Expert Commentary

We Can’t Just Respond to Cyber With Cyber

January 6, 2017 | Rhea Siers

The Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and subsequent leaking of sensitive internal communications has remained front and center in the U.S. consciousness. President-elect Donald Trump has consistently dismissed the U.S. intelligence community’s unanimous conclusions on Russian culpability, creating a deep rift between the incoming administration and those agencies fundamental to the nation’s security.

On Thursday, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing with the nation’s intelligence chiefs over the growing challenges presented in cyberspace. The Cipher Brief sat down with Rhea Siers, the former Deputy Associate Director for Policy at the National Security Agency (NSA), to get her take on everything from the impact of the incoming administration to deterrence and international norms within an overarching cybersecurity strategy.

The Cipher Brief: The recent Senate Armed Service Committee hearing with the intelligence chiefs seemed to emphasize the many challenges the United States faces in cyberspace, from critical infrastructure to foreign government interference in the U.S. election. Do you have any recommendations to address these issues?

Rhea Siers: In a sense, we have some of the answers in front of us. We have been following adversaries like Russia and China in cyberspace for a long time. We understand the nature of the threat. The question is when and how are we going to engage in cyber deterrence in a coherent fashion that protects critical infrastructure in this country, including the private sector, which bears a huge cybersecurity risk. Right now there are presidential memos and government strategies, many of which remain classified. But it is uncertain how strong and effective our deterrence is.

Furthermore, we have been set back by President-elect Donald Trump. We are arguing – in public – about attribution, instead of working together on the next stage of our cyber strategy.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper put it perfectly: it is okay—in fact important—to be skeptical of any analysis presented, and to ask good questions about it. But to take the path that the President-elect has, in denigrating the intelligence community consistently, from the beginning of this whole mess with Russia, is a serious issue. We are going to suffer significant damage to our intelligence community and national security if we have a President who is publically casting aspersions on everything briefed to him.

This is just as dangerous as some of the threats enumerated at the Senate Committee hearing. Hopefully the President-elect has senior officials that help him change his course as soon as possible, or somehow the briefings he receives will stop this negative twitter storm.

TCB: The President-elect has spoken of emphasizing cybersecurity in his administration. But has his dismissal of the intelligence community’s findings hampered the development of some of the key tenets of an overarching cyber strategy?

RS: Yes, because now we essentially go back to square one. It’s normal to have a learning curve for some members of an incoming administration and it’s incumbent on the intelligence community to provide as much as possible to lessen the learning curve. It is normal for an incoming administration to look towards potential areas of change. One would sincerely hope that the intelligence and cyber transition teams for the Trump administration are in and outside the intelligence agencies speaking with everyone they can; reading the thick briefing books that have been prepared, and asking good questions.

But as I previously discussed, the intelligence community is also dealing with an incoming administration that appears to not only be questioning everything they are told, but also denigrating the intelligence community’s efforts publically. So we are stuck in a situation where we have to gain the confidence of people who may disdain the intelligence community. That sets us back, not just on cyber, but also in every other intelligence-related activity. It is really disconcerting, and anybody who has spent time in the intelligence community will tell you this is a very unhealthy development.

TCB: Senator Lindsey Graham made the point in the hearing that the U.S. response to Russian interference should be to “throw rocks” rather than “pebbles.” How does this relate to an overarching deterrence strategy in cyberspace?

RS: Deterrence in cyberspace means that our adversaries have to absolutely believe that we are going to do what we say we will do.  Obviously, some operations responding to the Russians are classified—so we can only see the public “tail” of sanctions and we don’t know how big those rocks are that Senator Graham refers to. 

We have a deterrence policy. The Obama administration released it in 2015. But the Russians have to believe that we are going to do something that is effective and not just for window-dressing. Of course, Russian President Vladimir Putin may simply be willing to take the damage and continue on his path. It would be even better if the response to Russia could be accomplished multilaterally, rather than just unilaterally.

