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JOURNAL: A Global to Local to Global Criminal Example
Nice tersely worded example on how predation by the global economic system helped drive Somali piracy. From David Axe: www.warisboring.com...
Recall that Somali piracy has its roots in the 1990s, when the collapse of the Somali government threw open the doors to major foreign fishing companies to illegally enter Somali waters and fish out all the tuna, which once comprised one of Somalia’s major commodities. The first Somali pirates were fishermen who decided to render a “fine” on any boats they found illegaly fishing Somali waters. Well, guess what. Piracy has effectively cut in half tuna hauls for major foreign fishing companies working near Somalia, according to Warships International Fleet Review. Today piracy is essentially organized crime, at sea. But the piracy mafia has inadvertently accomplished what the original pirates set out to do. Somali pirates have every reason to be proud. Whether on purpose or not, they have defended their waters while evading the combined might of the world’s navies.
Technology driven connectivity makes it possible for these "remote" groups to take the fight back to the global system. Remember, in a flat globalized world, everyone is in competition with everyone else. There aren't any meaningful barriers. We are going to see this dynamic again and again...
If you find yourself alone and naked in a global gun fight -- tribe up!
Some thinking on Somali pirates:
Seal snipers took out three Somali pirates and freed an American hostage held in a lifeboat. What's interesting to me is the decision making process used to resolve this minor problem. Here are some of the aspects. Firstly, there was a timer on the hostage stand-off. Other pirate groups/ships (an open source insurgency with commercial drivers) were en route to surround the lifeboat or take control of the hostages. Secondly, this minor decision involved a highly centralized decision making loop that included the President, the Commander of CENTCOM, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, the DoJ, and the White House/NSC -- just to pull the trigger on three kidnappers holding a hostage at gunpoint. Lastly, one of the biggest fears of the US government is that these pirates would be arrested. Why? Since Somalia is a mess, they would become wards of the US, likely suffer only minimal jail time, and eventually end up applying for US citizenship.
The symbiosis between private insurance and privateering dominates. If the company that owned the rescued ship wasn't a US defense contractor, its kidnapping insurance company (likely Lloyds) and its designated crisis representatives (likely Control Risks Group) would have negotiated to pay the pirate's fee to get the hostage back -- as are thousands of kidnappings from Mexico to Colombia to Nigeria to the Gulf of Aden are settled every year. Somali pirates have made tens of millions this way already. Further, in many parts of the world, kidnappers are almost never caught/killed (