The Cipher Brief: National Security news, analysis and expert commentary.

The Open Source Report

Global cyber outage grounds flights and disrupts businesses.

Trump and Zelensky have a phone call scheduled on Friday, sources say.

NATO’s Stoltenberg: Europe must brace for decade of war in Ukraine.

Israel bombards refugee camps in Gaza, killing at least 21 people.

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The Experts

Cipher Brief Experts bring context to today’s global events

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Featured Viewing

Nico Lange talks Ukraine, NATO


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Former US Ambassador to NATO talks upcoming Summit

Former US Ambassador to Ukraine talks NATO Summit

Former NATO Chief talks Upcoming Summit & Alliance Unity

Book Reviews

Dead Drop

This Week’s Dead Drop: July 19

NOT SO ‘SPOOKY’ NEIGHBORS: The CBS Saturday Morning show recently featured video of a home in northern Virginia that was purchased by Margaret Scattergood and Florence Thomas in 1933. A couple decades later, the U.S. government wanted to acquire the house along with the adjacent grounds to build a new headquarters for the Central Intelligence Agency. The two women struck a savvy deal.  They sold their home and grounds to the government for $55,000 with the understanding that they would be allowed to live in the home for the rest of their lives. [...] More

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State Secrets

Christine Abizaid, who has served as director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) for the past three years, sits down with State Secrets Podcast host Suzanne Kelly to talk about how the threat of terrorism has changed dramatically over the years and why the threat to Americans is still very real.

Cover Stories: Spies, Books & Entertainment

David Ignatius is an award-winning columnist for the Washington Post, a frequent national security commentator on cable TV, and the author of New York Times bestselling novels. His twelfth novel, Phantom Orbit, like all the previous ones - reveals a deep understanding of the way governments and espionage agencies work. Many of his novels have presciently foreshadowed real-world threats. We’ll talk to him about what his latest page-turner reveals about the vulnerability of the satellites that the world relies so heavily on. We’ll also discuss his process for writing books which are consistently praised for their fidelity to the real world of espionage and how he balances his journalistic duties with that of his second-calling as a novelist. After listening to the podcast, be sure to check out the review of Phantom Orbit in The Cipher Brief by former National Reconnaissance Office Director Jeffrey Harris.

The Fight

There are few who understand this war better than Nataliya Bugayova. She lived and worked in Ukraine for years. Her present focus – as a non-resident fellow and the former Russia team lead at The Institute for the Study of War, is on the analysis of the Kremlin’s operations and on what’s happening in Ukraine today. She also serves as Director of Strategic Intelligence at a company called Vertical Knowledge.

Bugayova was part of a visiting delegation with The Cipher Brief that was led by General David Petraeus last fall. We sat down shortly afterward, to get her perspective on how this war is ‘really’ going and how she sees it ending.

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