Cyber deterrence is not just intended for nation-states, but also for non-state actors like cybercriminals. To have a successful deterrence effort requires the private sector to cooperate with government. We have still not reached the point where we have adequately synced the private and public aspects of cyber, but we are doing better. Meanwhile, the private sector is also in the crosshairs of a potential retaliatory cyber response from our adversaries.

Where does that fit in in the transition right now? The transition team must be speaking with cyber experts in all disciplines, both within the intelligence community and the private sector. If the transition is relying on their own echo chamber of people who will only tell them what they want to hear on cyber issues, or anything else, then we have a bigger problem.

TCB: Some have argued the sanctions announced last week are largely symbolic, especially the ones against the Russian intelligence agencies. Would you agree the sanctions held purely symbolic value without a likely tangible impact?

RS: We can certainly push a little harder if we pursue a broader set of sanctions when talking about an economy like Russia’s. The question is, who will suffer from them? President Putin certainly will not. Therefore, sanctions need to be targeted and they need to be part of a multifaceted response—we can’t just respond to cyber with cyber. It is very important to have a complete strategy and, even better, have some idea of a strategy in place before an incident occurs, which the United States does to a certain extent.

It is very similar to a private companies operating in the cyber world but on a much larger scale. They have an incident response plan and know what they are going to do if they experience a serious intrusion. They know how to communicate and the actions they are going to take in response. The U.S. government does have that kind of contingency plan as well.

TCB: It seemed that Senator Graham’s comment on “throwing rocks” was hinting at either further sanctions or retaliatory cyber operations. Hypothetically, which agency in the U.S. government would conduct such retaliatory cyber operations and how could they go about it?

RS:  In this case, it may come down to a coordinated covert action. One would guess that if done properly, it would involve all intelligence agencies, integrating all assets.   But no matter which agency is running the primary role—whether it is the CIA, NSA, or the Department of Defense—there is still a clear-cut path for approval and authority for the operation, be it the President or the Secretary of Defense—especially if it involves damage to an adversary. 

This kind of cyber or integrated operation demands that level of attention because—depending on if there is any form of retaliation from the other side—it could get serious. Therefore, we have to very carefully think through what we are going to do, which may explain the hesitancy of the current administration under certain circumstances. What is the course of action? What is the potential blowback? What purpose does it serve? All of these factors must be first considered rather than just going in cyber guns blazing—even if it can be done covertly with the hope of plausible deniability.

TCB: Many of the issues regarding Russian hacking and influence operations are more about broader norms in cyberspace, but in the past, the U.S. has blocked attempts at international treaties—supported by Russia—on international cyber conduct. If not through international treaties, how does the United States hope to create norms in cyberspace?

RS: It is really hard to enforce treaties when countries deny their involvement even after it has already been attributed to them. The Russians can say “oh yeah, we didn’t interfere with the DNC, it was some cybercriminal.” If they are not going to even acknowledge the fact that there is attribution leading back to some of their proxies—it is a fairly well known that the Russians run operations that depend on criminal or surrogate elements in Russia and elsewhere—then why would a broad international treaty work at all? Also, where is the line between normal intelligence activity and interfering in an election? This is a critical aspect of any conversation on this issue.

Those attempts at international treaties for cyberspace can be simply a smoke screen. We have a model for international cyber norms in the Tallinn Manual—both versions one and two. It is an outstanding work authored by legal experts—not a treaty—and can certainly serve as the basis for multilateral and bilateral agreements. 

If we want to have an impact on norms, look at the Chinese example. Even though many were quite dubious of the memo the United States signed with China about cyber economic espionage, there have been reports that there has definitely been some change—at least in terms of private entities in China. Of course, its long-term impact remains to be seen. If we are serious about this, we need to choose an issue where we can come to a consensus, like cybercrime. For example, the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime, from the Council of Europe, is the kind of norm that can be successfully created, but there will always be “cyber outliers” who will not sign on or simply do not adhere to a treaty. How do we deal with them?

TCB: There is allegedly new evidence found after the November election that Russia leaked the material to WikiLeaks through a third party. Would this indicate the hacking of the DNC was also accomplished through a proxy group rather than directly by Russian military?

