Are We Ready for Another Shock?

A black swan and his reflection in the water creates a shape of a scorpion.

OPINION — “Black swans” are events that arrive as unwelcome surprises and have significant effects on nations and societies. They can upend the status quo in politics, economics, or national security. Black swans are even more dangerous when superimposed on other black swans.

It’s always worth trying to anticipate potential black swans — indeed, after 9/11 the CIA created a unit, called the Red Cell, to do just that.  But doing so is more necessary today than ever, given what is higher-than-normal fragility in the systems most often affected by these events.

“The Cipher Brief has become the most popular outlet for former intelligence officers; no media outlet is even a close second to The Cipher Brief in terms of the number of articles published by formers.” —Sept. 2018, Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 62

Access all of The Cipher Brief’s national security-focused expert insight by becoming a Cipher Brief Subscriber+ Member.

Subscriber+


Related Articles

Search

Close