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  • Commentary posted August 19, 2014 by Peter Brookes Critical Time for Deterring Putin

    Russia could double down on Ukraine anytime now. Undeterred by the West’s questionable response to the tragic Malaysian airliner shoot-down — or the moral and material support to the Ukrainian rebels — or the carving off of Crimea, Russia seems ready to roll. News reports indicate Moscow has bumped up Russian forces near the Ukrainian border to some 20,000 troops for…

  • Commentary posted July 17, 2014 by Peter Brookes Al-Qaeda on Run? Try on the Hunt

    With sweltering summer heat and long lines, no one can be happy about the latest Transportation Security Administration edict on powering up cellphones (and other devices) before heading to the gate at some overseas airports. Sure, it’s another TSA “hassle,” but the new rule is for a deadly serious reason. The Department of Homeland Security believes — based on…

  • Commentary posted July 8, 2014 by Peter Brookes Terrorist Caliphate May Crumble

    The situation in Iraq is bad and it’s getting worse. This week, the terrorist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, announced the formation of an Islamic state — or caliphate — across the swath of territory it is currently holding. It’s a big deal — for a lot of reasons. First, while holding territory can be more difficult than taking it, just…

  • Commentary posted June 12, 2014 by Peter Brookes Syrian Islamists Spread Terror Network Into Iraq

    Earlier this week on these very pages I warned about the rise of violent Islamist extremism, not exclusively but especially in Syria. Unfortunately, in just a few short days, the situation has gotten worse. I’m thinking about Iraq. On Tuesday, Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, was overrun by an al-Qaeda “offshoot,” the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS — a…

  • Commentary posted June 9, 2014 by Peter Brookes Islamist Threat on the Rise

    Since the national conversation of late has been riveted on terrorism spurred on by the controversy swirling around the Taliban prisoner swap, it’s a good time to take stock of the state of Islamist militancy. Bottom line? The threat is getting worse. For instance, for the year 2013, the State Department estimated that terrorist attacks jumped more than 40 percent…

  • Commentary posted March 31, 2014 by Peter Brookes Prez flunks foreign policy

    Americans are down on President Obama’s foreign policy. A Real Clear Politics average of polls over the last month reveals 51 percent of Americans disapprove of his handling of international affairs, while only 40 percent approve. Not exactly a ringing endorsement. But what’s perhaps equally important is where the White House’s foreign policy is likely “popular.”…

  • Commentary posted March 27, 2014 by Peter Brookes Will Putin’s bad-boy routine help Obama, Kerry see the light?

    If there’s one good thing to come out of the Crimea crisis so far – if that’s possible – it’s that Russia’s land-grab may have roused Team Obama from its strategic slumber about emerging big power threats. Startled by the Kremlin’s unexpected wake-up call, maybe now the White House will wipe away the “sleepies” and see the world as it is, rather than how Team Obama…

  • Commentary posted March 10, 2014 by Peter Brookes What Putin sees when he looks to the West

    While we wring our hands over whether we have any options in preventing Crimea from being slowly -- but almost surely -- sucked into the Russian sphere of influence for good, the fact is that the Kremlin clearly thought it could get away with it. Why? Weakness. There’s no doubt that Russian President Vladimir Putin long ago sized up President Obama, including his…

  • Commentary posted February 27, 2014 by Peter Brookes Venezuelans’ fight for freedom important to U.S.

    While the uprising in Venezuela is getting lots less news coverage than the turmoil in Ukraine, the outcome is of equal importance — if not more — to the United States. Why? Geography. Quite simply, though not understating the importance of the results of “East versus West” in Ukraine, Venezue-la is in our hemisphere and what happens there could impact a lot…

  • Commentary posted February 20, 2014 by Peter Brookes After Olympics, Putin’s real games begin in Ukraine

    Job No. 1? Ukraine. You can only imagine Russian President Vladimir Putin is none too pleased about the civil unrest there -- and the less than flattering spotlight it’s shining on Russia -- not to mention distracting attention from his signature sports event in Sochi. But oozing confidence as the Olympic Games draw to a close, you can bet that once the snow and…

  • Commentary posted February 14, 2014 by Peter Brookes Iran’s navy on Valentine’s ‘tour’

    Just as Team Obama tries to make us feel all warm and fuzzy about relations with Iran due to perceived “progress” on the interim (but not nearly final) nuclear deal, Tehran goes and blows it with some, shall we say, “hateful” acts. So much for Valentine’s Day. For instance, after the United States and others started releasing frozen Iranian assets as part of the new…

  • Commentary posted February 6, 2014 by Peter Brookes Syria a failure for U.S.

    In a now widely reported private meeting with U.S. lawmakers at a Munich security conference last weekend, Secretary of State John Kerry told them the administration’s policies toward the bloody Syrian civil war weren’t cutting it. That’s a striking admission on the part of our chief diplomat. I agree with Kerry that things are going horribly for our interests in Syria,…

  • Commentary posted February 3, 2014 by Peter Brookes United world can meet Sochi threat

    When he’s not playing political strongman, Russian President Vladimir Putin likes to have some fun. There are lots of shots of him — often shirtless — atop a horse, tossing a judo opponent, even riding a great white shark … OK, well maybe that last one was Photoshopped. Anyway, you get the picture. But I can’t help but feel that it’s not so amusing to be the Russian…

  • Commentary posted January 7, 2014 by Peter Brookes Fallujah fall just the beginning -- Al Qaeda virus is virulent and spreading

    When President Obama proclaimed in the fall of 2012 during the presidential campaign that Al Qaeda was “on the run,” who knew he meant that Usama bin Laden’s acolytes were just hustling off to other places, including back to their old stomping grounds in Iraq. In fact, news reports note that not only is Al Qaeda resurgent in Iraq two years after U.S. forces withdrew, but…

  • Commentary posted January 3, 2014 by Peter Brookes What happens in Russia may not stay...

    This week’s terrorist bombings in Russia allegedly perpetrated by Islamist militants from the Caucasus region should be of deep concern to us — and not just because of the Winter Olympic Games next month in Sochi. Of course, the two bombings in two days in Volgograd that killed some 30 people do give us good reason for concern about the security of thousands of athletes…