Assessing issues impacting Mideast
National security expert Peter Brookes weighs in
- Duration 5:24
- Date Nov 15, 2012
National security expert Peter Brookes weighs in
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For more on -- been Ghazi hearings I'm joined here in Washington by Peter Brookes a senior fellow for national security affairs at The Heritage Foundation also a former CIA officer.
If you were on one of those congressional committees what's the first question you would ask boy I guess we want to know why we -- know about these attacks of the idea of these attacks before it happened.
I gotta start before that did he was there an intelligence failure here.
And what are we done to -- ameliorate that situation I mean you've really got to start the beginning before the attacks happened what do we know why do we and why do we perhaps -- this well spontaneous demonstration you wouldn't know about in advance and and so that may explain why -- -- Many in the administration have been loath to let go headliners.
Of I'm not saying it was an intelligence failure -- something I'd want to know especially from the intelligence committee standpoint because al-Qaeda is spreading throughout the world it's it's it's it's all over.
The northern Africa the Middle East al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria.
I mean -- -- real challenges out there and other American interest consulates diplomatic.
Facilities are are potentially under threat but the president has said many times -- al-Qaeda.
Leadership has been decimated and and is on the right on the run -- on its -- I don't agree with that I don't hear that assessment and I think any sort of complacency on our part regarding al-Qaeda is a major mistake when he talks -- -- he was focusing on John here was the 9/11 crowd to -- eleven al-Qaeda group the ones that.
Fled Afghanistan into Pakistan Osama bin Laden.
Those that crowd but the others now we're -- you've seen testimony or I should say reports that al-Qaeda in Iraq has doubled in numbers -- up to about 2500.
They're all over Syria you've got -- Iran in Africa you've -- -- Qaeda in the Islamic -- -- you've got -- -- Bob I mean these groups are spreading al-Qaeda in -- Arabian Peninsula responsible for three attacks against the United States so we're still under -- idea we we should not become complacent about this at all.
And that they do it do you worry that with three hearings getting under way that some of the impact of all of this might -- Somehow deluded I mean and he would it be better to to get one.
Central clearinghouse for all this information and get it out there.
What -- never congress -- like to talk to them.
You know separately because you wanna see if they are all singing from the same song sheet and did we get the truth from the beginning have we gotten the truth at this point and a very interestingly tomorrow a General Petraeus -- -- he's no longer remember the administration.
Is he cooperating is he coordinating his his his talk with the administration so that'll also be very interest -- that.
That testimony to be -- kept secret obviously.
-- want to turn your attention what's going on in Israel you know Israel is on the brink of war really in Gaza as Hamas has launched another round of rocket attacks three Israelis were killed this morning prime minister.
Benjamin Netanyahu out with a warning for those militants listen.
In the past 24 hours.
Israel -- made it clear.
That it will not tolerate rocket and missile attacks -- -- civilians.
I hope -- Hamas and the other terror organizations in Gaza got the message.
Israel is prepared to do what ever action is necessary.
To defend our people.
How -- is it.
It's escalated significantly just over the last week.
-- -- it's likely to continue.
It's possible that Israel could go on a ground offensive into into Gaza which would obviously raise the stakes significantly.
But Israel has to protect itself I mean these rockets are firing and they're there indiscriminate and they're not part of military targets take me fired at civilian targets and we've seen a number of civilians killed apparently those 3 were killed this morning is simply couldn't make it to the bomb shelter the rocket shelter attack that's what they're living under here and you know Israel has to send the message also Hamas that runs the Gaza Strip.
To these other organizations other terrorist organizations operate there that you need to crack down on them otherwise you're gonna pay a price now of course the issue is.
Egypt that's a very big issue here they're supporting the Palestinians.
In this in this matter and you know of course we're looking at the results of the Arab Spring Egypt now run by the Muslim brotherhood of which Hamas is an option that's truly right and more -- the president of Egypt has come outscored the Palestinians even though these rocket.
These rocket that tax out of the Gaza Strip.
Have been initiated this violence was initiated by the Palestinians so.
We got -- Camp David -- you've got the Arab Spring I mean our middle east policy is really a mess there and you know look at what's going on in Syria Iran -- the uranium.
Centrifuges continue to spend.
We've got real problems and -- interesting is that secretary Panetta and I believe Secretary Clinton are both major right now.
No problems we're dealing with the challenges of Asia the rise of China and North Korea.
But that -- are we pivoting away from the challenges in the our interest in places like the Middle East which is really mess you worry that maybe we are leaving the Israelis high and -- on this what it.
It could be I mean I'm not so I'm not sure I don't know exactly what's going out what the administration.
They have said some of the right things in terms of supporting ads supporting Israel but.
The fruits of our labors in the Middle East and I think our middle east policy has been a real failure I'm really worried about is the fiscal cliff and what how that's gonna have -- on defense.
-- we're shifting to the Pacific.
Where where we gonna have the planes and tanks and things for places like the Middle East that we may where we may need them that's the conversation for next time that's right Peter -- from Heritage Foundation Peter thank you thank you John -- won't tell.