Global Responses to Maritime Violence: Cooperation and Collective Action

Global Responses to Maritime Violence: Cooperation and Collective Action

by Paul Shemella (Editor)


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Global Responses to Maritime Violence is a full discussion of maritime security short of war that goes beyond the current literature in both scope and perspective. The chapters in this volume examine terrorism, piracy, armed robbery at sea, illegal maritime trafficking, illegal fishing, and other maritime crimes. Contributors uncover both threats and responses as a complex ecosystem that challenges even the strongest national and regional institutions. Managing this system is a "wicked problem" that has no ultimate solution. But the book offers strategic precepts to guide the efforts of any government that seeks to improve its responses to maritime violence.
The bottom line is that maritime violence can be managed effectively enough to protect citizens and national economies that depend on the sea. Comprehensive in scope, the volume coheres around the premise that good governance in the maritime domain, though difficult, is worth the considerable resources required.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780804798419
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Publication date: 04/13/2016
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Paul Shemella retired from the Navy at the rank of Captain after a career in Special Operations and lectures at The Center for Civil-Military Relations (CCMR) at The Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

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Global Responses to Maritime Violence

Cooperation and Collective Action

By Paul Shemella


Copyright © 2016 Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8047-9841-9



Paul Shemella

WITH THIS BOOK WE OFFER CONTEXT-BASED ANALYSIS OF maritime security imperatives, as well as practical approaches to facing some of the world's most challenging threats. The authors use the collective noun maritime violence, reviving the title of a Jane's Special Report on the subject published almost twenty years ago. That rubric did not "stick" in the literature but, having explored combinations of violence in the maritime domain for years, we think it should have. We understand maritime violence to be a set of threats short of war, occurring in or at the edge of the maritime domain, that includes terrorism, insurgency, piracy, armed robbery at sea, and maritime smuggling, along with other crimes such as oil bunkering and illegal fishing. Given that all these threats are closely related, scholars need an umbrella term that links them together. We offer a typology in Figure 1.1 that describes what we think of as an ecosystem of related threats. As in biological ecosystems, the activities listed — as well as the remedies — are interconnected. The sea itself has always been a violent place, and man's activities on the sea have taken a similar turn. If political and business leaders, acting together, wish to create a climate of security within which all citizens can thrive, they will have to tame the "outlaw sea" that laps at their shores.

There is no shortage of evidence regarding the rise of global maritime violence. At the terrorism end of the spectrum, it was reported during the writing of this book that al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is preparing a maritime suicide unit to carry out attacks against shipping in and around the Mediterranean Sea. At the opposite end of our continuum, the navy of the Ivory Coast seized two Chinese fishing vessels, operating illegally in the country's waters during November 2014. The ships were impounded until the Chinese government paid a fine of US $200K. While Ivory Coast managed to send a message to governments that would steal from its rich fisheries (and collect revenue in the process), Sierra Leone's lack of port security has allowed the Ebola virus to return from offshore to rekindle that nation's deadly outbreak. We will show how governments — even those with limited resources — can impose positive changes that can spread through the maritime violence ecosystem. They do this by creating the broadest possible climate of security in the maritime domain.

Maritime security begins behind the beach. Governments are challenged to provide security on the land areas they control (or, too often, do not really control). Ashore is where governments develop maritime laws and build maritime security institutions. Ashore is where criminal activity originates, and from where criminals extend their networks. The maritime domain is significantly more challenging for governments to control; it is a transition zone fraught with ambiguity. Institutional jurisdictions overlap inside territorial seas, but in exclusive economic zones (EEZs) it is governments that overlap. On the high seas, the lines disappear altogether. Securing the broadest maritime domain requires a large number of governments and an enormous amount of resources. Maritime spaces — internal, coastal, regional, and global — too often remain without formal governance, leaving room for terrorists, pirates, and other criminals to operate with near impunity. Maritime security requires governments to leave familiar, perhaps comfortable surroundings and seek out those who perpetrate, or benefit from, maritime violence.

To begin Part I, Peter Chalk explains in Chapter 2 that maritime terrorism, though rare to date, appears to be evolving into a greater threat (especially with Mumbai-style events now falling under the maritime rubric). Even though strategic and formal linkages with pirates and other criminals are unproven, the general lawlessness of the maritime domain creates opportunities for terrorism. Paul Shemella discusses in Chapter 3 how maritime terrorists might decide which targets to attack. Using a variation of the US Special Forces target-analysis model, applied to a fictitious maritime country, he provides a useful methodology for "thinking like a terrorist," whereby planners can anticipate which targets are most likely to be attacked. In Chapter 4, Peter Chalk examines piracy and sea robbery, introducing the umbrella term armed maritime crime (as opposed to other maritime crimes, more ubiquitous but less spectacular). He concludes by evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of using private armed security guards for preventing acts of piracy. Other maritime crimes, as well as industrial accidents and natural disasters, did not warrant separate chapters, but all these activities are discussed in the relevant chapters of Part II. A detailed example of illegal maritime trafficking activities can be found in the Yemen case study in Part III.