RS: There are three separate reports to be presented this week and next on Russia’s culpability—one unclassified, one classified, and one compartmented. This will contain the clearest attribution of the DNC breach and related Russian operations based not solely on technical data, but other intelligence as well.

It is the integration of intelligence that provides a confident conclusion, not solely technical data. However, there is certainly a history of the Russians—and Chinese among others—using proxy and surrogate groups, but we can’t say for sure unless evidence is provided in the report.

The Author is Rhea Siers

Rhea D. Siers is a Senior Expert in Cybersecurity for the Risk Assistance Network and Exchange (RANE) and the Scholar in Residence at the GWU Center for Cyber and Homeland Security. She is co-author of "Cyberwarfare: Understanding the Law, Policy and Technology" (Thomson Reuters).  She worked in the Intelligence Community for 30 years, and served as the Deputy Associate Director for Policy at the National Security Agency.  

Learn more about The Cipher's Network here

Next Steps in U.S.-Cuba Relations
Strengthening U.S. Cyber Defenses
Russia Sanctions: The New Normal
Corruption in China: The Party’s Over
Change in the Kingdom: Three Big Shifts
Managing Information & Risk in the Digital Age
Endgame in Afghanistan
The Convergence of Crime and Terror
Strengthening the Public-Private Partnership
The Billion Dollar Spy: An Interview with Author David Hoffman
The New Battlefield
North Africa: Instability Increasing
The Kidnapping Capital of the World
Homegrown Terror in the Age of ISIS
The Refugee Crisis: Europe on the Brink
The Future of Mexican Oil
Cracks in the System
Embassy Security Three Years After Benghazi
Fourteen Years Later
Can Congress Solve the Cybersecurity Problem?
Arctic Game Changer?
Where They Stand on National Security
The First 100 Days
Worthy of Fleming: Anthony Horowitz's "Trigger Mortis"
At the Crossroads
Eye in the Sky
Rough Road Ahead for Rousseff
Leveling the Playing Field: Tech Access in China
The Dead Drop
Top of Mind for Chief Security Officers
Protecting Your Business
The Future of Oil
Chinese Expansion in Latin America
American Involvement in Syria
The Future of Geospatial Intelligence
The Umbrella Movement: One Year Later
Ebola: An End in Sight?
The Pakistan Problem
The Dead Drop
The Encryption Debate
Going Dark
The US-Mexico Relationship
The Rise of Mobile Technology in Africa
The Dead Drop
Construction Boom in the Gulf
Cybersecurity: The Human Factor
Beijing and the South China Sea
Will Peace Talks Succeed in Colombia?
Social Media and Terrorism
The Rise of Israel’s Tech Sector
Securing the Border
Red Sun Rising
The Dead Drop
Adopting the Iran Deal
Stability on the Peninsula
Crime in South Africa
Combatting Terrorist Financing
The Dead Drop
Recovering from a Cyber Attack
Stability in South Asia
Veterans Day
Israel’s Wave of Violence
The Dead Drop
Protecting Critical Infrastructure
ISIS on the March
The Paris Attacks
Rethinking U.S. Security Assistance
The War on Terror 2.0
Putting Mali in Context
Will Russia Ever Change?
Will Canada Pull Back?
Understanding Putin’s Popularity
Chinese Expansion in Africa
Terrorism Finance and Wildlife Poaching
Illicit Trafficking in Latin America
Climate Change and Security
Preventing Another San Bernardino
Supply Chain Security
Negotiating a New Safe Harbor Agreement
The Battle for Yemen
Foreign Tech Access in China
The Dead Drop
Offensive Cyber Operations
Travel Security in the Age of ISIS
Iran: A Rising Cyber Power?
The Future of Cybersecurity
The Arab Spring Five Years Later
Preparing Today’s Military for Tomorrow’s Wars
Cybersecurity for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea
Improving Aviation Security
The Dead Drop
