...from the March issue of Armed Forces Journal. Ralph Peters offers a timely analysis of the Indian Ocean's importance in U.S. security strategy. While some Pentagon planners remain pre-occupied with the Pacific (and the growing Chinese naval threat), Peters reminds us that naval contingency operations in the Indian Ocean--and its adjacent waters--are much more likely, at least over the short term. As always, Peters's analysis is spot-on, and definitely worth a read.
Also in the March issue of AFJ, Christian Lowe reports on signs of hope and frustration in Iraq. Mr. Lowe spent several weeks with U.S. Marines and Army units in Iraqi "hotspots" and found surprisingly little activity. Is this a sign the insurgency is losing steam, or the terrorists are simply waiting for the U.S. to leave? The jury's still out on that one, but it is encouraging that the "frustration" our troops report is the result of fewer terrorist attacks, and a decrease in IED strikes. In places like Ramidi, Tal Afar and Hit--once terrorist strongholds--those declines are significant.