Part II begins with maritime strategy, the art of creating the best possible outcomes with a perennially scarce resource base. In Chapter 5, Paul Shemella examines the process of creating holistic maritime strategies that incorporate all sectors of government. Integrated strategies can lead to the integrated actions leaders must be prepared to execute. The suggested methodology organizes strategic thought at two levels: political and operational. Shemella characterizes strategy as a forcing function that fuses together a wide range of resources, explaining how the maritime sector of government fits into a broader institutional mix. In Chapter 6, he focuses on how governments can assess their own maritime governance, a wide-ranging set of activities that creates preconditions for effective maritime security. While describing the functions and subfunctions of maritime governance, Shemella avers that, given the political will (not always a given), there are two sides to the maritime security coin: governance and capacity. Strategy is the act of governing; the assessment of governance is a measure of capacity.

In one manifestation of capacity, maritime security is a key component of border security. If borders are the skin of a nation, ports are cuts that can become infected. Charles Reinhardt examines in Chapter 7 what we call global port security, an image meant to evoke the interconnectivity of the world's ports. His command of the commercial details comes from a career inside the maritime industry. Reinhardt discusses the balance between commerce and security, covering everything from international treaties to the potential for cyberattacks. Comprehensive port security is much more than maintaining healthy national skin; it requires close and persistent cooperation among institutions and nations. In Chapter 8, Timothy Doorey discusses maritime intelligence as both a product and a source of what the United States calls maritime domain awareness. No government can succeed in the maritime domain while suffering from what we sometimes call "sea blindness." Whether it is illegal fishing vessels, Ebola-infected citizens, pirates, or terrorists, national sovereignty rests on a government's ability to know what is going on out there.

In Chapter 9, Robert Schoultz writes in more personal terms about leadership. He argues that institutions are more important than individuals, and that individuals must work hard to improve institutions while they have the chance. Imposing change on institutions is a difficult process, especially in the maritime sector, but the chapter examines how good leaders can do it. Good leadership is so basic it is often assumed; Schoultz takes us all back to school on how to lead institutions generally — and maritime security institutions in particular. In Chapter 10, Aubrey Bogle, an operator as well as a lawyer, discusses the legal regime that underpins all government activities in the global maritime domain. Going further, Bogle imagines what a legal framework might actually look like for a typical maritime government. This chapter underscores the complexity of legal issues that dominate the maritime domain and reminds all of us that managing maritime law requires maritime lawyers.

James Petroni, a former firefighter and emergency manager, introduces a system for managing maritime catastrophes in Chapter 11. His maritime adaptation of the US Incident Command System (ICS) provides a practical example of Schoultz's reminder that leaders must figure out how to delegate management functions so they can concentrate on leading. Conceptually as well as operationally, ICS connects maritime threats from human actors to random industrial accidents and natural disasters. Institutions with the capacity to respond to maritime terrorism can also serve governments and populations inevitably affected by circumstance.

In Part III, we introduce a series of case studies, selected to illustrate some of the major themes of the book. In Chapter 12, Rohan Gunaratna examines Sri Lanka's campaign against the Sea Tigers of the LTTE insurgency. Finally developing a strategy right out of Clausewitz, the Sri Lankan Navy identified and targeted the enemy's center of gravity — the maritime logistics network that supported the ground force. The inclusion of this case illustrates the diversity of maritime threats, demonstrating how governments and their maritime security institutions must adapt to changing circumstances. The campaign against the Sea Tigers also illustrates the value of international cooperation, and especially intelligence sharing. This case, almost more than any other, reminds maritime governments just how bad things can get. In Chapter 13, Lawrence Cline discusses regional measures to suppress piracy in the Strait of Malacca. This case study is instructive for its successes, but also for its failures. The Strait of Malacca is geostrategically fated to suffer from some degree of armed maritime crime, and it must be overseen by governments, cooperating wherever they can. Thomas Mockaitis examines the under-studied maritime insurgencies (with an admixture of terrorism) in the Sulu Sea region in Chapter 14, highlighting the difficulty of getting regions and national governments to rise above history and religion. Mockaitis makes the observation that violence on the coastal fringes of the maritime domain, exposed to the open ocean, can sometimes be more serious than on the sea itself. The Sulu Sea, with its national and international dimensions, has much to teach students of maritime violence.

Peter Chalk analyzes the Gulf of Guinea's variations on maritime crime in Chapter 15. This region has claimed the title of highest piracy threat in the world, but Chalk explains that the largest share of the problem is actually sea robbery and fuel theft (armed and unarmed forms of maritime crime). Given the disparity between challenges and resources (added to the fact that regional and national maritime security strategies have been developed), the Gulf of Guinea may be emerging as the "poster child" for international maritime security cooperation. Without it, these nations will not be able to exploit their own marine resources to generate the national wealth they so desperately need. In Chapter 16, Aubrey Bogle explains the rationale for (and roles of) Yemen's Coast Guard that he helped to develop. The chapter provides a comprehensive account of multiple maritime threats facing an under-resourced maritime security institution. This case illustrates the need for governments to be amenable to creating new maritime security institutions — even at the expense of old ones — while at the same time providing a steady stream of resources. Whether or not Yemen remains a unitary state, the need for a coast guard (or two) will endure.

