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?
The President and America's infrastructure: Bait and switch? President Trump's $1 trillion infrastructure proposal may not be what it seems. We look at the prospects for much-needed improvements in roads, bridges and airports.
The airline electronics ban and what it means President Trump's Department of Homeland Security has banned all electronic devices larger than cell phones on some foreign airlines flying direct to the US. It's causing confusion as well as inconvenience. Is the motive really just increased security?
'Do-or-die' time on healthcare bill President Trump has demanded a House vote today on replacing Obamacare…whatever the details might be. Despite his campaign promise that nobody would lose health insurance, that's possible for 24 million people if he were finally to sign this bill into law.