Terrorism in 2016
Cybersecurity in 2016
The World in 2016: Opportunities and Risks
China in 2016
Russia in 2016
Moscow’s Cyber Buildup
The China-India Relationship
Russian Influence in Latin America
The Future of Homegrown Terrorism
Stability in Sub-Saharan Africa
Protecting Your Digital Identity
Elections in Taiwan: A Turning Point?
The Caliphate of Crime
Biotechnology’s Dark Side
Rethinking U.S. Strategy Toward China
The Evolution of Weapons of Mass Destruction
A New Era in US-Iranian Relations?
Will Information Sharing Improve Cybersecurity?
Evaluating China's New Silk Road
Tech in Latin America: Opportunities and Challenges
The Destruction of Libyan Oil
Ransomware: Protecting Yourself from Cyber Extortion
The US and India: Strengthening Security Cooperation
Security and Stability in Afghanistan
Combatting the Al Shabaab Threat
Sports Security: Protecting Your Venue
Israel’s Arab Alliance: A Counter to ISIS and Iran?
The End of U.S. Space Supremacy
The Caucasus: Instability Increasing
Stabilizing Iraq
The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Deepening U.S. Commitment to Asia
Securing Industrial Control Systems
The Battle for Ukraine
Defeating Boko Haram
Jordan: The Indispensable Ally
China’s Military Modernization
The Cybersecurity Skills Shortage
Solving Mexico’s Violence Problem
The Northern Triangle: The Most Violent Region in the World
The Future of the Middle East
Terrorism in the World’s Largest Muslim Country
The Rise of Quantum Computing
Europe’s Terrorism Problem
Stability in the East China Sea
The Rise of Counter-Drone Technology
The ISIS WMD Threat
Healthcare and the Cyber Threat
Security in the Indo-Pacific: Australia’s New Role
Countering ISIS' Message
Containing the ISIS Cancer
Security, Privacy, and the Fight Over Encryption
Taking Aim at Smart Guns
Losing Patience with North Korea
The Difficult Road Ahead for Colombia
The Taliban Resurgence
ISIS: The New Face of Global Jihad?
Connecting with Latin America
Russia and China: Mutually Assured Detachment
The Scourge of Terrorism
The Security Challenge of Terror
European Unity in the Face of Crises
Developing Enhanced Cybersecurity Systems
Pakistan: Friend and Foe?
Egypt’s Economy on the Brink
Tehran’s Balancing Act
Russia Makes Moves in the Middle East
Kenya’s Battle with al-Shabaab
Missile Defense in the Korean Peninsula
Are America's Ports Secure?
The Human Factor Behind the Panama Papers Leak
Russian Military Modernization
APTs: The Boogeymen of Cybersecurity
Vietnam: Guns and Butter
Syria: Power-sharing, Partitioning, and the Fight Against ISIS
Turbulence in Turkey
The U.S. and the Philippines: Shoulder to Shoulder in the South China Sea
The Darker Side of the Internet of Things
Cybersecurity Challenges in Asia
Taliban on the Offensive
Quagmire in Yemen
Cocaine and Conflict in Colombia
The Cloud: Nebulous, but Nimble
Censorship in China
An Emerging Crime-Terror Nexus in Europe
IRGC: Iran's Power Player
Latin America: The New Frontier for Cyber Attacks
The Hydra and the Snake: The Death of Osama Bin Laden
Nuclear Deterrence and Assurance in East Asia
Vehicle Cybersecurity: Running in Place
What Drives ISIS
Tensions Simmer in the South China Sea
Managing the Mobile Phone Malware Threat
Leaving the Oil Spigot Open
Burundi: A Path Toward Civil War?
The Value of Special Operations Forces
ISIS in the Balkans
The Tech Must Flow
North Korea’s Party Congress: What was all the fuss about?
Argentina: A Smoother Ride
Libya: Obama’s “Worst Mistake”
Tsai Ing-Wen’s Balancing Act
The North Korea Workers’ Party Congress and Kim Jong-un’s Legitimacy
Flying the Unfriendly Skies: Airline Security
Nuclear Standoff in South Asia
How to Read Riyadh
Even in Defeat, Austria’s Far-right Emulates Populist Growth in Europe
More Effective, Less Secure: The Cyber-Threat to Medical Devices
