In a departure for Proceedings , this month we feature reports on a nation, a region, and a continent that constitute potential trouble spots for the United States-locations where U.S. military personnel could well find themselves serving in the future. We lead off with " The Bolivarian Revolution ," Marine Colonel Bruce Gandy's crisply written chronicle of the movement being led in South America by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. That movement, the author writes, combines "Cuban-style political repression, radical populism, broad militarism, and national socialism" that draws its inspiration from the 19th century hero Simon Bolivar. The mix is decidedly unfriendly to the United States. The movement is spreading, notably with the election of Chavez ally Evo Morales to the presidency of Bolivia this past December. He has promised to be America"s "worst nightmare."
Colonel Gandy's fine piece is followed by Navy Lieutenant Commander Pat Paterson's " Into Africa, A New Frontier in the War on Terror ." This is a broad-gauged look at U.S. efforts, primarily by the Navy and Marine Corps, to gain influence in Africa, a largely impoverished continent that many fear could become a breeding ground and sanctuary for terrorists. The continent is already helping to fill the ranks of hostile forces in Iraq: Pentagon officials, the author says, estimate that one-quarter of the foreign fighters in Iraq are Africans. He also quotes General Jim Jones, commander, U.S. European Command and Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, as saying the United States needs to be active on the continent so that African nations "don't become the Afghanistans and Iraqs of the future."
Freelance writer and author Jeff M. Moore concludes our look at world trouble spots with a fascinating report on a bloody insurrection in an unlikely place, Thailand. In " Islamic Insurgency Run Amok ," Mr. Moore tells of a little-known rebellion in southern Thailand that since January 2004 has caused over 1,000 deaths. "Thailand seems teetering on the verge of becoming yet another front in the global war on terror," he says.
We are pleased to welcome to our pages Terry Scott, the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, who reflects in " From Dusk to Dawn " on the changes that are taking hold in the new Navy. The Industrial Age is giving way to the Technological Age, he writes, and the Navy is moving swiftly to "capitalize on the exciting possibilities technology can offer."
Although U.S. military forces are heavily engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Asia-Pacific region still poses numerous challenges and opportunities, and cannot be ignored until the next major crisis. Admiral Gary Roughead (shown to the right, arriving on board Naval Station Everett), commander, Pacific Fleet, tells us what the Fleet is doing to enhance security in the theater. Its missions range from deterring potential enemies to training with our Pacific allies to providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. These varied tasks help to keep the peace and ensure stability, the admiral asserts.
This issue contains the winners of our longest-running essay competition, the Arleigh Burke Essay Contest, sponsored by Northrop Grumman. By various names, this contest dates back to 1879, a scant six years after the birth of the Naval Institute. The three winning entries appear here, led by the first prizewinner, retired Navy Rear Admiral W. J. Holland Jr., who warns that in the future, as in the past, " maritime dominance and long-term presence remain the Navy's primary mission."
This is our annual Naval Review issue, perhaps the most anticipated of each year. In these pages our experts report in depth on the state of the Sea Services. We also include the pictures and positions of the flag and general officers and senior enlisted leaders of the naval services.
Technically, this is the toughest issue of the year to put together and much of the credit for getting it right goes to our crack design and production staff, Faith Stewart, Amy Voight, and Kelly Erlinger.
Sadly, this issue will be the last to feel the magic touch of Creative Director Faith Stewart. Faith is leaving USNI after three years. She has been an innovator, a peerless designer, and a tireless worker. When she moved into the Creative Director position last year she displayed leadership qualities that her quiet demeanor had previously tended to obscure. She imposed a kind of rough discipline on the rest of us, among other things making it crystal clear that deadlines were to be honored, and not in the breach. Faith was special. We'll miss her.