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Piracy News & Commentary

Wikileaks and Blackwater

Documents released recently by Wikileaks include the "revelation" that Blackwater was trying to enter anti-piracy operations in the form of an escort vessel for commercial shipping. In fact, this is old news. There was nothing hidden about Blackwater's attempted entry into this field. Only a few minor details--alleged abuse of one or more members of the Blackwater vessel's crew, for example--are briefly interesting but not particularly noteworthy.

In fact, the release of the State Department cables appears to be little more than part of a scheme of self-aggrandizement by a single individual. Certainly they are nothing on the order of the Pentagon Papers.

Regarding escort vessels, they are probably the most effective means of private security. Whether they are economically viable remains to be seen. Several companies have tried to enter this field in regard to Somali pirates (such vessels have been used successfully against pirates in Southeast Asia), and, if I am not mistaken, one is currently providing such services.
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