization in the long run.
John-Clark Levin is a writer, currently pursuing a degree in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. He received the 2010 Arthur R. Adams Fellowship at the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies, researching private maritime security. He also served as a Harrison Fellow at the Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom in the Modern World in 2011-2012. He was the winner of the 2010 Eric Breindel Collegiate Journalism Award, and has written for publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The Daily Caller, City Journal Online, and the Southern Economics Journal.
Author of Private Anti-Piracy Navies
Research Associate for Economic Freedom in Africa and the Middle East
While this event has passed, we have archived its content and discussion in our archive.
Do you have any questions about this event or want more information? We'd be happy to help. We have answers to many of our frequently asked questions at your disposal, or you may also contact:
PROGRAM COORDINATOR, LECTURES & SEMINARS
The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies is honored to host Judge Janice Rogers Brown as the seventh speaker of — Read more
Months after the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa, the news of two American nurses becoming infected has sparked fear amongst the — Read more
No economist of modern times has challenged and overturned more wrong-headed economic thinking than Walter Williams. For forty years he’s argued against the illogic — Read more
~ Monetary Policy Lecture Series ~Has the nation’s experiment with the Federal Reserve been a success or a failure? Does the Fed’s full history — Read more
Introductory RemarksJennifer Marshall, The Heritage Foundation, Co-HostDavid Azerrad, The Heritage FoundationPanelRea Hederman, Jr., The Buckeye Institute, Co-HostChuck Donovan, Charlotte Lozier InstituteHeather Mac Donald, The Manhattan — Read more
The federal government has great difficulty in running effective programs. For example, scientifically rigorous national studies almost unanimously find that federal social programs, such — Read more
The recent protests in Hong Kong have focused on the process for selecting Hong Kong’s next Chief Executive, and the PRC’s commitment to the concept — Read more
After leading the Continental Army to victory in the Revolutionary War, George Washington shocked the world: He retired. In December 1783, General Washington, the — Read more
The U.S. tax system is monstrously complex and imposes hundreds of billions of dollars in compliance costs annually on the American people. Small businesses are — Read more
For decades, environmentalists have told us that using traditional fuels is a self-destructive addiction that will destroy our planet. Yet at the same time, — Read more
The Heritage Foundation is the nation’s most broadly supported public policy research institute,
with hundreds of thousands of individual, foundation and corporate donors. Heritage, founded in
February 1973, has a staff of 275 and an annual expense budget of $82.4 million.
Our mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free
enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national
defense. Read More
Receive updates from Heritage about current events and initiatives in your email inbox
Already Signed up?
© 2014, The Heritage Foundation Conservative policy research since 1973