Thursday, November 10, 2005

21st Century Survival Guide

Gordon Cucullu, The New York Post:
PETER Brookes quotes former CIA-director James Woolsey's compelling description of the transition from Cold War bilateralism to to day's confusing threat spectrum. It was, to paraphrase Woolsey, as if we had slain an evil dragon only to discover that the surrounding forest was filled with dangerous snakes.

In "A Devil's Triangle," Brookes leads us into that fearsome jungle so that we may identify each snake, understand what motivates it and grasp what is necessary to neutralize or eliminate it as a threat.

Throughout, Brookes makes the point that this is a messy, dangerous business and that when dealing with snakes a fatal bite is the consequence of inattention, hesitancy or lack of commitment.

The result can only be described as a field manual for 21st century survival. Brookes, a Heritage Foundation foreign-policy analyst, has produced a comprehensive, highly readable and fact-filled summary of the threats that confront America and the West. READ MORE

He identifies the primary enemy as fundamental Islamic terrorism. He then expertly dissects the history, origins, motivation, financing and operational dogma of this aberrant ideology. He discusses the strange attraction that brings men from many Islamic countries and subcultures to evolve into fanatic killers. Brookes examines the often-overlooked role of al Qaeda-supporting organizations in Asia, home of the largest Muslim population in the world. He expertly draws the links that bind the organizations and individuals into an amorphous but deadly movement whose foremost goal is to conquer the West and impose radical Islam on the world.

Brookes leads us deeper into the snake-infested jungle to examine those rogue states whose primary goal is to expand power and promulgate their evil regimes: Syria, Iran and the distinctively non-Islamic North Korea. He adroitly links each rogue state with its internal weapons of mass destruction ambitions, and leads the reader through a detailed, chilling analysis of the horrific nuclear, dirty bomb, chemical and biological threats we face.

Brookes concludes with suggestions on how the United States and its allies might initiate policies designed to counter and ultimately defeat these complex threats. He acknowledges that, as free-world leader, America is the biggest obstacle to the evil plans of the terrorists.

We ignore the gathering storm of terrorism, WMDs and rogue states, he warns — his "devil's triangle" — at our peril. The struggle is not in some distant, remote place, he emphasizes, it is here and now and must be dealt with.

Brookes ties winning the War on Terror to success in Afghanistan and Iraq. These fragile new states must be assisted in their transition to open, free, tolerant societies. He is a strong proponent of the inestimable value of injecting more freedom and democracy into the Muslim world as a way of insuring long-term security. A former CIA operator, Brookes highlights the need for a better intelligence system that is essential to survivability in a dangerous world.

"The Devil's Triangle" is a highly readable survival manual. This goldmine of information will boosts readers' knowledge and offers them a glimpse at the current global threat, from the vantage point of a Washington policy maker. The War on Terror isn't a war we started, but we must be strong enough to finish.

Gordon Cucullu ( is a former Special Forces lieutenant colonel and author of "Separated at Birth: How North Korea Became the Evil Twin."