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  • Commentary posted February 5, 2016 by Peter Brookes Fear Grows as Islamic State Spreads Terror Network Digs in Deep in Afghanistan, Libya

    As if they didn’t have enough to deal with already, the Pentagon has a new problem to panic about: the rise of Islamic State (aka ISIS) affiliates in Afghanistan and Libya. While we’ve known that ISIS has been spreading beyond the Middle East, creating allies and claiming “provinces,” there has been limited U.S. military activity against it outside the Syria-Iraq…

  • Commentary posted January 15, 2016 by Peter Brookes Obama's Windy Letdown on State of World

    Listening to President Obama’s State of the Union speech this week, I couldn’t help but feel that he dealt with foreign policy and national security issues like the cop who doesn’t want a bunch of “rubberneckers” at an accident or crime scene. “Move along now folks … nothing to see here.” But, in fact, there’s plenty to see here and we, as the American people, aren’t…

  • Commentary posted January 7, 2016 by Peter Brookes Saudi Execution Fuels Regional Rift

    Well, it looks like the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have decided to kick off the New Year by throwing another log on the already-roaring fire that is burning much of the Middle East. A bigger blaze that engulfs even more of the region isn’t out of the question. The latest crisis revolves around Riyadh’s mass execution of 47 people last…

  • Commentary posted December 21, 2015 by Peter Brookes Expectations Low for Mideast Trip

    One of the White House’s latest initiatives on the
Islamic State (aka ISIS or ISIL) fight is to dispatch Secretary of Defense Ash Carter to the Middle East to drum up support for beating the terrorist “army.” Talk about “Mission: Near-Impossible.” Don’t get me wrong, I support the president naming allies that are aiding the anti-ISIS effort (France, Germany and the…

  • Commentary posted December 10, 2015 by Peter Brookes Brookes: Prez Outmatched by Islamist Terrorists' Resolve

    After the San Bernardino terror attack, it’s getting awfully hard for anyone to argue that President Obama is fully on top of what may turn out to be this century’s epic struggle — the fight against violent Islamist extremism. Like many Americans, I found it painful to listen to the president’s Oval Office speech on Sunday calling on us to stay his chosen course in…

  • Commentary posted December 7, 2015 by Peter Brookes Blaming Terrorism on Climate Change Isn't Just Stupid—It's Dangerous

    It distracts America from today’s life-and-death threats of terrorism. President Obama certainly knows how to use a red-hot news hook to highlight his agenda. This week, during the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris, he appeared to conflate climate change and terrorism. Coming hot on the heels of the ISIS massacres in the “City of Lights,” that…

  • Commentary posted November 30, 2015 by Peter Brookes Brookes: ISIS gains strength on global scale

    No matter how President Obama disses or dismisses the media, Congress, his critics or skeptics — on both sides of the aisle — about his strategy against the Islamic State, the ISIS crisis isn’t getting any better. That’s certainly no comfort on the busiest travel day of the year and the beginning of the holiday season, when folks would rather think of the warm embrace…

  • Commentary posted November 30, 2015 by Peter Brookes, David Inserra Brookes and Inserra: Don’t let those visa fears take flight

    Despite the deep erudition of this newspaper’s readers — especially of this column — we suggest everyone take a deep breath over their concerns about the possibility of terrorism here aided and abetted by the visa waiver program. Everybody: In with the good air; out with the bad. Great! Now, the current worry is that Europeans who have traveled to Syria, Iraq,…

  • Commentary posted November 12, 2015 by Peter Brookes Brookes: Barack-Bibi rift now all in the family

    It was a lot like one of those holiday family get-togethers. You know, one of those annual gatherings that are well-intentioned expressions of love and affection but are simultaneously pregnant with tensions built up over the years among the attending relatives. When that trying day of togetherness at Grandma’s house ends without the expected fusillade of familial…

  • Commentary posted November 5, 2015 by Peter Brookes Brookes: President muddles about in Syria, Iraq

    There’s a lot of confusion about the announcement by the White House late last week about the upcoming deployment of U.S. special operations forces to Syria, especially after President Obama repeatedly promised — going back to 2013 — no “boots on the ground.” If you’re perplexed by the news, don’t feel bad, there’s no shortage of people who are mystified by Team…

  • Commentary posted October 1, 2015 by Peter Brookes Brookes: Putin plays O for patsy in Syria

    When President Obama said at the United Nations on Tuesday that “ ... defeating ISIL requires — I believe — a new leader,” I thought for a brief moment I’d finally found something on which he and I could agree. Then I realized he wasn’t talking about his own leadership. The president was actually talking about the regime of Bashar Assad, the Syrian dictator Team…

  • Commentary posted September 25, 2015 by Peter Brookes Rock star treatment exalts China

    You have to admit it’s quite curious. I’m talking about the elaborate state visit that President Obama is hosting this week for Chinese President Xi Jinping, replete with a star-studded, formal White House state dinner and a 21-gun salute on the South Lawn tomorrow. Those are honors not given to many foreign heads of state. I mean, isn’t this the leader of the…

  • Commentary posted September 22, 2015 by Peter Brookes Brookes: ‘War’ on Islamic State a failure

    A year ago today in a nationally televised address, President Obama spoke to the nation about his intention to “degrade” and “ultimately destroy” the Islamic State (aka ISIS) in Iraq and Syria. Current U.S. strategy consists of an air campaign against the Islamic State, training the Iraqi army to fight ISIS at home, and the development of a Syrian rebel force to battle…

  • 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…