By Robert L. Strauss

IF JAKE HARRIMAN’S EPIPHANY about war and peace came in 2003 along Highway 7 in southern Iraq, then Alex Martin’s arrived aboard the Magellan Star, a German-owned cargo ship pirated off the coast of Somalia in 2010.

Martin, a major in the Marine Corps reserve who co-directed Nuru’s operations in Kenya for two years, also served, like Harriman, in Iraq and in Force Recon, a special operations component of the Marine Corps. When he was offered an anti-piracy assignment off the Horn of Africa he jumped at it, thinking, “Yeah, we’ll go kill some pirates.” That attitude soon changed.

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“What War Taught Them” appears online alongside the feature article “Seeds of Promise” from the November/December 2015 print edition of Stanford Magazine.