The countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea are facing unprecedented stress. A former lieutenant with the Italian Navy is now a RAND researcher, working to help others appreciate the scope of the crisis.
Tensions are rising in the South China Sea, where China moved a state-owned oil rig, reportedly accompanied by six warships, into disputed waters last month, triggering anti-Chinese demonstrations in Vietnam that resulted in four deaths.
The average Somali lives on less than $2 a day. Even fishermen, who are comparatively well off by national standards, face difficulties making a living due to the chronic depletion of sea stocks from years of poaching and illegal dumping of toxic waste. Under such circumstances, the allure of piracy is clear.
The announced plan to restructure China's maritime law enforcement agencies represents an important effort by Chinese authorities to streamline a poorly-managed maritime law enforcement bureaucracy increasingly involved in China's maritime territorial disputes.
The United States has yet to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. As a result, the U.S., the world's leading maritime power, is at a military and economic disadvantage, write Thad W. Allen, Richard L. Armitage, and John J. Hamre.
Piracy is a crime at sea, but it starts on land. To thwart the Somali piracy career path, the world community should put funds toward protecting local fishing grounds and building a national coast guard capability in Somalia, writes Peter Chalk.
RAND recently convened a group of experts from the U.S. government, allied partner nations, the maritime industry, and academic organizations to reconsider the underlying factors that drive maritime piracy in this century. This conference proceedings highlights the six major themes that animated much of the discussion.
Piracy is a growing international problem, primarily around the Horn of Africa. The international response has been largely military in nature and focused exclusively on the maritime theatre, ignoring key land drivers of piracy, which will resurface once the military actions end, write Peter Chalk and Laurence Smallman.
The recent French and American rescues of hostages held by pirates off the coast of Somalia were necessary and proper. No one believes these actions will end piracy. But unless we impose risks on the pirates—which means taking some risks ourselves—piracy will certainly flourish, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.
As recent events off the Horn of Africa have demonstrated, armed violence at sea is emerging as a growing threat.... Piracy threatens the freedom of the seas, increases the cost of international business, endangers political security through corruption, and could trigger a major environmental disaster, write Peter Chalk and Laurence Smallman.
In testimony presented before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, Peter Chalk testifies on the scope and contributing factors driving the rash of recent pirate attacks and the principal dangers associated with this particular manifestation of transnational crime.
The international community is at something of a loss as to how to respond to the increasingly audacious nature of piracy off the Horn of Africa.... What's needed is a less dramatic and more nuanced approach, one with a greater focus on the land-based violence in Somalia, home of the pirates, writes Peter Chalk.
Acts of piracy and terrorism at sea are on the rise, but there is little evidence to support concerns from some governments and international organizations that pirates and terrorists are beginning to collude with one another.
This research brief summarizes RAND's analysis of recent trends in piracy and maritime terrorism, which pose a significant threat. The United States has taken only limited steps to enhance maritime security; broader measures are required.