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  • Commentary posted August 7, 2015 by Peter Brookes ‘Side deals’ intensify Iran pact fears

    Oh to be a fly on the wall inside the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s meeting today with the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano on the Iran nuclear “side deals” that deal with the IAEA. Side deals? Yes, it turns out that there are secret — bilateral — side deals between the IAEA and Iran that accompany the broader nuclear deal…

  • Commentary posted August 3, 2015 by Peter Brookes As Syrian regime teeters, Obama lacks a plan

    Tired of the bantering about the deeply-flawed Iran nuclear deal? No worries, there are plenty of other scary scenarios to mull over during your morning coffee beyond the ayatollahs splitting atoms. For instance, what’s our plan for when the regime of Syria’s Bashar Assad falls? Yes, I said “falls.” If you haven’t noticed, things are looking pretty darned bleak for…

  • Commentary posted July 23, 2015 by Peter Brookes Problems with Iran likely to worsen with pact

    It turns out the Iran nuke deal is a lot like the guy or gal you spy across the room at a dimly-lit party who from afar seems quite alluring — that is, until you get closer and realize the object of your affection isn’t what you had hoped for. Not by a long stretch. For instance, the original idea of a nuclear agreement with Tehran started out with the goal of Iran…

  • Commentary posted July 20, 2015 by Peter Brookes Terror state will likely ramp up Mideast mischief

    One of the most troubling elements of the Iranian nuclear deal is the financial lifeline it throws to Tehran by lifting the punitive economic sanctions slapped on it because of bad behavior on atomic affairs. While estimates vary, we’re talking about Tehran pocketing well north of $100 billion — as a start — on “implementation day,” the point at which Iran meets its…

  • Commentary posted July 13, 2015 by Peter Brookes Deadline for Iran deal today. Or not

    From watching the nuclear negotiations between Iran and six world powers (United States, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia), it seems that in Obama World a “deadline” with Iran is a “deadline,” except when it isn’t. A lot like a “red line” with Syria over chemical weapons. Washington’s threats of walking away from the nuclear talks (or inflicting punishment…

  • Commentary posted July 6, 2015 by Peter Brookes Deal or no deal, Iran still a threat

    With the deadline pushed off until July 7, I’m betting that an Iran nuke deal actually will be trumpeted over the July 4 holiday weekend, since the best time to put out controversial news in Washington, D.C., is near or over a break. Why? Well, most Americans will be distracted by festivities of fireworks, food and family, giving Team Obama plenty of time to get…

  • Commentary posted June 25, 2015 by Peter Brookes Terror threat heats up as ISIS influence grows

    I hate to roust you from your well-deserved summer snooze, but I continue to get a sinking feeling about the threat of the Islamic State (aka ISIS, ISIL or Daesh) here in the homeland. Understandably reluctant to lift your head from the hammock in the heat, you ask, “Why?” Well, pass me your beach shovel and I’ll scribble some statistics here in the sand while you wipe…

  • Commentary posted June 15, 2015 by Peter Brookes U.S. has power to stop train wreck in Iraq, Syria

    The unfolding political, humanitarian and security disaster involving Iraq, Syria and the Islamic State is like watching a slow-motion train wreck. You desperately want to look away, but you can’t. While President Obama has been tagged with not having a “complete strategy” for dealing with the Islamic State, based on his own G-7 summit comments this week, the fact is…

  • Commentary posted June 5, 2015 by Peter Brookes Kim’s nukes, China’s ‘islands’ ominous signs in Asia

    The storm clouds of confrontation continue to form over East Asia — even since I scribbled about it in these pages last month (see my May 1 Herald column, “U.S. should up its game to protect Asian interests”). Like a threatening weather pattern stalled ominously over the region, the chances of the dark gray thunder clouds of conflict clearing out anytime soon isn’t…

  • Commentary posted May 14, 2015 by Peter Brookes Obama's party not at top of Gulf states’ popularity list

    One of the unhappy truths of life is that you can get a pretty good idea of your power and popularity by the number of invited — even more so, uninvited — guests who show up at your personal party. The same might be said of international diplomatic meetings. So you can imagine how Team Obama must feel about the news that this week’s U.S.-Gulf Cooperation Council summit…

  • Commentary posted April 24, 2015 by Peter Brookes Tehran’s on tear in Middle East

    So much for those who were hoping that the recently concluded — but clearly unfinished — nuclear deal with Iran would serve as the basis for a replay of President Nixon’s historic opening to China. As the next phase of nuclear talks begins this week in Vienna, Tehran is on a tear. This time it’s in Yemen where news accounts report that a convoy of Iranian cargo ships…

  • Commentary posted April 16, 2015 by Peter Brookes President Obama cozies up to Cuban dictator

    With the “historic” clasp of hands in Panama City, Panama last week with Raul Castro, President Obama took the next fateful step toward normalizing relations with the Western Hemisphere’s most repressive regime. Seemingly desperate to move beyond a series of foreign policy flubs such as Iraq, Russia and Libya, cozying up to Castro’s Cuba — now officially removed from the…

  • Commentary posted April 14, 2015 by Peter Brookes China sets out to claim high seas

    Check this: In a brazen move, the People’s Republic of China is now building “islands” in the South China Sea to bolster its position against several other East Asian countries — and the United States. Yes, I said “building.” China is actually dredging sand and piling it up on existing reefs to create new islands that, according to Beijing, will have both civilian and —…

  • Commentary posted April 7, 2015 by Peter Brookes Iran deal leaves security fears

    Let’s be honest, the joint comprehensive plan of action announced last week in Lausanne, Switzerland, between the P5+1 (U.S., France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany) and Iran is essentially a Rorschach inkblot test. People will see what they want to see. Some people, like Team Obama, see the deal as a flurry of white doves released into the air, cooing “peace in our…

  • Issue Brief posted April 1, 2015 by David Inserra, Peter Brookes 64th Islamist Terrorist Plot Since 9/11 Shows the U.S. Must Combat Radical Islamist Threat

    Last Wednesday, two cousins were arrested in Chicago on charges of conspiring to knowingly provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization. According to the criminal complaint brought against them by the FBI, Army National Guard Specialist Hasan Edmonds planned to travel to Syria to fight with the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), while…