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Maritime security is among the topics at a conference at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), about private military security, titled: Security in an Uncertain World. It runs on September 27 and 28 at RUSI in Whitehall, London, SW1A 2ET
Maritime security is among the subjects on day two, when speakers include Peter Astbury, of the firm Astbury Marine; Chris Clausing, of Allied Maritime Command NATO Molly Dunigan, of analysts RAND; and Jillian Spindura, Head of Maritime Transport Security, International Programme and Piracy, Department of Transport.
Organisers say that since the end of the Cold War conflict resolution has undergone change as not only the nature of conflict has changed but the actors involved. While the provision of security services in the protection of national borders and national interests has traditionally been a task assigned to the state and its military, states have been confronted with new types of conflicts and threats. Western interests, values and investments have been increasingly threatened by non-state actors overseas, triggering states, corporations and other private actors to turn to a new security provider: private military and security companies.
The private military and security industry has internationally operating private military and security companies (PMSCs), which are civilian companies that provide security and military-related services. Services provided range from logistical support services, over operational support services to armed military or security services, often in what organisers term malignant environments. Controversies have been raised by academia, media and civil society groups. Since the contingency operations in Afghanistan and Iraq in the early 2000s, the infant private military and security providers of the 1990s have developed into a security sector whose services are essential to the proper functioning of many of client operations.
With western operations in Iraq and Afghanistan coming to an end, the public demand for military-related and security services has faded. Hence, the private military and security industry has started to target new markets, to fill the arising gap. With an increased threat from piracy and maritime terrorism, and private corporations increasingly operating in malignant environments in the developing world as well as demands for new forms of governmental support services, the industry has to redefine the nature of the services it supplies, say organisers.
The conference has speakers from the private military and security industry, academics, and from government. The topics include:
PMSCs’ work for and relations to Humanitarian Organizations;
The role of gender in the industry;
How the industry is best regulated;
How PMSCs help providing maritime security.
A young researcher’s panel, which focuses on new and emerging research, and a roundtable on the future of the industry.