Maritime Non-state Actors: A Challenge for the Royal Canadian Navy?


  1. Rudd, D.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Centre for Operational Research and Analysis, Ottawa ON (CAN)
Global security and prosperity depends in part on good order at sea, with its attendant flow of licit maritime commerce. While challenges to that order have existed since the earliest sea-farers, new players have emerged in recent decades that inhibit the ability of nation-states to regulate domestic and international maritime activity. The challenge is accentuated by the downward pressure on defence and security budgets which negatively affect the ability of most Western navies to provide the expanding range of services required by their governments. While governments still expect that their navies stand ready to protect national interests through deterrence and power projection, new ‘peacetime’ missions are being imposed – ones that might otherwise have been the preserve of constabulary maritime forces. The missions could include, inter alia, maritime policing, counter-terrorism, peace support, and humanitarian/disaster relief. One of their distinguishing features is that they are more likely to bring navies into contact with non-state actors than peer competitors, whether inshore or on the high seas. These encounters could range from the relatively benign to the adversarial. This paper is intended to provide a brief exploration of the nature of maritime non-state actors (MNSAs) and the challenge they pose to national and international maritime security. It will examine the types and motivations of MNSAs and identify some of the ways in which a navy may interact with
Royal Canadian Navy;non-state actors;constabulary operations;irregular warfare;China
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2016-P003 — External Literature
Date of publication
13 Jan 2016
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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