Other powers are taking over military and police roles that once fell to Washington by default.

A minor example is worth citing: the International Maritime Bureau last month reported that pirate attacks on commercial shipping had fallen to just 70 during the first nine months of 2012, compared to 199 in the same period of 2011. The Maritime Security Review reported on September 24, “International navies have stepped up pre-emptive action against pirates, including strikes on their bases on the Somali coast.”

I am informed that Chinese naval vessels have sent lending parties of marines on shore to retaliate against the pirates’ villages. Unlike the Obama administration, China has little concern for Muslim sensibilities. A significant strategic problem (and an important source of terrorist funding) is coming under control because of China’s willingness to deal harshly with the locals.