Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: navy


State stands to weather storm of defense cutbacks

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

The Obama administration’s plan to trim the defense budget by $487 billion over the next decade – about 8 percent – has some critics saying it cuts too deeply and others saying it doesn’t cut enough.

But hardly anyone is disputing that Washington state’s military facilities are as well poised as any to weather the cutbacks in the new age of austerity – and perhaps even benefit from them.

That’s because as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down, the Pentagon’s focus is shifting to threats along the Pacific Rim. For operations in that region, Joint Base Lewis-McChord and the state’s naval bases in Everett and on the Kitsap Peninsula have a geographical advantage over just about any other state’s military installations. Read more »


Needed: An on-shore solution for Somali piracy

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

It’s time to deal with Somalia’s pirates the old-fashioned way: by decisively putting them out of business, by whatever means.

The piracy claimed the lives of U.S. citizens for the first time Tuesday when a band of high-sea outlaws killed four American hostages, including Bob Riggle and Phyllis Macay of Seattle.

This is a new and intolerable turn. Neither the murdered four nor their vessel promised the huge ransoms pirates have extorted by seizing large cargo vessels and their crews. The seizure may have been political in nature – perhaps a response to the 33-year sentence given a Somali pirate in a U.S. court last week.

The world’s inability to stop the hijacking of ships off the shores of East Africa is almost astonishing. Somali boatmen have been seizing vessels since the 1990s, their audacity and violence escalating dramatically in the last few years.

One of the largest naval operations in peacetime history has been mounted against them. More than two dozen countries – including China, Britain, Russia, Japan, India, Korea and the Netherlands – have joined the U.S. Sixth Fleet in patrolling the waters where the pirates operate.
Read more »