If nothing else is gleaned from the events at the Amenas gas plant in Algeria it should be this. The producers of energy and other natural resources along with their hosts will be increasing security. What this means can be viewed along a scale.
On one end you have the initial decision range. Is security needed and what is the cost-effective ratio to the projects overall profitability? Given the billions that can be at play here I think the answer more often than not will now be-YES! From here one slides along the scale to a point that fits the individual case.
Along this scale I think it feasible that the thought of heightened autonomy may come up. The host nations in many corners of the world are not to be relied upon in the first place and it has to be queried if they even would want the responsibility of providing 24/7 security. I see where arrangements could easily be made to allow the private entities to oversee the security apparatus. What this means in some settings is the use of PMC’s [Private Military Contractors]. This genie is out of the bottle internationally and the laws of capitalism dictate their use is almost a no-brainer. It also shifts the responsibility from the hosts and allows whatever financial gain they receive from the contracts stay fully within their public coffers or their corrupt pockets,whatever the case may be.
Tick this one up a notch or two and you get the old school imperialistic deployment of national forces. I confess this one on its face seems absurd but when you think about the Algerian response as well as the Chinese deployment of forces in Sudan I think you have to pause. I would also add that the precedent for consensus is there if you look at the international position on pirates off the coast of Africa. Alliances tensions and the blurred lines of nationals protecting foreign capitalists???? That’s a “wow” moment if you ask me.
Now we are really moving along one of the spectrums darker side rails. Ne0-Colonialism in the Dark continent. For crying out loud the French are back under arms in the Sahel. The British have dabbled a little,especially if you take Libya into account and the USA is very active in Africa. Add the plethora of potent NGO pseudo state actors and you really have to wonder what the hell is going on,especially if you’re from somewhere in Africa. Overall instability and the vestiges of old imperialism have wreaked some havoc in Africa,why more can’t be expected is beyond me.
Since I am of the school that the formation of African states has such a shitty legacy effect tied to it I don’t believe nationalization is an as available option as some might say. Corruption,domestic divides and sheer logistical capabilities of the nations involved make the contracted outsource route the most feasible.(Compare EO vs the UN operations in Sierra Leonne in the 90′s) I think one can concede though that the system then begets the tensions folks are trying to secure against. The cycle ramps itself up.
This brings us to the point where one has to wonder what other countries will do in the cases of their nationals being assaulted,kidnapped and killed. Let’s be clear this is something that goes beyond the continent of Africa. Asia,the Stan’s and Latin America all offer potential issues. It must also be said that folks should remember that money-making resources are not the only things to be concerned with. WATER is key. We also have the potential that these issues crop up in cases of infrastructure projects. Big entities bidding on big jobs are not going to accept getting kidnapped or killed on top of the dangers of construction sites.
It is indeed a new world out there and with that there is likely to be new wars a coming.