Sea lanes securitization

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With the rise of Piracy on the seas, concentrated mainly in the straits of Malacca and off the coast of Somalia, a potentially lucrative, yet somewhat risky, business opportunity lies for seasteaders to seize: selling security services and direct counter-piracy assistance.

The current state of naval security is that the governments who have the means to enforce the security of private ships in international waters are also those who forbid their own citizens from arming themselves and their vessels in order to observe international treaties of non-aggression and maintain peace between nation-states. In addition, they are constantly decreasing their naval presence for the same reason: peace between nation-states. Moreover, the governments who offer the better navigation flag conditions are also those who do not have the means of ensuring protection for the ships that fly their flag, while potentially capable governments impose cost and time constraints so heavy on victims of pirate attacks that 9 out of 10 renounce reporting attacks. And to top it off, naval powers oppose, sometimes actively, the emergence of private providers of security on the seas.

Simply said, peace on land means warfare at seas because of the incentives model of the state. Protection at seas is a "market" encumbered by the same high-barrier to entry and high-cost of switching that is denounced in the government model of geographical sovereignty.

For these reasons, seasteading can make sense as a solution to the problem of piracy:

  • As a mobile form of sovereign territory, both under an existing flag or as an independant power if big enough, it can offer a base for naval operations (deployment of helicopters, for example) that is orders of magnitude cheaper than a carrier task group, while looking much less threatening to neighbouring states. By flying an ad-hoc flag it can host the required private security forces that ship owners would be otherwise forbidden by their national laws to have.
  • It can also bring visibility and stability to the high seas, offering the information from its survey systems (UAVs) for tracking pirate activity and a potential shelter (if it has heavy guns).
  • Being relatively self-sufficient means it can remain in place long enough without requiring support from potentially reluctant or hostile local authorities on land (often known to profit from piracy), without requiring the heavy logistics associated with most naval operations.