A New Era in the U.S.-Japan Security Partnership
Passing the Torch to the Next Generation of Saudi Leaders
U.S. Military Aid to Egypt Continues Despite Democratic Struggle
How Secure are Radiological Materials?
Roadblocks on the Path to Normality in Iran
Caracas in Crisis
Algeria: Exporting Stability
The Push for Kurdish Independence
U.S. and China: Strategic Cooperation at Arm’s Length
City Life: Living Smarter, Not Harder
Homegrown Terror in Orlando
A Rough Patch in U.S.-Saudi Relations
Japan’s “Abenomics”
A Tale of Two Bears: The DNC Hack
The Origins of Brexit
The Chinese Communist Party Under Xi Jinping
The Arctic: Technology and Infrastructure on Earth and in Space
Jordan: Stability Amidst Chaos
Exporting Jihad: Bosnia and Kosovo
Changing World Order: The Effects of Brexit
Navigating Uncharted Waters
Iraq after ISIS: Divide it or Fix it?
Terrorism in Istanbul: Severe Implications
North Korea as a Cyber Threat
One If By Air, Two If By Sea: Unmanned Surface Vehicles
The FBI’s Intelligence Mission
Does NATO Need a New Ideology?
Philippines v. China: Laying Down the Law of the Sea
Is Turkey Returning to a Policy of “Zero Problems?”
Federal Cybersecurity One Year After the OPM Breach
NATO: Weathering the Storms
The Rise of the Fringe: A Threat to Democracy?
Hezbollah's Many Faces
Trans-Pacific Trade Deal Remains in Limbo
The Aftermath of the Nice Attack: Is ISIS’ “Prestige” on the Rise?
Crossing the Line: A Failed Coup in Turkey
France’s Vulnerabilities in a Changing Terror Landscape
The Problem with Proxies
Water Security in South Asia: Running Dry and Running Out of Options
The Clash over Social Media Data
Extremist Groups Target Diversity in Bangladesh
Kenya: Private Sector and Government Coordinate on National Security
The ISIS-Al Qaeda Rivalry
Will Syria’s Most Productive Citizens Ever Return Home?
Trust but Verify: The United States, China & Economic Espionage
The World is Watching: The American Election and China
The Status Quo Will Not Work in South Sudan
Kurdistan as a Geopolitical Playground
Rio Olympic Games: A Missed Opportunity
Spinning Silk: Asia and the GCC
China-Japan Relations: Trading Goods While Exchanging Words
Climate Change in Ethiopia: Managing the Risks
Mounting Security Challenges in Afghanistan
Is There a Future for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt?
Niger Delta Militants Compound Nigeria’s Security Crises
Thailand Under the Junta
Brazil: Getting its House Back in Order Post Olympics
Indicators of Political Instability
Finding Water in the Desert: Water Security in the Middle East
The Blurring Line Between Cyber and Physical Threats
The World is Watching: The American Election and Russia
NATO’s Ambiguity on the Red Line for Russia
Boko Haram: The Plague Affecting Nigeria and Beyond
Tunisia: From Revolution to Governance
Russia, China, and Cyber Espionage
Best Of: The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: Game-Changer or Procurement Nightmare?
Climate Change Jeopardizes National Security
Algeria: A Bulwark Against ISIS
Venezuela's Military: Both a Stabilizing and Destabilizing Force
Will Theresa May's Britain Stay Committed to European Defense?
America and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
What’s at Stake in the South China Sea?
Fifteen Years After 9/11: Much Accomplished, Much to be Done
The Post-9/11 U.S. Military
The Post-9/11 U.S. Intelligence Community
South Africa: ANC Losing Its Grip on Power
The World is Watching: The American Election and Saudi Arabia
Turkish Leverage Over the United States and European Union
Nuclear North Korea: A No-Win Scenario?
Insider Cyber Threats: A Pressing Problem Facing Business
Al Shabaab: A Persistent Threat
Unease, Uncertainty, and Strife: Global Inequality and Instability
