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  • Author: Anne-Marie Slaughter
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The United States' unique ability to capitalize on connectivity will make the twenty-first century an American century.
  • Topic: War, Communications
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Georgia
  • Author: Richard N. Haass
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: I want to express my appreciation to Zbigniew Brzezinski for his generous review of my book War of Necessity, War of Choice: A Memoir of Two Iraq Wars ("A Tale of Two Wars," May/June 2009). Praise from someone of Brzezinski's stature is praise indeed.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Philip D. Zelikow
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Europe, Soviet Union
  • Author: Robert R. Reilly
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Cold War, War
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Mark Dubowitz
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Government, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Israel
  • Author: Eric R. Sterner
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: There's an old saying that military institutions always prepare to fight the last war, only to be surprised when the next war unfolds in an entirely different manner. Ironically, some in the military remain so focused on preparing for the next war that they have been accused of being prepared to lose the current one. David Kilcullen, combat veteran, senior advisor to both then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and then-Lieutenant General David Petraeus, scholar, counterinsurgency expert, and member of the brain trust that crafted the new strategy for success in Iraq, has authored a book that could help the West avoid that fate. The Accidental Guerrilla melds theory, memoir, policy analysis, and strategic recommendations into an enlightening narrative that can assist the national security community in winning the "Long War" against al-Qaeda and its brand of violent religious extremism.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Bruce Kuklick
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: London: Reaktion Books Ltd., 2007, 223 pp., ISBN 9781861894090. Bruce KuklickInsight Turkey, Vol. 11, No.2, 2009, p. 151
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey
  • Author: Virginia H. Aksan
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008, Cambridge Military Histories, xv+216 pp., ISBN 978-0-521-88060-2. Virginia H. Aksan, p. 173Insight Turkey, Vol. 11, No.4, 2009, p. 173
  • Topic: War
  • Author: Nicu Popescu, Andrew Wilson
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The launch of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) marks the most significant change to the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) since it was launched in 2004. In the wake of the Georgia war in August 2008 and yet another gas crisis in January 2009, the EU clearly needs a more constructive policy towards Eastern Europe. But both the ENP and EaP are based on a contradiction. They offer only the remotest possibility of eventual accession to the EU, but are still based on "accession-light" assumptions, applying the conditionality model of the 1990s to weak states that are a long way from meeting the Copenhagen criteria. The priority in the eastern neighbourhood is not building potential members states but strengthening sovereignty, in the face of an increasingly assertive Russian neighbourhood policy. The game is playing the west off against Russia for geopolitical reward.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Georgia
  • Author: William J. vanden Heuvel
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: The bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln has given our country an opportunity to remember the brutal conflict that almost destroyed the Republic. In its own way, the event we recall today—the closing of the public schools of Prince Edward County in 1959—was a last battle of the Civil War. History marked this County. On April 7, 1865, Robert E. Lee, knowing that defeat was imminent, rested here briefly before his final retreat. On April 8, the next day, Ulysses Grant, in pursuit, was in Prince Edward County. He dispatched a note to his adversary. They agreed to meet at the Appomattox Court House the next day. And so on April 9, 1865, the Civil War was ended by its most illustrious commanders. Ulysses Grant became President of the United States. Robert E. Lee devoted the last five years of his life to efforts to “lead the young men in peace” and he gave this advice to southern parents: “Forget local animosities. Teach your sons to be Americans.” It took a very long time for that message to reach the White establishment of Virginia and in particular Prince Edward County. The racial, political, economic, cultural struggle that defined the Civil War found its last echoes in the voices of those who invented “massive resistance” to the Supreme Court's decisions on desegregation and who fought bitterly over the role and future of the public schools of this County.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Virginia
  • Author: C. Steven McGann
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: The United States has a long history of enduring relationships with the Pacific islands dating from the early days of Yankee whalers to our alliances in World War II, until today, when we are seeking ways to implement a comprehensive and renewed engagement in the region.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Cornelia Beyer
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Center for International Conflict Resolution at Yalova University
  • Abstract: This article argues that the causes for participation in Global Governance are to be found in part in the mere structure of it. In the debate about Global Governance, largely, the issue of power is neglected. However, we certainly deal with a hegemonic constellation. Therefore, the power is present and exerted in Global Governance. It is argued here, that the exertion of power in Global Governance by the United States is causal for participation in it. The study looks at the Global Governance of Counterterrorism, i.e. the Global War on Terrorism, and the regional organizations of ASEAN and the EU.
