As the threat posed by maritime piracy continues in several parts of the world, there is a growing debate among different governments, private sector analysts, non-governmental organization advocates and others about how bad the situation truly is; where and to whom it is the most challenging, what more needs to be done, and how much the private security industry actually benefits from this type of reporting.
Like the famous phrase “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” different people find the same threats to be of varying degrees of worry. Yet the bottom line is that piracy’s frequency and growing transnational criminal reach, the people it hurts, and the impact on the trade and commerce that they prey upon means that professional analyses remaining holding the key to a common response.
One key area where various beholders cross their swords of opinion can be found the chat rooms and professional groups sustained on the Internet, be they by maritime professional organizations, or social sites like Linkedin.
Having been a counter-piracy analyst for the Department of Defense for more than six years, and now in my work for a private maritime security company (PMSC), many of the seemingly conflictive threat analyses make sense given the various perches from where they are written.