Europe Bears a Big Burden in the World's Migration Crisis
Malicious Cyber-Actors in the Financial Services Industry
China's Ongoing Struggle to Clamp Down on Terrorism
Growing Instability in Africa’s Top Two Oil Producers
The World is Watching: The American Election and Iran
Dollars and Sense: Military Spending During an Economic Downturn
Forewarned is Forearmed: Confronting Adversaries in Cyberspace
Is Peace Possible in Colombia?
The Rise of Hypersonic Weapons
Nuclear No First Use: Ambiguity vs. Clarity
Al Qaeda Growing Stronger By the Minute
Cyber and the Law
The DRC: Strong Grip on Power, Weak Handle on Governance
Combatting Haqqani Network is Key to Afghan Strategy
War and Peace: Syria and the Question of American Intervention
The F35: A 21st Century Coalition Asset
Objective: Mosul
Where is Duterte Leading the Philippines?
Great Power Politics in Latin America
In the Strait of Hormuz, Little has Changed with Iran
Corralling the Cartel: OPEC and Oil Prices
Russian Hacking: The Difficult Path Between Inaction and Escalation
Philippines' Duterte Leaves U.S. Policymakers "Baffled"
The World is Watching: The American Election and Germany
Can Hamas Elections Shift the Status Quo?
What is the Future of U.S. Policy in Latin America?
Conflict and Common Goals: the Government and Silicon Valley
Kashmir in Crisis—Again
Al Qaeda in Syria: The Split That Wasn't
EU and U.S. Interests in Hungary in Jeopardy
The Price of Turkish Posturing in Iraq
Is it Possible to Hack the Vote?
Decision Day in the U.S.: Daunting Security Challenges Ahead
The State of Play in Syria
Modi: Modernizing India
Trump's Win Creates Uncertainty in Europe
The Powers and Pitfalls of Drone Warfare
Insurgent Use of Unmanned Aerial Systems: A Cat-and-Mouse Game
The African Migrant Crisis: The EU Takes Action
The U.S. Military: Ready or Not?
Sisi, the IMF, and Egypt's Crumbling Economy
Can Robots Fight Wars? The Future of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems
The Global Debate Over the Legality of Drones Continues
Agility and Innovation in the Third Offset Strategy
China's Economy: Great Power, Great Responsibility
Identity in Cyberspace: The Advent of Biometrics Authentication
Obama's Legacy on Russia and China: Making the Grade
Sweden, Finland & Norway Deepen Defense Ties with the West
Developing and Sticking With a Clear Strategy in Afghanistan
Italy’s Choice: Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t
Predicting the Future: Anticipating Security Events with Data Analytics
Russia’s Energy Leverage Wanes in Parts of Europe
The U.S.-Japan Alliance: A Safe Harbor
President Obama's Counterterrorism Legacy
Dialing Up Controversy with China
China Officially Ties Internet Restrictions to its own National Security
Trumping Trade: Alternatives to TPP
The International Criminal Court, Under Pressure, Turns Eyes on U.S.
Egyptian and Israeli Cold Peace Has Never Been Warmer
Trump, Russia, and the CIA: Allies and Adversaries Confused
Hacking Against Cybercrime: The FBI's New Approach
Trumping Trade: The Future of NAFTA
Violence in Mexico Surges
Directed-Energy Weapons: Time to Focus
At the Crossroads Between East and West: Turkey and the World in 2016
The Perils of Connectivity: Cyber Insecurity in 2016
The Party Endures: China and the World in 2016
Cracks in the Union: Europe and the World in 2016
Eyes on the Kremlin: Russia and the World in 2016
Terrorists Don't Have to Win - They Just Have to Survive: Counterterrorism in 2016
A Perennial Task with No Finish Line: U.S. Defense Planning and Procurement in 2016
A Changing of the Guard: U.S. Counterterrorism Policy
Poland: Strong Defense Partner But Taking Undemocratic Steps
Land, Sea, and Air: U.S. Military Readiness in the Navy and Marine Corps
Syria's Tangled Trilateral Road to Peace