  • Topic: Terrorism, War, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia
  • Author: Alexander Orakhelashvili
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: It is indisputable that the fight against impunity for the perpetrators of serious international crimes is a fundamental policy of the international community. As the International Court of Justice emphasized in the Arrest Warrant case, the functionally and temporarily limited immunity of the foreign minister of the Congo was not the same as according impunity to that official, because the number of ways of prosecuting him remained intact ( Arrest Warrant of 11 April 2000, Merits, General List No. 121, 14 February 2002, paras 60 – 61). The efforts to combat impunity for the perpetrators of serious crimes are conducted by two methods. The first method relates to establishing international tribunals, which has been the case since the Nuremberg and Tokyo Tribunals in the aftermath of World War II. This method is limited, because international tribunals necessarily have limited jurisdiction. They cannot address the problems of impunity in general, but only those aspects of it which are covered by their mandate as specified in their statutes. Even if this mandate is quite general, as is the case with the International Criminal Court (ICC), the actual extent to which impunity will be combatted still depends on the voluntary decision of states to become party to the Statute. The second method reflects the limited nature of international criminal tribunals. The remaining problems of impunity are addressed through the exercise of jurisdiction by national courts. This is reflected in the fact that the multiplication of international criminal tribunals over the past 15 years has not caused any decline in the activities of national courts in this field. Quite the contrary; the growth of international criminal jurisdiction has been accompanied by the equally remarkable growth of national criminal jurisdiction to address international crimes, including those committed extraterritorially.
  • Topic: United Nations, War
  • Political Geography: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tokyo
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The Chinese policy toward the Korean Peninsula from the beginning of the Korean War in 1950 had been to keep it within the Chinese sphere of influence. As the occupation of the Korean Peninsula by a hostile nation would inevitably threaten China's national security it would not allow any foreign domination of Korean Peninsula. Therefore, China has consistently supported North Korea economically and militarily for the past half century. However, the Chinese policy toward South Korea was beginning to change as South Korea hosted the Olympic in 1988. North Korea also participated in the Olympic. China began to adopt an equal distance policy toward the two Koreas and established the diplomatic relations with the Republic of Korea (ROK) in 1992, an act of which was in fact the recognition of two governments in the Korean Peninsula. However, China insisted a peaceful reunification of two Koreas by opposing any attempt to reunify two Koreas by military means thus endorsing North Korean policy of reunification. When North Korea developed nuclear weapons in the 1990s and withdrew from the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1992, China supported the Six-Nation Talks by hosting them in Beijing for the sake of denuclearization of North Korea. This paper reviewed the role of China in the six-party talks, participated by China, the United States, Russia, Japan and two Koreas. Following series of negotiations in the 1990s and the six-party talks from 2003 to 2007 ten joint statements and agreements came out. This paper attempted to analyze them in the context of Sino-North Korean relations as well as North-South Korean relations. It is the conclusion of this paper that China expressed its national interest to realize the nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. It is also China's interest that the two Koreas achieve the peaceful reunification. The Sino-South Korean relations has changed into a “strategic cooperative partnership” under the newly inaugurated government of Lee Myung-Back in Seoul.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Korea
  • Author: Steven Hurst
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Several observers have argued that the radical transformation of American foreign policy wrought by George W. Bush is already over. They argue that the 'Bush Revolution' was merely a result of the short-term conjuncture of neoconservative influence and the impact of September 11, 2001, and that this temporary deviation has been ended by the American failure in Iraq. Yet the causes of the Bush Revolution are more fundamental and long-term than this argument implies. It is in the combination of the shift to a militarily unipolar international system and the dominance of the Republican Party by its conservative wing that the real roots of the Bush foreign policy lie, and neither condition is likely to alter in the foreseeable future. Moreover, although the Iraq War has led to some shifts in policy, the Republicans' selection of John McCain as their presidential candidate confirms the continued vitality of the Bush Revolution.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America
