Hired Guns in the Indian Ocean: Solution or Ticking Time Bomb?

GMA 400L - Senior Seminar Research Lab

The study conducted for this thesis concerns whether or not the presence of Private Military and Security Companies in the Indian Ocean increase the level of maritime security in the region and measures their effectiveness against various non-state actors. This thesis also brought to light just how fragile and vulnerable maritime commerce can be in specific regions of the world. The historical implications of the private military sector are provided starting from the initial voyages of Christopher Columbus to the relatively recent controversies surrounding the modern day private contractor. Maritime threats and how the security services provided by PMSCs can respond to them while still respecting the legal sphere is also discussed. Finally, three different case studies that involve the major waterways of the Indian Ocean, the maritime threats they face, and how PMSCs can effectively respond are provided. The entire study concluded that PMSCs should be widely more adopted by the international community by the sheer increase of maritime security that they provide to maritime commerce. This is accomplished through their operational successes in the past and how they present themselves as a viable cost-effective alternative to the national armed forces that countries typically use.