The UK’s New Surveillance Law: Security Necessity or Snoopers’ Charter?
South Korea’s Foreign Policy: Leaderless, but Not Rudderless
Jammeh to Cede Power, Leave The Gambia
Mali’s Instability: Advantage, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb
Railguns: The Fast, the Furious—and the Future?
Swarming the Battlefield: Combat Evolves Toward Lethal Autonomous Weapons
Mixed Signals to Moscow: The Trump Administration's Russia Policy Puzzle
NATO’s Changing Face Under the Trump Administration
South Korea’s Presidential Crisis: Is Democracy Stuck in Park?
Power and the U.S. Presidency
Trump's Hour of Action: Recommendations for Cyber Policy
Passing the ‘Football’: The Future of U.S. Nuclear Policy
The Baltics Up the Ante in Defense
Take It or Leave It: The Future of the Two-State Solution
Trump and Trudeau: Fire and Ice
Cybersecurity in the Gulf: The Middle East's Virtual Frontline
Little Margin for Error in South China Sea Policy
Eritrea: A Potential U.S. Counterterror Partner
Trump Administration Faces Daunting Challenges in Afghanistan
The New Space Race
Autonomous Hacking Bots: Menace or Savior?
Myanmar’s Rohingya Crisis – Fertile Ground for Jihadis in Southeast Asia?
Cuba Lingers in Limbo
Designating the Muslim Brotherhood As Terrorists Is Complicated
Trump and the New Map of the Middle East
The New Technology of Humanitarian Assistance
Missile Defense: Blocking Threats or Blocking Diplomacy?
Flynn Controversy Raises New Questions
Doubling Down Against the Jihadist Message
Civilians and the Military Under Trump
The Gulf Cooperation Council Operates in a Tumultuous Region
DIY Defense Tech: More Countries Seek Advanced Homegrown Weaponry
The Vice Closes on Mosul: What Next?
U.S. Marines Head to Norway and Australia
Cyber Proxies: A Central Tenet of Russia’s Hybrid Warfare
The Future of Transatlantic Defense: More Europe
Trump’s NSC: A Bureaucratic Balancing Act
Tallinn Manual 2.0: Stepping Out of the Fog in Cyberspace
Defining Objectives for the U.S.-Iran Relationship
The U.S.-Japan Alliance: Reform and Uncertainty
India’s Cyber Potential: A Bridge Between East and West
Missile Defense: Targeting a Technological Solution
NATO Zeros In on Black Sea Security
Vying for Power in Iran
The TPP Without America
Disentangling the NSA and Cyber Command
The United Nations at a Tipping Point
Developing Special Operations Forces in China and Russia
Hawala Networks: The Paperless Trail of Terrorist Transactions
Objective: Raqqa
The Baltics: Veterans of Russian Cyber Operations
Security Concerns Complicate Investment Opportunities in Mozambique
What Is the “Deep State”?
Al Qaeda Takes Advantage in Syria
The War of Words Between Europe and Turkey
Jumping the Air Gap: How to Breach Isolated Networks
Sizing Up the Trump Defense Budget
Brexit Begins: Hurdles to a UK-EU Deal
India-Israel Relations: An Opportunity That Can’t Be Missed
Why Syria’s Kurds Are America’s Key Ally
China Pivots its Hackers from Industrial Spies to Cyber Warriors
Putin vs. The Unknown
Germany, Japan Strengthen Defensive Capabilities
The Long-Goodbye to Afghanistan – Should It Get Longer?
Turkey’s Referendum: The Dangerous Road to “Yes”
Trump Draws the Line in Syria
EU Economic and Military Investments in Africa Increase
Trump-Xi Summit: No Real Progress Yet, but Stay Tuned
The Zero-Day Dilemma: Should Government Disclose Company Cyber Security Gaps?
Stepping into the Void of Trump’s Global Retreat
Al Qaeda Quietly Expands in South Asia
Chinese Firms Surge into Africa in Search of Customers, Contracts, Jobs
How Spy Agency Hackers Pose As – Anybody
Does Moderate Political Islam Exist?
The Call to Radicalism, Both at Home and Abroad
Instability Casts a Shadow Over French Presidential Election
The Problem of Siloed Cyber Warriors
Sizing Up America’s Aircraft Carriers of the Future