  • Author: Mario E Carranza
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This paper examines the economics-security nexus in US policy toward South America, and the implications for South America of the 'securitization' of US foreign economic policy during the Bush administration. There has always been a tight linkage between the US foreign economic and security agendas but the real issue is the degree of 'tightness' at a given point in time. After the Alliance for Progress lost its way the United States tended to pursue its economic and security interests in South America in separate tracks, even if preventing Soviet intrusions in the region remained in the background. Yet after the collapse of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) negotiations in 2004 a US strategy of 'divide and conquer' through bilateral trade deals has been accompanied by a 'securitization' discourse and there are some indications that it may 'securitize' as a new threat the social movements and neopopulist regimes that oppose neoliberal economic policies. The paper discusses the limits of the securitization thesis. The conclusion examines the future of US-South American relations and argues that the United States needs to renew its commitment to genuine multilateralism and re-engage the region to establish an effective and lasting partnership for dealing with common economic and security challenges in the twenty-first century.
  • Topic: Security, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, South America
  • Author: Robert Muggah, Nat J. Colletta
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Security Sector Management
  • Institution: Centre for Security Sector Management
  • Abstract: The intensity and complexity of post-war violence routinely exceeds expectations. Many development and security specialists fear that, if left unchecked, mutating violence can potentially tip 'fragile' societies back into war. An array of 'conventional' security promotion activities are regularly advanced to prevent this from happening, including disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) and other forms of security sector reform (SSR). Meanwhile, a host of less widely recognised examples of security promotion activities are emerging that deviate from – and also potentially reinforce – DDR and SSR. Innovation and experimentation by mediators and practitioners has yielded a range of promising activities designed to mitigate the risks and symptoms of post-war violence including interim stabilisation measures and second generation security promotion interventions. Drawing on original evidence, this article considers a number of critical determinants of post-war violence that potentially shape the character and effectiveness of security promotion on the ground. It then issues a typology of security promotion practices occurring before, during and after more conventional interventions such as DDR and SSR. Taken together, the identification of alternative approaches to security promotion implies a challenging new research agenda for the growing field of security and development.
  • Topic: Security, Development, War, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Bruce Riedel
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The National Interest
  • Institution: Center for the National Interest
  • Abstract: IN DECEMBER 2007 Benazir Bhutto said, "I now think al-Qaeda can be marching on Islamabad in two to four years." Before this interview could even be published she was murdered, most likely by the Pakistani Taliban, an al-Qaeda ally. Benazir's words now look all too accurate. A jihadist victory in Pakistan, meaning the takeover of the nation by a militant Sunni movement led by the Taliban, would have devastating consequences. It would create the greatest threat the United States has yet to face in its war on terror. Pakistan as an Islamic-extremist safe haven would bolster al-Qaeda's capabilities tenfold. The jihadist threat bred in Afghanistan would be a cakewalk in comparison. The old Afghan sanctuary was remote, landlocked and weak; a new one in Pakistan would be in the Islamic mainstream with a modern communications and transportation infrastructure linking it to the world. The threat would be almost unfathomable. The implications would be literally felt around the globe. American options for dealing with such a state would be limited and costly.
