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As for Cuba, Mr. Henriksen said the regime in Havana is “now a decayed state.”

“It doesn’t really threaten the United States militarily,” he said. “But in many ways the Cubans of the 1970s were the kind of spear point of the Soviet empire.”

Cuban forces were active in communist subversion in Latin America and some 20,000 Cuban troops fought for communism in Africa.

Mr. Henriksen, an adviser to the U.S. Special Operations Command, spoke during a conference at the Hoover Institution on his newly published book, “America and the Rogue States.”