IWP alumnus Larry Cosgriff has co-authored an essay, "Arms and the Merchantman," for Proceedings, the monthly magazine of the U.S. Naval Institute. The article is available via online subscription, as well as in the December 2010 print edition of the magazine.
Cosgriff, who was Valedictorian of IWP's Class of 2007 and a retired merchant marine captain himself, is a principal of Maritime Lens LLC, a maritime risk analysis firm.
With co-author Ed Feege, Cosgriff examines how the use of armed guards aboard merchant ships can help prevent or mitigate the risk of piracy. They note the pros and cons of using various types of guards -- among them local for-hire troops and private security contractors -- including implications for shipowners in areas such as safety and legal liability.
They note, "Armed guards are unlikely to be a panacea that would allow the current naval presence to be significantly reduced. But as with other vessel defenses, they can provide time for both ships under attack and overstretched multinational forces to respond to an attack."