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Israel’s military leaders fear they are stuck in a forever guerrilla war

Russia hammers Ukraine’s power grid again; Ukraine strikes 4 Russian oil refineries 

5 top challenges for Mark Rutte, NATO’s next secretary-general

Putin warns South Korea against sending lethal weapons to Ukraine

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Ed Bogan: From Counterterrorism to Countering Russian Disinformation

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CIA Director William Burns Accepts The Cipher Brief Intelligence & Diplomacy Award

The Cipher Brief honors CIA Director William Burns with the Intelligence & Diplomacy Award

The Cipher Brief honors Oksana Markarova with the Messenger for Freedom Award

Book Reviews

The Dead Drop

Dead Drop

This Week’s Dead Drop: June 21

DID WE MISS IT? The New York Post reported on June 14th that Kushal Kumar, an Indian astrologer who has been called the “New Nostratdamus,” was predicting that World War III would likely start four days hence.  The good news (unless we missed it) is that those days have passed. In fairness to Kumar…he didn’t guarantee World War III…he just said this past Tuesday, had “the strongest planetary stimulus to trigger WW3.”  If you have FOMA (Fear of Missing Armageddon) not to worry - Kumar covered his bets by adding that if global war didn’t [...] More

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State Secrets

In this episode of State Secrets, we’re talking with Cipher Brief Expert, retired General Frank McKenzie. General McKenzie served for forty-two years in the U.S. military as a Marine and retired as the fourteenth commander of U.S. Central Command. He also served as Director of the Joint Staff. Perhaps one of the missions he is best known for was overseeing the targeted drone assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in January of 2020. It was a strong and clear U.S. response to the planning and executions of operations that killed Americans. Operations in which Soleimani, a popular Iranian general, had played a key role. The photo that’s on the cover of McKenzie’s new book, The Melting Point: High Command and War in the 21st Century sums up the grit that he brought to every role he had. The picture was taken at the Kabul airport in August of 2021, just one day after U.S. troops fought back a breach at the airfield’s southern perimeter and the stories he shares in the book are a true insiders look at some of the most controversial military operations of our time. Here's my State Secrets conversation with retired General and author, Frank McKenzie.

Cover Stories: Spies, Books & Entertainment

Stuart Eizenstat is one of the most experienced diplomats in U.S. history. In this episode we talk with him about his new book “The Art of Diplomacy” in which he discusses some of the most important international agreements over the past 50 years. For his book, Ambassador Eizenstat interviewed about 150 key U.S. and foreign officials ranging from Presidents, Secretaries of State and Defense and many more. We’ll ask him what he learned over the course of his career about why diplomacy did (and sometimes did not) work. And what these lessons might mean for current crises like the ongoing one between Israel and Hamas. After listening to the podcast - be sure to check out the review of “The Art of Diplomacy” in The Cipher Brief by Jonathan Winer.

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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Lieutenant General (Ret.) Guy C. Swann III

The in-depth analysis The Cipher Brief provides, on all issues affecting our national security, written by some of the most senior and knowledgeable public and private sector experts, is truly unique and invaluable. It’s a must read for anyone interested in world affairs.

Ambassador Joseph R. Detrani

I value The Cipher Brief for the way it combines truly unique access to a wide array of experts with its commitment to non-partisan analysis of today’s most urgent national security problems – and its equal focus on over-the-horizon issues that will be the urgent problems of tomorrow.

John McLaughlin

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John McLaughlin

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