Private Security Companies of the Malacca Strait

Briefly, Companies turn to private navies to combat pirates of the Malacca Strait:

As many as five companies have set up in the last year, including three British firms and an American security company. Other security firms are now trying to get into the lucrative new market, where the price of missions to protect cargo ships starts at US$50,000.

Heavily armed special forces veterans are among the Western ex-military personnel, some with experience in Iraq or Afghanistan, who will either ride shotgun on the vessel or patrol alongside it in their own craft. Some even claim to be able to rappel out of helicopters to recapture ships or oil rigs hijacked by pirates.

Nobody doubts the risk to shipping. The Malacca Strait isn’t a lazy backwater; the waters run past the glittering sky scrapers of Singapore and carry around half the world’s oil, making it perhaps the most important strategic seaway in the world.

Piracy is the lingering fault line of international commerce, trade, and state capacity. It is the opportunity that invites both states / IGOs and guerrillia / terrorist organizations to move in and launch operations.