My op-ed in today’s The Hill newspaper:
Former House Foreign Affairs CoS Yleem Poblete: Failing, again, to connect the dots on Iran
As two House Foreign Affairs subcommittees prepare to hold a hearing on the threat of Iran in the Western Hemisphere, one cannot help but recall what Machiavelli wrote about centuries ago in The Prince: When threats are identified well in advance, they can be quickly addressed – but “when, for lack of diagnosis, they are allowed to grow in such a way that everyone can recognize them, remedies are too late.” Machiavelli’s warning continues to ring true and U.S. national security officials and policymakers should heed his advice, starting with developments in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The State Department’s most recent “Country Reports on Terrorism” took a myopic look at the potential threat of transnational terrorist collaboration in the Western Hemisphere seemingly ignoring, for example, DEA arrests of Colombian FARC rebels for allegedly trading drugs for arms with members of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb operating in North Africa. The report considered the potential for an “attack” in the Western Hemisphere but failed to look at the threat in context with the 1994 Buenos Aires Jewish center bombing in which Hezbollah terrorists and the explosives they used came through the Tri-Border area in South America. It further stated that there were no “known operational cells of either al-Qaeda or Hezbollah” in the region but the necessary steps have not yet been taken to address this knowledge gap.
Read the entire op-ed here.