PLEDGE NOW
Pirates and Power at Sea
U.S. Navy cruiser monitors a pirated ship. (AP)

On Tuesday, Sept. 30, the commanding officer of a U.S. Navy guided-missile cruiser monitors the pirated motor vessel Faina off the coast of Somalia while one of his helicopters provides aerial surveillance. (US Navy photo)

Somali pirates don’t joke around.

Off one of the busiest sea lanes in the world, where oil-tanker traffic and a whole lot more flow to the Suez Canal, they have been taking ship after ship this year. Boarding bloody if need be, commandeering the bridge, holding crew and cargo ransom for big money.

Ten days ago they hit a deadly jackpot. A Ukrainian freighter stuffed to the gunwhales with heavy weaponry. Soviet tanks. Grenage launchers. Ammo.

Now U.S. warships have the captive ship cornered. A Soviet frigate is on the way. But the problem is spreading.

This hour, On Point: Pirates, global order fraying off the Horn of Africa, and a high seas crisis on the world stage.

Guests:

Jeffrey Gettleman, East Africa bureau chief for The New York Times, based in Nairobi, Kenya. He joined us earlier from an island near the coast of Somalia.

Joining us from London is Roger Middleton, consultant researcher for the Africa program at Chatham House in London. He’s the author of “Piracy in Somalia: Threatening Global Trade, Feeding Local War.”

Joining us from New York City is J. Peter Pham, director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University and a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracy in Washington, D.C. He writes a weekly column for the New Atlanticist about African security issues. His Sept. 29 column was “The Challenge of Somali Piracy.”

Joining us from Bahrain is Lt. Nathan Christensen, deputy spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet headquarters in Bahrain.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jun 29, 2015
People walk on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on Saturday April 26, 2014. Two Supreme Court cases about police searches of cellphones without warrants present vastly different views of the ubiquitous device. Is it a critical tool for a criminal or is it an American’s virtual home? How the justices answer that question could determine the outcome of the cases being argued Tuesday, April 29, 2014. (AP)

Same-sex marriage. Obamacare. Lethal injection. Voting rights. Redistricting. A big look at the Supreme Court term.

Jun 29, 2015
Bacteria under a microscope.

Can bacteria in your gut influence your brain? Your mood? Your emotions? Top scientists say yes.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jun 26, 2015
The crowd celebrates outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday June 26, 2015, after the court declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the US. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The Supreme Court decides in a 5-4 ruling: same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states.

 
Jun 26, 2015
President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden speaks, in the Rose Garden of the White House, Thursday, June 25, 2015, in Washington, after the Supreme Court upheld the subsidies for customers in states that do not operate their own exchanges under President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. (AP)

The Confederate Flag and funerals in Charleston. The Marathon bomber speaks. All eyes on the Supreme Court. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: June 19, 2015
Friday, Jun 19, 2015

Why our broadcast changed in different markets this week, and a closer look at a puppet theatre vandalism in rural Norway. (Really).

More »
Comment
 
Quick Note On Rebroadcasting Today
Thursday, Jun 18, 2015

A quick note regarding today’s shifting schedule of broadcasts.

More »
2 Comments
 
How To Follow Team USA At The Women’s World Cup
Monday, Jun 15, 2015

Good news! You can watch the 2015 Women’s World Cup on basic broadcast TV. Bad news: we can’t quite predict if the American team is going to make it all the way to the July 5 championship game.

More »
2 Comments