  • Topic: Islam, War
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Craig Biddle
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: America, Washington
  • Author: Alex Epstein, Yaron Brook
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Islam, War
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Elan Journo
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Author's note: The following is the introduction to Winning the Unwinnable War: America's Self-Crippled Response to Islamic Totalitarianism. The book is being published by Lexington Books and is scheduled for release this November. "I don't think you can win it. . . . I don't have any . . . definite end [for the war]"-President George W. Bush1 The warriors came in search of an elusive Taliban leader. Operating in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan, the team of Navy SEALs was on difficult terrain in an area rife with Islamist fighters. The four men set off after their quarry. But sometime around noon that day, the men were boxed into an impossible situation. Three Afghan men, along with about one hundred goats, happened upon the team's position. What should the SEALs do? Their mission potentially compromised, they interrogated the Afghan herders. But they got nothing. Nothing they could count on. "How could we know," recalls one of the SEALs, "if they were affiliated with a Taliban militia group or sworn by some tribal blood pact to inform the Taliban leaders of anything suspicious-looking they found in the mountains?" It was impossible to know for sure. This was war, and the "strictly correct military decision would still be to kill them without further discussion, because we could not know their intentions." Working behind enemy lines, the team was sent there "by our senior commanders. We have a right to do everything we can to save our own lives. The military decision is obvious. To turn them loose would be wrong." But the men of SEAL Team 10 knew one more thing. They knew that doing the right thing for their mission-and their own lives-could very well mean spending the rest of their days behind bars at Leavenworth. The men were subject to military rules of engagement that placed a mandate on all warriors to avoid civilian casualties at all costs. They were expected to bend over backward to protect Afghans, even if that meant forfeiting an opportunity to kill Islamist fighters and their commanders, and even if that meant imperiling their own lives. The SEALs were in a bind. Should they do what Washington and the military establishment deemed moral-release the herders and assume a higher risk of death-or protect themselves and carry out their mission-but suffer for it back home? The men-Lt. Michael Murphy; Sonar Technician 2nd Class Matthew Axelson; Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Danny Dietz; and Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Marcus Luttrell-took a vote. They let the herders go. Later that afternoon, a contingent of about 100-140 Taliban fighters swarmed upon the team. The four Americans were hugely outnumbered. The battle was fierce. Dietz fought on after taking five bullets, but succumbed to a sixth, in the head. Murphy and Axelson were killed not long after. When the air support that the SEALs had called for finally arrived, all sixteen members of the rescuing team were killed by the Islamists. Luttrell was the lone survivor, and only just.2 The scene of carnage on that mountainside in Afghanistan captures something essential about American policy. What made the deadly ambush all the more tragic is that in reaching their decision, those brave SEALs complied with the policies handed down to them from higher-ups in the military and endorsed by the nation's commander-in-chief. Their decision to place the moral injunction to selflessness ahead of their mission and their very lives encapsulates the defining theme of Washington's policy response to 9/11. Across all fronts U.S. soldiers are made to fight under the same, if not even more stringent, battlefield rules. Prior to the start of the Afghanistan War and the Iraq War, for instance, the military's legal advisors combed through the Pentagon's list of potential targets, and expansive "no-strike" lists were drawn up.3 Included on the no-strike lists were cultural sites, electrical plants, broadcast facilities-a host of legitimate strategic targets ruled untouchable, for fear of affronting or harming civilians. To tighten the ropes binding the hands of the military, some artillery batteries "were programmed with a list of sites that could not be fired on without a manual override," which would require an OK from the top brass.4 From top to bottom, the Bush administration consciously put the moral imperative of shielding civilians and bringing them elections above the goal of eliminating real threats to our security. . . .
