Security expert predicts a future pirate war off the coast of Somalia

Illustration for article titled Security expert predicts a future pirate war off the coast of Somalia

Somalian pirate raids, though deadly, are often amateurish. Security guards can usually shake them off with a few carefully-aimed shots, but one expert says that soon this won't be enough. Get ready for the modern world's first pirate war.


Casey Christie, who works with maritime security consultancy Concept Tactical Worldwide, predicted:

Pirates trying to board vessels are being scared off by warning shots fired by armed security officers. This has led to an obvious change of tactics by the pirates – they now launch probe attacks on targeted vessels. They approach and make their intentions clear and if the presence of an armed security team is detected the attack is broken off.

At first glance this looks positive. However I find this new trend to be worrying indeed. I believe that the Somali Pirates are not a rag-tag bunch but a co-ordinated syndicate and that the current probe attack is a type of intelligence gathering and battlefield calculation. Piracy has been making these criminals dollar millionaires and they will stop at nothing.

I expect that In the very near future the number of pirates in a hijacking party is going to quadruple and will not involve less than a dozen, nothing-to-lose professional pirates. The attacks will change from opportunistic to must-accomplish-at-all-costs missions. And the level of violence used against the security teams and crew on board will become brutal and the norm.

He compared the situation in Somalia to that of South Africa several years ago, when land pirates hijacked supply trucks using sophisticated military and intelligence tactics including sleeper agents. Eventually South Africa's "transit robbery epidemic" was curtailed by local law enforcement.

Christie believes that the solution for Somalia must come from within the country, too. Though he predicts that we'll see a lot of bloodshed first:

If things continue on the current trajectory, there will be large levels of violence on the water around the Somali coast causing a large international outcry and then it will be violence on land. And without a doubt in my mind the final steps to solving the Somali problem will involve the use of force – possibly a private military company contracted by the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and the Regional Government of Puntland.

Conveniently, there are organizations like Concept Tactical Worldwide that can help put you in touch with private military companies if you need them.

via Marine Link

Photo of a bombed pirate ship via AP



Erik Sofge

Wait, wasn't the golden age of piracy the "first real pirate war?" They were state-sanctioned, they had ships and crew that rivaled "official" ships of the line. They had access to the state of the art in eyepatch and pegleg technology.

I think we'll just see more private security on ships, and some dubious policies involving arming and training crew to fight back. This is a big issue, but the odds of getting attacked are still more like being mugged in the wrong neighborhood than anything approaching warfare.