Somalia wants Blackwater to fight pirates

The inevitable privatization of security continues. Somalia and shipowners are considering hiring Blackwater to provide security for cargo vessels against the increasing threat of piracy.

In Licensed to Kill. Hired Guns in the War of Terror, (reviewed here) Robert Young Pelton says that among private military corporations, Blackwater has a reputation for only hiring those with serious police and military backgrounds. So, in a conflict between hardened pros with state-of-the-art weaponry and presumably disorganized semi-amateurs, my money would be on the PMCs. (But then I suppose the pirates could join forces with crime cartels and the whole thing could escalate…)

As states continue to hollow out, private corporations, military or otherwise, will increasingly fill the roles once handled by governments.


  1. Somalia is considering hiring Blackwater? What Somalia? It’s the classic example of a failed state. The only time it’s had a functioning government in a generation was when the ICU briefly took over.

  2. Somalia itself is not hiring Blackwater, it is the big private shipping companies that are hiring the company. This would, in the past, have been a problem for the government, but companies are now looking to private contractors and companies because of the widely shared view that these companies provide better trained and better equiped soldiers for the job

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