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, America
  • Author: Craig Biddle
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: The proper purpose of government, wrote Thomas Jefferson, is to "guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it." The government "shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government." In accordance with this view of the purpose of government, the founders established a republic in which the government was constitutionally limited to the protection of individual rights-the rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. In this new republic, men were free to think, to produce, and to trade in accordance with their own best judgment; thus, they were free to thrive in accordance with their intelligence, their ability, their initiative. The result was astounding. Nineteenth-century America was a land of unparalleled innovation and prosperity-and further political achievement. In addition to countless inventions that sprang up-including the steamboat, the cotton gin, vulcanized rubber, the telephone, the incandescent light, the electric power plant, the skyscraper, and the safety elevator-and in addition to the vital industries that arose or were revolutionized-such as the railroad, oil, and steel industries-19th-century America witnessed the end of slavery, which was recognized as a violation of the basic principle of the land. Between the end of the Civil War and the turn of the century, America came as close to being a fully rights-respecting society as any country has ever come. Men were essentially free to live their own lives, by their own judgment, for their own sake. Unfortunately, although the Land of Liberty was a great success, it would not and could not last. The founders established America on the principle of individual rights, but neither they nor the thinkers who followed them identified the deeper philosophic foundation on which this principle depends, namely, the morality of egoism-the idea that being moral consists in pursuing the values on which one's life and happiness depend. In the absence of this foundation, Americans have embraced philosophical ideas that are contrary to individual rights. Over the past century, Americans have increasingly accepted the morality of altruism-the notion that being moral consists in self-sacrificially serving others-and they have increasingly applied this morality to the realm of politics. Consequently, our government is no longer committed to "restrain men from injuring one another [and] leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement." Rather, our government regularly-and increasingly-"take[s] from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned" and redistributes that bread to those who have not earned it. Consider just a few of the countless altruistically motivated, wealth-redistributing laws and institutions that have been enacted or established over the past hundred years: The Federal Reserve violates the rights of Americans by (among other things) printing fiat money-thus debasing citizens' savings-in order to finance welfare programs, bail out failed banks, "rescue" bankrupt car companies, and the like. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) violates the rights of taxpayers by forcing them to insure the bank deposits of strangers. Social Security violates the rights of younger Americans by forcing them to fund the retirements of older Americans. The National Labor Relations Act (aka the Wagner Act) violates the rights of automakers (and other businessmen) by forcing them to "contract" with labor unions on terms that are detrimental to their businesses. Medicare and Medicaid violate the rights of taxpaying Americans by forcing them to fund the health care of the aged and the (allegedly) destitute. The Community Reinvestment Act violates the rights of bankers by forcing them to provide loans to people whom they regard as too risky for business. The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) violates the rights of taxpayers by forcing them to purchase bad debt from failing financial institutions. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) violates the rights of Americans by expanding the extent to which they are forced to fund welfare programs, unemployment benefits, government-run education, and the health care of others. Of course, federal, state, and municipal governments violate Americans' rights in thousands of other ways as well, but the foregoing indicates the enormity of the problem. The explicit "justification" for all such rights-violating laws and institutions-the principle behind all of them-is altruism: the notion that we have a moral duty to serve others, whether "the poor" or "the public interest" or "society" or "the common good." As Theodore Roosevelt put it, the government must "regulate the use of wealth in the public interest" and "regulate the terms and conditions of labor, which is the chief element of wealth, directly in the interest of the common good"; or as Franklin D. Roosevelt put it, the government must seek "the greater good of the greater number of Americans"; or as John F. Kennedy put it, the individual must "weigh his rights and comforts against his obligations to the common good"; or as Bill Clinton put it, the individual must "give something back" on behalf of "the common good"; or as George W. Bush put it, we must "seek a common good beyond our comfort"; or as Barack Obama puts it, we must heed the "call to sacrifice" and uphold our "core ethical and moral obligation" to "look out for one another" and to "be unified in service to a greater good." A government animated by this principle will increasingly force citizens to serve the so-called "common good"-and with each political success, the government will get bolder and more aggressive in its enforcement of this principle. This is why the U.S. government has graduated over decades from the mere redistribution of wealth via taxation and inflation . . . to the establishment of wealth-redistributing institutions and hubs such as Social Security, Medicare, and TARP . . . to the outright nationalization of businesses, such as American International Group (AIG), General Motors (GM), and Citigroup . . . and to the nullification of private contracts that stand in its way (e.g., employment contracts in the case of AIG bonuses, investment contracts in the case of Chrysler's senior-secured creditors). Under such expanding government control, explains an article in the New York Times: Businesses and private property . . . become not an instrument of private "egoism" but "functions of the people." They remain private wherever and so long as they fulfill their "functions." Wherever and whenever they fall down, the State steps in and either forces them to fulfill the functions or takes them over entirely. That description of what we have witnessed recently, however, was not written recently; it was written in 1938. Nor was the author describing conditions in the United States; he was describing conditions in Germany under the then-burgeoning National Socialist Party.