Chapter 17 aims to integrate the foregoing ideas into a holistic approach to the problem of managing maritime violence, prescribing a set of precepts we think will lead most governments to the outcomes they seek. Throughout this book we evoke the image of a government riding out a storm at sea. But this is a storm that never recedes completely. Maritime violence can only be managed by governments doing the best they can with what they have, and then acting together. The following chapters give the reader a glimpse of how governments can do just that.


Maritime Terrorism

An Evolving Threat

Peter Chalk

THE MARITIME REALM REMAINS PARTICULARLY CONDUCIVE TO the type of irregular or unconventional threat contingencies that have come to characterize transnational security in the contemporary era. A vast area covering 139,768,200 square miles, most of this environment takes the form of high seas that lie beyond the strict control of any single state — meaning they are, by definition, devoid of any form of sovereign jurisdiction. These over-the-horizon oceans are fringed and linked by a complex lattice of territorial waters, estuaries, and riverine systems that, due to a lack of resources or will (and in some cases both), frequently lack an effective regime of coastal surveillance. Compounding matters is the largely unregulated nature of the international trading system — a trait that is designed to minimize cost and maximize turnover but that also inevitably exposes maritime commerce to nefarious criminal designs. Combined, these attributes and practices have served to infuse the planet's aquatic expanse with the same type of unpredictable and lawless qualities that Thomas Hobbes once famously wrote ensured life as "nasty, brutish, and short."

One particular threat that academics, intelligence analysts, law enforcement officials, and politicians have begun to take increasingly serious note of is the exploitation of the maritime realm to facilitate terrorist logistical and operational designs. Indeed, commentators in various countries now appear to believe that the next major strike against Western interests is as likely to emanate from a maritime theater as from a land-based one. Exacerbating concerns is the fear that militant extremists will be able to significantly enhance their operational capacity to impede shipping in key strategic sea-lanes of communication (SLOCs) by establishing mutually beneficial alliances with pirates.

This chapter examines the scope and dimensions of maritime terrorism in the modern age. It discusses the reasons why militant extremists have traditionally shunned non-land-based theaters and the factors that appear to have caused a shift in this operational calculus. Specific terrorist scenarios are examined, including the use of the maritime environment to execute mass casualty attacks, cause economic disruption, and facilitate the movement of weapons and personnel. Finally, the chapter considers the potential nexus between maritime terrorism and piracy in the Gulf of Aden (GoA) — one of the world's most important trading routes and the region where the fear of such a convergence has been greatest.

Track Record of Maritime Terrorism

Historically, the world's oceans have not been a major locus of terrorist activity. Indeed, according to RAND's Chronology of International Terrorism, less than 2 percent of all global attacks conducted since 1968 have taken place at sea or been directed at maritime platforms. To be sure, part of the reason for this empirical paucity stems from the fact that many organizations have neither been located near coastal regions nor had the necessary means to extend their physical reach beyond purely local theaters. Additionally, several fundamental requirements for conducting effective maritime strikes have not traditionally been available to terrorist groups due to limited resources. Notably, these include possession of mariner skills, access to appropriate assault and transport vehicles, and expertise in certain specialist capabilities (e.g., surface and underwater demolition techniques).


Excerpted from Global Responses to Maritime Violence by Paul Shemella. Copyright © 2016 Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University. Excerpted by permission of STANFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS.
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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Contributors xi

1 Introduction Paul Shemella 1

Part I Examining Maritime Violence

2 Maritime Terrorism: An Evolving Threat Peter Chalk 11

3 Terrorist Targeting Paul Sharmella 30

4 Armed Maritime Crime Peter Chalk 49

Part II Riding the Storm

5 Integrated Strategies Against Maritime Violence Paul Shemella 71

6 Assessing Maritime Governance Paul Shemella 88

7 Global Port Security Charles J. Reinhardt 104

8 Maritime Domain Awareness Timothy J. Doorey 124

9 The Role of Institutional Leadership Robert Schoultz 142

10 The Maritime Legal Framework Aubrey Bogle 162

11 Managing Maritime Incidents James Petroni 179

Part III Case Studies

12 Defeating the Sea Tigers of LTTE Rohan Gunaratna 203

13 Suppressing Piracy in the Strait of Malacca Lawrence E. Cline 224

14 Maritime Violence in the Sulu Sea Thomas R. Mockaitis 243

15 Maritime Crime in the Gulf of Guinea Peter Chalk 265

16 Yemen: The Case for a Coast Guard Aubrey Bogle 282

17 Conclusion Pawl Shemella 298

Index 305

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