CNN's Richard Allen Greene, Chris Lawrence, Claudia Rebaza, Gisella Deputato, Laura Perez Maestro and David McKenzie contributed to this report
The crew of an Italian ship seized by pirates on Monday was freed Tuesday thanks to an operation by U.S. and British troops working with the Italian military, the Italian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.
Eleven pirates who hijacked the Montecristo surrendered to the troops operating under NATO's Operation Ocean Shield, the ministry said in a statement.
All crew members are safe, the ministry said.
They barricaded themselves in the engine room after throwing a message overboard in a bottle and putting up a cardboard sign to let rescuers know where they were.
They were able to retain control of the ship's steering, even though the pirates destroyed the ship's communications equipment, a NATO officer said. FULL POST
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is calling for an even greater investment in Asia, as the United States pivots from Iraq and Afghanistan,
"One of the most important tasks of American statecraft over the next decade will therefore be to lock in a substantially increased investment - diplomatic, economic, strategic, and otherwise - in the Asia-Pacific region," Clinton writes in an essay just published by Foreign Policy.
The essay, called "America's Pacific Century, published ahead of this week's State visit by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, comes at a time when many in Congress are calling for a pullback on U.S. efforts and spending abroad. Clinton, bluntly, says such calls are "misguided". South Korea alone is stuck in U.S. political quagmire with a hold on the nomination for U.S. ambassador to Seoul (more on that soon on Security Clearance) and a final vote still needed for the trade deal with the Koreans.
"With Iraq and Afghanistan still in transition and serious economic challenges in our own country, there are those on the American political scene who are calling for us not to reposition, but to come home. They seek a downsizing of our foreign engagement in favor of our pressing domestic priorities. These impulses are understandable, but they are misguided. Those who say that we can no longer afford to engage with the world have it exactly backward - we cannot afford not to," Clinton writes.