  • Topic: Oil, War
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Doug Altner
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Over the past few years, Somali pirates have attacked numerous ships, hijacking more than forty in 2008, holding more than six hundred seafarers for ransom that same year,1 and extorting more than $150 million in ransom payments from December 2007 to November 2008.2 More troubling is that, as of September, reported pirate attacks for 2009 have already surpassed the total number reported in 2008-a strong indication that the problem of piracy is only worsening.3 Because of these attacks, shipping companies must choose between navigating dangerous waters and taking costly alternate routes in order to protect their crews and goods. In November 2008, Maersk, one of the world's largest container shipping companies, announced that, until there are more convoys to protect its ships from attacks, some of its fleet will avoid taking the most direct sea route to the East through the Suez Canal, which leads to pirate-infested waters.4 By taking the next best route from Europe to the East-around South Africa's Cape of Good Hope-shipping companies such as Maersk will add an average of 5.7 days and three thousand miles to each trip. The average annual cost of this route change to such a shipping company will range in millions of dollars for each of its ships that uses the alternate route,5 not to mention short- and long-term expenses from additional wear on its vessels. And, of course, given the integrated nature of the economy and the amount of goods shipped to and from the East, such route changes negatively affect all industries, directly or indirectly. Although the piracy threat has been well known to those in the shipping industry for a few years, it became manifest to most Americans in April 2009 when Somali pirates hijacked the Maersk Alabama and captured twenty U.S. sailors. Although the sailors soon regained control of the ship,6 four pirates took Captain Richard Phillips hostage on a lifeboat. The three-day standoff that ensued ended when a team of navy SEAL snipers rescued the captain.7 Fortunately, neither the captain nor any sailors were seriously harmed during this attack-but it is disconcerting that a small gang of third-world pirates dared to attack an American ship and abduct its captain. Why were the pirates not afraid of a standoff with the most powerful navy on earth? To determine what is motivating these pirates and how the U.S. Navy should best combat their attacks, many policy analysts, historians, and defense experts are looking to the Barbary Wars-two wars the United States fought in the early 19th century to end North African piracy-for guidance. These experts are wise to look here, for the situation surrounding the Barbary pirates of the revolutionary era is similar in important respects to the situation surrounding the Somali pirates of today. Like the Somali pirates, the Barbary pirates attacked trade ships, stole goods, took prisoners, and demanded ransom from wealthy nations with strong militaries. And like the Somali pirates, the Barbary pirates got away with their thievery for some time. But unlike the Somali pirates, who continue their predations, after the Second Barbary War the Barbary pirates stopped assaulting U.S. ships-permanently. Toward establishing a policy that can bring about this same effect with regard to the Somali pirates, it is instructive to examine those aspects of late-18th- and early-19th-century U.S. foreign policy that were effective against Barbary piracy and those that were not. In particular, it is instructive to identify why the First Barbary War failed to end the pirate attacks but the second succeeded. Let us consider the key events surrounding these two wars. . . . To read the rest of this article, select one of the following options:Subscriber Login | Subscribe | Renew | Purchase a PDF of this article
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, South Africa, Somalia