Thursday, December 31, 2009

End of Year Somali Piracy Statistics

Thanks to J. Peter Pham for the information ...

International Maritime Bureau records that 214 ships were attacked in the waters off the Horn of Africa this year, with 47 successfully hijacked ... there were 111 attacks in 2008 in comparison.

That piracy remains a profitable enterprise (so long as there are no serious sanctions against it)--he reports an $8 million ransom for the Chinese cargo ship MV De Xin Hai and the Singaporean boxship MV Kota Wojar seized near the Seychelles ...

No sign that there will be any let-up in 2010 ...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Running Out of Options on Iran

The Obama administration is running both out of time and out of options when it comes to Iran. Whether the most recent round of unrest in Iran helps the administration by posing a real challenge to the survivability of the regime remains to be seen. My assumption would be that if there is serious regime instability, the nuclear program gets put on hold, and that might buy the Obama team some additional time.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lessons from the Soviet Afghan Experience?

The subject of an essay in today's Foreign Affairs.

Stumbling blocks for the U.S., of course: tolerating the level of brutality Najibullah employed to get to the top; and a willingness to keep the gravy train flowing into Kabul.

Comments welcomed.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

More on the President's Afghan Address

Some initial reaction to President Obama's speech.

Some further concerns about the roadblocks the president's strategy will have to overcome.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?