Thomas Friedman is quick to deliver opinions, but comes up short on solutions. In fact, the problems in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and North Korea seem intractable. While not saying it outright, he is critical of TeamObama's foreign policy, which at this point is only a continuation of Bush foreign policy with a few overtures to problematic regimes like Iran and Cuba.
To be fair, there are no easy answers and the same GS career diplomats are working on these intractable problems. Thomas seems to be saying that military pressure may be a better solution...without quite recommending it.
Meanwhile Defense Secretary Gates says that the Somali piracy problem can only be solved 'on the ground.' He even hints, as others have at nation-building.
[WSJ 4/14/09: "Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Monday that despite the successful rescue of an American merchant captain Sunday, piracy off the coast of Somalia will flourish until a stable government is established in Mogadishu.What? rebuild another nation? Not likely! It's obvious we (the world) have no viable answer.
Mr. Gates said poverty and rampant criminality in Somalia make piracy an attractive option for local youths, and problems there are "probably going to get worse."
"There is no purely military solution to it," Mr. Gates said in an address to the Marine Corps War College in Quantico, Va. "There's really no way in my view to control it unless you get something on land that begins to change the equation for these kids.""]
The world is full of rogues and bastards in addition to the RITS (Radical Islamic Terrorists) and RATS (Radical Arab Terrorists). BTW, I note with great humor the foolish new terms of art adopted by TeamObama for the war on terror/terrorism [this from WAPO 4/4/09: "SECRETARY OF STATE Hillary Rodham Clinton recently confirmed that the Obama administration has dropped the phrase "global war on terror." She didn't say why. "I think that speaks for itself. Obviously," was her elaboration...].
TeamObama seems to think they can soften the hearts of the Muslim world by describing reality in different words. Nonsense!