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
Twenty-four states have right-to-work laws prohibiting unions from forcing workers to pay dues. In the remaining states, no cities or counties enforce local right-to-work — Read more
"The Constitution," pledged George Washington, "is the guide which I will never abandon." Can we say the same today?The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, — Read more
On July 12, 1862, Abraham Lincoln spoke for the first time of his intention to free the slaves. On January 1, 1863, Lincoln signed — Read more
Money had long been an issue in American politics, going back at least to the time of President Andrew Jackson when Congress considered a bill — Read more
Last term, the Supreme Court addressed such hot button issues as the Obamacare contraception mandate, campaign finance reform, protests outside abortion clinics, unions, and legislative — Read more
The Constitution requires that the President “faithfully” execute the laws. What happens when the President fails in this duty? Time and again, President — Read more
John Locke believed that every person has an inalienable right to “life, liberty, and property.” The United States adopted the world’s first written constitution — Read more
In his new book, Fred Siegel rewrites the history of modern American liberalism. He posits that what we think of liberalism today began not — Read more
The United States has a long history of voter fraud that has been documented by historians and journalists. Such fraud can make the difference — Read more
Today, the question of the legal and moral status of corporations is more important than ever. Recent Supreme Court decisions in cases like Hobby — 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