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  • 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…

  • Commentary posted March 30, 2015 by Peter Brookes Iran’s meddling makes Yemen regional flashpoint

    While the United States moved out of Yemen last week, this week a Saudi Arabia-led coalition of a reported 10 mostly Arab states moved into Yemen with airstrikes aimed at the continuing chaos there. The immediate — but not the only — target of the coalition air campaign is the Houthi rebels who recently swept out of northern Yemen, captured the capital, Sanaa, and are…

  • Commentary posted March 25, 2015 by Peter Brookes Obama’s ‘success’ in Yemen joins list of overseas disasters

    You have to wonder whether the White House has a good grip on the global terrorism fight considering a number of strategic missteps, judgments and statements it has made during the last few years. There was the total pullout from Iraq, the “al-Qaeda on the run” claim, the mishandling of Syria, the dismissal of Islamic State as a “JV” team — and the latest foreign policy…

  • Commentary posted March 19, 2015 by Peter Brookes Putin pushes envelope in Arctic

    If there is one thing you can say about Russian President Vladimir Putin, it’s that while he’s not always straightforward about his whereabouts (for 10 days), he’s straightforward about geopolitics. Indeed, about a year after carving Crimea from Kiev, Moscow is making waves in the ice floes at the top of the world in the Arctic with massive military maneuvers. Putin’s…

  • Commentary posted March 3, 2015 by Peter Brookes In puzzler, prez lets ISIS know Iraq battle schedule

    Team Obama’s decision late last week to disclose to the press the operational outline for an all-out assault on the Islamic State (aka ISIS)-held Iraqi city of Mosul is a bit of a head scratcher. It’s like: “Hey, ISIS — please save the date.” The Pentagon also reportedly told the press that the April-May offensive would include as many as 25,000 Iraqi/Kurdish Peshmerga…

  • Commentary posted February 10, 2015 by Peter Brookes There's a method to ISIS madness

    Some seem baffled and or shocked by the raw ruthlessness of the Islamic State (aka ISIS, ISIL and Daesh) most recently foisted upon us by the video of the immolation — a euphemism for being burned alive — of a captive Jordanian pilot. But, while hard to believe, there’s actually a method to this madness. Fear While it tries to portray itself as a caliphate (a Muslim…

  • Commentary posted February 5, 2015 by Peter Brookes Time for ‘reset’ of Russian policy

    Our Russia policy continues to flounder, and if Team Obama wants to change that it’s going to have to start by ending its “softly-softly” approach to the bloody conflict in eastern Ukraine. With time of the essence, high-visibility diplomatic/security meetings this week in Europe involving U.S. officials provide an important opportunity to do just that. Why? Because…

  • 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…