Georgia hasn’t really stabilized yet:
- Georgia says two OSCE monitors detained by separatists
- OSCE observers arrive illegally in South Ossetia.
- South Ossetia says Georgian shells hit capital
- Russian Troops Present In Georgian-controlled Area – Tbilisi
And Russia’s got trouble of its own just across the Caucasus:
Doesn’t stop the Russians from looking north, though:
- Russia sending more ships, scientists to Arctic
- NATO cannot boost presence in Arctic – Russian president’s envoy
Since I’m doing world politics tonight, I’ll take up my sadly neglected duty of telling you everything that happened with pirates. Did I even mention last week that the MV Faina was released? That’s the ship that was carrying tanks and other weapons to Kenya, although the arms are widely thought to have been intended for a Sudanese faction.
According to David Musila, Assistant Minister for Defense, the military equipment will be off-loaded from the ship starting on Friday.
The military equipment, he said, will be delivered by rail to the Kahawa Garrison before transportation to the Armor Brigade in Isiolo in northern Kenya.
“We shall invite the media to witness this process,” Musila said, adding that this will convince those people that have doubted that the cargo was meant for Kenya.
The U.S. and Russian navies joined forces today in the Gulf of Aden in an extraordinary and spontaneous display of counter-piracy cooperation and high-seas diplomacy. The U.S.-guided missile cruiser Vella Gulf and the Russian destroyer Admiral Vinogradov launched a coordinated military response to a distress call from a Panamanian cargo ship, which reported it was about to be attacked by pirates.
- Danish navy hands over pirates to Dutch authorities
- US Navy seizes 7 suspected pirates off Somalia
- U.S. Navy captures more suspected pirates off Somalia
But before anyone gets too excited about their antipiracy patrols:
Among the litany of booby traps left by the Bush administration for the Obama team, Somalia could be one of the most complicated and bizarre.
The crisis there is also an opportunity, however, as one of the main obstacles to all-party peace talks was the Bush administration’s cynical and unrealistic refusal to talk to the most powerful insurgent groups in Somalia because of their alleged association with terrorism. The Obama administration, if Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s confirmation hearing is any indication, also views the Horn of Africa in the context of terrorism.
Nevertheless, Obama has also talked of his preference for diplomatic solutions. Somalia would be an ideal place to test his diplomacy.