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Austin Bay

Articles by Austin Bay

BAY: Hope from Iraq

The BBC Web site headline, appearing on Jan. 31 as Iraq's provincial elections concluded, read Published February 6, 2009

BAY: Satellite and space weapon wiggle

The column I began writing at 7 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001, addressed the American military's reliance on satellites and issues involving "a potential arms race in space." Of course, by 9 a.m., space militarization became less pressing, as al Qaeda turned jumbo jets into ballistic missiles and murdered 3,000 innocents. Published January 30, 2009

BAY: Machiavelli and Mexico

Mexico's foreign minister objects -- and she's right. "Mexico is not a failed state," Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa said this week, responding to sensationalized headlines that suggested the "The Joint Operating Environment (JOE)" study (published in November 2008) by U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) was predicting Mexico's collapse. Published January 23, 2009

BAY: When the human shield slips

The phrase "involuntary martyrdom" is a hideous clue to contemporary terrorists' perverse notions of battlefield victory and their means for pursuing political power in the 21st century. Published January 16, 2009

BAY: Money in doom and boom

In Roman mythology, Janus was the god of endings and beginnings. The god - his namesake is the month of January - had two faces, one figuratively looking toward the past, one to the future. Published January 9, 2009

BAY: What is peace?

As we approach the New Year, hope for Peace on Earth, and wish one another cheer and goodwill, it is fair to damn our terrible condition. Published December 26, 2008

BAY: Mexico's cartel war -- year three

If you've ever been stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, in El Paso, you know the neighboring Mexican city of Juarez is a great place to get a steak. Earlier this year, however, Fort Bliss' commander put Juarez off-limits, and it remains off-limits. Why? Juarez is a bloody battlefield in Mexico's Cartel War. Published December 19, 2008

BAY: Nexus and eve of destruction

History changes -- historians make sure it does. Historians re-evaluate the past in the light of new events. That's the past reinterpreted, or history renewed. Strategists -- and the best are well-grounded in history -- attempt to leverage history and an estimate of current conditions to speculate on "pending changes." In other words, the future. Published December 11, 2008

BAY: The terrorists' gambit

The Islamist terrorist attack on Mumbai sets the stage for another major war between India and Pakistan. To avoid it, statesmen will have to control inflamed public passion and manipulative politicians as well as confront the terrorists responsible for the heinous crime. Published December 5, 2008

BAY: The pirates of Puntland

Somalia's pirates have a big problem on their hands - in the form of their greatest prize, the Saudi-owned oil tanker the Sirius Star. Published November 28, 2008

BAY: The Iraqi-U.S. agreement

Two events and one document frame the historical context of two pending agreements that will guide U.S.-Iraqi relations over the next three to 10 years: Published November 21, 2008

BAY: Great expectations and Sudan

Ecstatic Kenyans declared a holiday, waved flags and expressed deserved pride when Barack Obama, the son of a Kenyan, was elected president of the United States. They also killed bulls. Published November 14, 2008

BAY: Eastern Congo's quagmire

The expanding war in the Democratic Republic of Congo's eastern provinces is a bitter reminder that complex problems cannot be fixed with good intentions and inspiring rhetoric. Published November 7, 2008

BAY: The counterterror raid on Sukkariyeh, Syria

No military operation is riskier than a commando raid. Extreme physical danger and the potentially high payoff if the operation succeeds are two reasons a dramatic raid has box-office appeal in Hollywood. Published October 31, 2008

BAY: Testing Obama's mettle

"Mark my words," Joe Biden told a group of wealthy contributors. "It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like it did John Kennedy." A moment later Mr. Biden added, "Watch, we're going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy." Published October 24, 2008

BAY: Next president's Iraq war

The next president's war will measure America's commitment to defending democracy and promoting genuine international security in the 21st century. Published October 17, 2008


With the establishment of the Pentagon's new regional command for Africa, AFRICOM, addressing the complex political and social challenges of the African continent moves from diplomatic afterthought to shrewd long-term effort. The new theater command became operational Oct. 1. Published October 10, 2008

BAY: The trillion-dollar question

The terms "new" and "old" media tend to distort rational discussion about the change in the way people access information. Published September 19, 2008

BAY: Bin Laden's slow rot

In late August 2004, after shutting off the recorder, I asked the British general to tell me how Iraq and coalition forces should handle the complex ethnic, sectarian and security challenge presented by Shia "Mahdi Militia" leader Sheik Muqtada al-Sadr. That month, Sheik al-Sadr's thugs had invaded Najaf's Grand Mosque and attempted to bait the coalition into bombing the shrine. Published September 12, 2008

BAY: Time to go nuclear

"Das Leben Wahlen — Stop Kernenergie" the sticker reads in German. Choose Life. Stop Nuclear Energy. Published September 5, 2008