Peter Brookes

Peter Brookes

Senior Research Fellow, Weapons of Mass Destruction and Counter Proliferation, Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy

Areas of Expertise

  • Missile Defense
  • Terrorism
  • Asia
  • Middle East
  • Europe

Peter helps develop and communicate Heritage's stance on weapons of mass destruction and counter proliferation.

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One of America’s most prominent voices on international affairs, Dr. Peter Brookes helps develop and communicate The Heritage Foundation's stance on foreign and defense policy through his research and writing, media and public appearances, and congressional testimony.


Currently a foreign affairs columnist for the Boston Herald, he has established a major presence in a range of print and digital media, publishing hundreds of articles and commentaries for numerous newspapers, journals, magazines, and websites. Brookes is also the author of the book “A Devil's Triangle: Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction and Rogue States” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005).


He also is a force in broadcast and cable media, having logged more than3,000appearances as a national security and foreign affairs commentator on national, international and local television and radio. Brookes has guest-hosted talk radio programs in major markets, including XM.


A popular public speaker, Brookes has delivered more than 200 addresses, including presentations in more than 25 states and 20 nations. He has spoken as part of the State Department’s public diplomacy programs in Japan, Germany, Australia, Poland, Austria, Ukraine, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea.


On Capitol Hill, Brookes has testified 10 times before six different Senate and House committees, both as a public official and a private citizen.


In 2016, Brookes completed his fifth, two-year term as a congressionally appointed member of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, named to the Commission by two different Speakers of the House of Representatives.


Before joining Heritage in 2002, Brookes served in the administration of President George W. Bush as deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific affairs. In this post, he was responsible for U.S. defense policy for 38 countries and five bilateral defense alliances in Asia.


Before joining the Bush administration, Brookes was a professional staff member with the House International Relations Committee, working on Asia. He also served with the CIA and the State Department at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. In the private sector, he worked in the defense industry.


Prior to beginning his civilian career, Brookes served in the U.S. navy. He carried out assignments in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America in aviation and intelligence billets. He has more than 100 missions and 1,300 flight hours aboard the Navy's EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft.


Now a retired naval intelligence officer with the rank of commander, while a reservist, Brookes served with the National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, Office of Naval Intelligence, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Office of the Vice President.


He holds a doctorate from Georgetown University and a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University. He received his bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, appointed to Annapolis by the late Congressman Jack Kemp (R-NY).


Brookes is also is an honor graduate of the Defense Language Institute, where he studied Russian, and the Naval War College. He has taught at the National Defense University and was an associate professor at the Joint Military Intelligence College at the Defense Intelligence Agency.


Brookes has served in political positions at the local, state, and national levels. He helped draft the foreign policy platform for the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, advised the 2000 and 2004 Bush-Cheney campaigns on foreign policy, and briefed presidential candidates in 2008 and 2012.


Among his awards and honors are the Navy League of New York's Frank Knox Media Award; Joint Service Commendation Medal; Navy Commendation Medal (three); Navy Achievement Medal; Defense Language Institute's Kellogg Award; Joint Chiefs of Staff service badge; and Naval Aviation Observer wings.