FROM Ruth Wedgewood
Piracy: The Legacy of a Failed State Yesterday, President Obama promised to work with other nations to " halt the rise of piracy " in the Indian Ocean. Since then, four more ships—from the Philippines, Liberia, Greece and Togo have been attacked off the coast of Somalia. Naval vessels are in the region.
Piracy: The Legacy of a Failed State In the hours since President Obama promised to " halt the rise of piracy ," four more ships from the Philippines, Liberia, Greece and Togo have been attacked in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Somalia. Naval vessels are in the region. Pirate leaders are threatening vengeance for those killed during French and American rescues. How much longer can fishermen in motorboats defy history's most powerful navies? Can merchant vessels defend themselves? Can military patrols be increased? Is it time to take action on shore either with force or to deal with the political chaos and economic deprivation behind an epidemic of lawlessness?
Should America Use 'Soft Power' in the Middle East? In the aftermath of World War II, the United States was known for generosity to allies and former enemies. Lately, the US is seen as an international bully as President Bush and his neo-conservative advisors project America's "hard power" militarily and economically. Now, isolated and overstretched, as the wars grind on in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US is losing the battles even some Administration officials now say should be fought with "soft power." Even Defense Secretary Robert Gates made a recent reference to this prime American asset when he said that American has "a variety of tools. Not all of them are hammers." What is "soft power?" Are Iran and China beating the US at what used to be its own game? How could "soft power" serve America's interests in a world of terrorism and nuclear weapons?
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.