High Noon on the High Seas: A Proximity-Complexity Model of Maritime Piracy Threats
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY CONFLICT
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An apparent contradiction between rhetorical claims of piracy threats to international shipping and actual attack trends has established the need for a more structured approach to strategic risk assessment. This article provides new insight into risk assessment methodologies by integrating a structured, multi-dimensional approach to attack profiling within a more comprehensive ProximityComplexity model. This model was empirically examined by conducting a comparative risk assessment in two regions widely cited as high risk, the Straits of Malacca in Asia and the coastal waters of Nigeria. Results indicate that the consideration of geographic proximity of attacks as a risk factor may need to be more carefully examined. Further, the authors suggest that counter-piracy strategies could benefit from a multi-stage risk assessment methodology that integrates both structured and geographic approaches within a more comprehensive analytic framework. Sea-based trade may account for as much as 77 percent of worldwide trade measured in terms of volume, overwhelming overland 16 percent, international pipeline 6.7 percent, and international air freight trade 0.3 percent as the dominant transportation mechanism.1 Worldwide dependency has, in turn, led to increased concerns over the safety of international sea lanes. Reflecting the concerns of a post-911 world, the U.S. National Strategy for Maritime Security warns of the danger of a convergence of international armed piracy and terrorism.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Unconventional Warfare