The mission from President Obama was clear: If Captain Richard Phillips' life is in danger, take action to save him.
It was -- and they did.
Today, the rescue of the lone hostage from the Maersk Alabama -- a man who bravely sacrificed his freedom to save his crew -- is being heralded as an early military victory for the new president.
In 1993, President Clinton also faced a crisis in Somalia. A military operation there ended with 18 American lives lost in Mogadishu … a story told in the book and movie "Black Hawk Down."
This time there was a happy ending. But neither incident can be viewed as isolated. Extremist militias have posed a threat to Somalia's stability for two decades.
The SEALs won the battle at sea. But the head of the Naval Command warned the real solution to the longstanding problem of piracy and violence may be on dry land.
That's a page from my notebook.