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

The Open Source Report

Israel prepares for potential direct Iranian attack

Russia recovered Ukraine battlefield losses 'far faster' than expected, U.S. general says

White House hosts first trilateral U.S.-Japan-Philippines summit

FBI chief warns of coordinated terrorist attack in U.S.

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Cipher Brief Expert Perspectives

On The Cipher Brief’s Digital Channel

Dispatches from Kyiv: Glenn Corn

Alternative Perspectives

Dispatches from Kyiv: Paul Kolbe

Dispatches from Kyiv: General David Petraeus (Ret.)

Disinformation: A Weapon to Destroy Democracy?

Book Reviews

The Big Data Question

BOOK REVIEW: Big Data, Emerging Technologies and Intelligence By Miah Hammond-Errey / Routledge Reviewed by: [...] More

The Dead Drop

Dead Drop

This Week’s Dead Drop: April 12

AN INTELLIGENCE FAILURE FOR THE BOOKS: Israel’s Unit 8200 has been described as akin to the U.S. National Security Agency and Britain’s GCHQ. The name of the head of the Unit is kept secret from the public – at least it was kept secret until Yossi Sariel apparently accidentally unmasked himself. The Guardian says that a book published in 2021, about how artificial intelligence was going to revolutionize military affairs was published under the title, The Human Machine Team.  The author was listed as “Brigadier General YS.” But it turns out the digital version of the [...] More

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State Secrets

The Cipher Brief made its first reporting trip to Ukraine in February of 2022. That’s when we first met Tymofiy Mylovanov, the President of the Kyiv School of Economics. When we sat down with him then, Ukraine was preparing to mark one year since Russia’s brutal invasion. Mylovanov was sober at the time about what it would take to win the war and rebuild the country. Just over a year later, with an aid package that has been held up for months in Washington - I sat down with him again to talk about what it will take to rebuild Ukraine even as the war rages on - and why he still has hope even amid the challenges – for what lies ahead.

Cover Stories: Spies, Books & Entertainment

CNN anchor and Chief National Security Analyst Jim Sciutto is out with a new book called “The Return of Great Powers: Russia, China and the Next World War.” Drawing on his reporting from current hot spots like Ukraine, Taiwan and the Middle East - and in depth interviews with top U.S. and foreign leaders, Sciutto has written about the precarious nature of global security and how developments in each of these hot spots impacts the other. We’ll talk to him about how Chinese President Xi and Russian President Putin have similar views about their destinies in expanding their countries borders.

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.

What the Experts Say

Since retiring from CIA in 2017, I’ve been honored to be a part of the exceptional Cipher Brief team providing expert assessment – whether it’s nuclear proliferation, transnational terrorism, and climate change or hard targets like Iran, North Korea, China, and Russia – The Cipher Brief delivers without the predisposed ideological bias so often prevalent in today’s discourse.

Daniel Hoffman Former CIA Chief of Station

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General John R. Allen (Ret.) Former Commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan

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General Keith Alexander Former Director, National Security Agency

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Paul Kolbe Director of The Intelligence Project at Harvard University's Belfer Center

The Cipher Brief has become the preeminent information platform for the national security community. I read it, I contribute to it, and I recommend it to military, civilian, and industry partners seeking the most up-to-date and expert analysis of the major issues facing the government, business, and others committed to the security of the nation.

Lieutenant General (Ret.) Guy C. Swann III Lieutenant General (Ret.)