In the late 2000s, piracy presented a grave threat around the Horn of Africa. In his book Private Anti-Piracy Navies: How Warships for Hire are Changing Maritime Security, author John-Clark Levin analyzes the rise of private warships from 2008 to 2013 and their role in the decline of attacks in recent years. Private maritime security forces played a key role in the significant reduction of attacks off the coast of Somalia over the past three years, yet the security threat has shifted to the other side of the continent and has grown in other regions of the world.
The increased use of private warships to deter and counter attacks presents a series of questions. How should international law be adapted to regulate the use of lethal force by civilians on the high seas? How might private security contractors be prosecuted if they commit unlawful killings? On a practical level, how should the private maritime security industry develop appropriate standards of professionalism?
On December 10, Hudson Institute will host John-Clark Levin for a conversation on the ongoing maritime security threat, the booming industry of private warships, and how this sector has adapted to Nigerian and Malaccan piracy. Levin will offer an assessment of the key legal, economic, and operational challenges posed by the development of private warships and evaluate future prospects for the use of private warships. Hudson Senior Fellow and Director for the Center on American Seapower Seth Cropsey will moderate the discussion.