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  • Commentary posted January 23, 2015 by Peter Brookes Al Qaeda threat grows in Yemen

    Last September, President Obama told us that his strategy for taking down the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria would be similar to the one his administration had “successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.” Those are words the prez probably would like to have back, especially with regards to Yemen. News reports indicate Yemen is falling apart; an insurgent…

  • Commentary posted January 15, 2015 by Peter Brookes ‘ISIS’ hack attack hurts U.S. image

    The reported cyberstrike by the Islamic State or some of its acolytes on social media accounts of the U.S. Central Command — responsible for American military operations in the Middle East — is more insult than injury. While that’s hard to believe, it is the case. First, as of this writing we don’t know who exactly is behind the attack. While the hackers claim to be the…

  • Commentary posted January 12, 2015 by Peter Brookes Paris killings an assault on us all

    The brazen attack on the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris yesterday that killed a dozen was no way to start the New Year — a highly-symbolic point in the book of time when we look to turn the page on the previous 365 days. But for all our attempts to put last year in life’s rear view mirror, it seems that the rampant, exceedingly violent Islamist militancy that…

  • Commentary posted January 2, 2015 by Peter Brookes 2015 promises world of flash points, surprises

    The Danish physicist Niels Bohr is supposed to have said something along the lines of: Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future. Roger that. But despite the warning’s obvious wisdom, busying ourselves in prediction is inescapable whether it’s in selecting a spouse for life or a rapid route to work in the morning. International security is no…

  • Commentary posted December 23, 2014 by Peter Brookes China’s military cruisin’ to make top gun in Pacific

    Occasionally, an important foreign policy/national security story gets underreported. This year it was China’s mounting military might. It’s no one’s fault that it didn’t get the coverage it deserved, considering the stories that gripped us in 2014 like Russia rolling into Ukraine and Islamic State terror. But no time like the present to fix this, eh? Here’s what we’ve…

  • Commentary posted December 19, 2014 by Peter Brookes Caving to Cuba no victory

    Whoa! Sure, we should be thrilled the Cubans have released American Alan Gross, but Team Obama’s plan to normalize diplomatic relations with the Castro regime as a result is a bad idea. At best. First, it’s not as if this were some sort of humanitarian gesture on the part of the Cubans. They got three DGI — Cuban intelligence — officers in return for Gross and another…

  • Commentary posted December 15, 2014 by Peter Brookes Context counts in assessing torture

    You can argue the value of the public release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA interrogation of terror detainees for the years 2001-2009 — and we certainly will — but here’s what bothers me. First, it wasn’t a bipartisan report. The investigation was done by the majority (Democratic) staff without the participation of the minority (Republican) staff;…

  • Commentary posted December 11, 2014 by Peter Brookes Sony Caper Shows Web of Intrigue

    Newsflash: North Korea did not hack into Sony Pictures in retaliation for the studio’s upcoming release of “The Interview” — based on a script about a kooky, clandestine CIA plot to off North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. How do we know? Well, naturally, an unidentified diplomat at the North Korean mission to the United Nations in New York City told the Voice of America…

  • Commentary posted December 1, 2014 by Peter Brookes Hagel’s Exit Won’t Save O’s Weak Foreign Policy

    OK, so maybe at least one head had to roll — in this case that of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel — after the murderous mid-term elections which partly reflected Team Obama’s sloppy steering of the ship of state in international waters. But the inconvenient truth about all of this delicious D.C. drama is that swapping out one Pentagon pasha for another won’t fix President…

  • Commentary posted November 24, 2014 by Peter Brookes Delayed Deal on Iran Nukes Better Than Bad Deal

    By the looks of it, the prospect of a nuclear deal between the United States and Iran by next Monday’s deadline doesn’t look promising — which is a good reason to start biting your nails right down to the quick. No, it’s not that if the negotiations fail Iran will — ta-dah! — pull out an A-bomb from beneath a Persian carpet. Rather the concern is that Team Obama will cut…

  • Commentary posted November 17, 2014 by Peter Brookes ‘Green Men’ Returning to Ukraine

    If you haven’t noticed, Team Obama’s policy of “isolating” Russia for its bad behavior in Ukraine isn’t going very well. Indeed, one could say the approach is not only failing, but terribly so. Russia’s on a roll. First, NATO reports that Russian forces — troops, artillery, tanks and air defense systems — recently moved across the border into Ukraine despite a September…

  • Commentary posted November 17, 2014 by Peter Brookes ‘Green Men’ Returning to Ukraine

    If you haven’t noticed, Team Obama’s policy of “isolating” Russia for its bad behavior in Ukraine isn’t going very well. Indeed, one could say the approach is not only failing, but terribly so. Russia’s on a roll. First, NATO reports that Russian forces — troops, artillery, tanks and air defense systems — recently moved across the border into Ukraine despite a September…

  • Commentary posted October 31, 2014 by Peter Brookes Obama Lacks Urgency in Taking on Islamic State Threat

    If the recent “lone wolf” terror attacks here and in Canada were inspired by Islamist terrorist propaganda such as that ginned up by the Islamic State (aka ISIS or ISIL), wouldn’t it make sense to snuff out the inspiration for that violent extremism? Uh, yeah! In other words, turning up the heat on the Islamic State — which has truly become a social media…

  • Commentary posted October 9, 2014 by Peter Brookes ISIS Not a Passing Thunderstorm

    Some folks seem to think that the threat posed by the Islamic State (aka ISIS or ISIL) is being blown way out of proportion. In other words, this violent Islamist extremist group isn’t really that big of a deal. If that were only the case. On the contrary, the magnitude of the threat from the Islamic State is increasingly clear. As events unfold, it turns out to be…

  • Commentary posted September 26, 2014 by Peter Brookes Al-Qaeda Dead-Enders Alive, Kicking

    While the dramatic U.S. and Arab air attacks this week in Syria on the Islamic State (aka ISIS or ISIL) should be welcomed, the real story is the strikes on the shadowy al-Qaeda-affiliated terror group Khorasan. Who? Yeah, that’s what a lot of folks said. It turns out that the supposed al-Qaeda on-the-run crowd wasn’t actually surrendering, but instead was hoofing…