Traversing the waters around Somali can be a pretty risky endeavor. Nothing will ruin your day more thoroughly than a bunch of pirates boarding your ship, holding you a gun point, and demanding a random for your release. The biggest problem has been in the fact most ships have been barred from having means of self-defense by the very governments that have been pretending to protest ships. Well Germany has finally admitted that they are incapable of protecting their ships and have authorized their serfs on the seas to hire private security:
State secretary in the economics ministry responsible for maritime affairs, Hans-Joachim Otto, said on Thursday that he could not answer the repeated calls from shipping companies for soldiers or armed police officers to accompany their boats.
Of course the government is going to allow any private security firms that itself hasn’t explicitly blessed:
“We don’t want desperadoes, so we are looking into a certification,” said Otto. He said security firms offering protection would have to meet certain standards. The government had until now always rejected such a solution, unwilling to give up the state’s monopoly on the use of legitimate force.
Being able to defend yourself shouldn’t require government’s permission. Government like to maintain a monopoly on the use of force in all situations and get kind of testy when us peasants decide to take measures to defend our own lives. If most of the ships traversing Somali waters were armed to the teeth the pirates would likely think twice about hijacking ships. Deterring all crime is impossible but if you raise the risk of criminal activity high enough it will deter many criminals. By raising the risks I’m not talking about increasing jail sentences either, I’m talking about people being able to defend themselves against assailants.
It’s good to see German ships will finally be allowed to hire security forces to keep the pirates at bay, but this entire problem could have been mostly avoided had no rule against ships being able to hire security been passed.