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The maritime dimension of international security: terrorism, piracy, and challenges for the United States

The maritime dimension of international security: terrorism, piracy, and challenges for the United States

Chalk, Peter

The vast size and highly unregulated nature of the world's waterways have made the maritime environment an attractive theater for perpetrators of transnational violence. Both piracy and sea-borne terrorism have become more common since 2000 due to the global proliferation of small arms as well as growing vulnerabilities in maritime shipping, surveillance, and coastal and port-side security. In addition to massive increases in maritime traffic, pirates have profited from increasingly congested maritime chokepoints, the lingering effects of the Asian financial crisis, and weakened judicial and governmental structures. Some analysts also fear that terrorists may soon exploit the carefully calibrated freight trading system to trigger a global economic crisis, or use the container supply chain to transport weapons of mass destruction. While speculation about an emerging tactical nexus between piracy and terrorism is complicating the maritime threat picture, credible evidence to support this presumed convergence has yet to emerge. Since 2002, the United States--one of the world's principal maritime trading states--has spearheaded several important initiatives to improve global and regional maritime security. Although an important contribution, the author urges policymakers to consider four additional measures to better safeguard the world's oceans: helping to further expand the post-9/11 maritime security regime; conducting regular and rigorous threat assessments; assisting with redefining mandates of existing multilateral security and defense arrangements; and encouraging the commercial maritime industry to make greater use of enabling communication and defensive technologies and accept a greater degree of transparency in its corporate structures

eBook, Electronic resource, Book. English. Electronic books.
Published Santa Monica, CA : RAND 2008

This resource is available electronically from the following locations


Statement of responsibility: Peter Chalk
ISBN: 0833042998, 0833045288, 9780833042996, 9780833045287
Note: "The research presented here was sponsored within RAND's Project AirForce (PAF) Strategy and Doctrine Program, as part of a wider effort exploring new concepts for joint U.S. air-naval operations"--Preface.
Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 53-59).
Note: Print version record.
Physical Description: 1 online resource (xx, 59 pages) : illustrations.
System: Master and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002.
Series: Rand Corporation monograph series ; MG-697-AF.
Subject: Maritime terrorism Prevention.; Terrorism Prevention.; Shipping Security measures.; POLITICAL SCIENCE International Relations General.; Unified operations (Military science); Merchant marine Security measures United States.; Piracy Prevention.; Security, International.; TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING Marine & Naval.; TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING Military Science.
Restrictions: Use copy Restrictions unspecified
Reproduction: Electronic reproduction. [S.l.]: HathiTrust Digital Library, 2010.
Series Title: Rand Corporation monograph series ; MG-697-AF.
Local note: JSTOR Books at JSTOR Open Access


  1. Piracy
  2. Scope and dimensions
  3. Factors accounting for the emergence of piracy in the contemporary era
  4. The dangers of piracy
  5. Maritime terrorism
  6. A piracy-terrorism nexus?
  7. Relevance to the United States
  8. Threat priorities
  9. Principal security initiatives spearheaded by the United States
  10. Policy recommendations
  11. Selected high-profile maritime terrorist incidents, 1961-2004.