FROM Peter Chalk
Marines Raid Hijacked Ship off Somalia In an incident that could have been scripted in Hollywood, US Marines today rescued the crew of a hijacked ship in the Gulf of Aden, sneaking along side in small boats, climbing aboard on ladders and arresting nine pirates from Somalia. Peter Chalk is a senior security analyst at the RAND Corporation .
American Ship Captain Rescued from Pirates The Captain of the Maersk Alabama is safe after Navy Seal sharp-shooters picked off three pirates who were holding him in the Indian Ocean. Richard Phillips had given himself up to the pirates to save his crew. Friday night, President Obama authorized Navy marksmen to shoot to kill if Phillips' life was in danger. Vice Admiral William Gortney, Head of the US Naval Command, said the decision to abandon negotiations was made only after the on-scene commander observed one of the pirates point an AK-47 at the captain's back. At left: Capt. Richard Phillips (R), stands alongside Cmdr. Frank Castellano, commanding officer of USS Bainbridge, after being rescued by US Naval Forces off the coast of Somalia. Official US Navy photo
Piracy Pays Almost as Well as Working on Wall Street In the past year, no less than 100 ships have been attacked and 42 have been seized by Somali pirates, with their crews ransomed for tens of millions of dollars. The UN Security Council has authorized military action, and this week Germany and China said they would join Britain, India and other nations in an effort being coordinated by the United States. But today, the US military said it would ransom a Ukrainian ship full of tanks, grenade launchers, small arms and ammunition that's has been in pirates' hands for three months. Peter Chalk is a senior analyst of transnational security threats at RAND.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
White House flip flops: NATO, Syria and China In less than 100 days, President Trump has contradicted himself on a host of foreign policy issues — Syria, NATO, China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Is it a strength — or a weakness — for the United States when the world of power politics never knows what to expect?
After Syria strike a new Trump doctrine emerges The President who promised an end to entanglements in the Middle East and snuggled up to Vladimir Putin has now outraged Russia with surprise missile attacks on Syria. That's raised questions about who's running the White House? We hear a variety of answers.