Explaining Russian Malfeasance to the American Public

March 17, 2017 | Mackenzie Weinger
Photo: iStock.com/dicus63

As the House Intelligence Committee gathers on Monday to hold its first public hearing into Russian interference in the 2016 election, experts say this marks an important opportunity to begin explaining the complexities of the Kremlin’s actions to the American people — as long as it doesn’t devolve into partisan warfare.

FBI Director James Comey and Admiral Mike Rogers, who heads both the National Security Agency (NSA) and Cyber Command, will testify before the committee as it sets out to tackle its main task as well as various allegations levied by President Donald Trump about leaks and wiretapping.

“We’re really still in this chaotic space in the United States where people are confused and there are multiple congressional inquiries and different investigations, and it all seems so confusing,” Alina Polyakova, deputy director of the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center and senior fellow for the Future Europe Initiative at the Atlantic Council. “And it hasn’t been well-communicated.”

The scope of the Committee’s investigation involves answering questions surrounding what Russian measures were directed toward the U.S. and its allies and if those included links with U.S. citizens or political campaigns. It will also address the U.S. government’s response to the Kremlin’s interference, as well as what possible leaks of classified information took place related to the Intelligence Community’s assessment that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a cyber and influence campaign aimed at interfering in the election and boosting Trump’s chances.

The key focus

Steven Hall, a former senior CIA officer who retired in 2015 and spent much of his career overseeing intelligence operations in the countries of the former Soviet Union and the former Warsaw Pact, said that any of the data points regarding the allegations of cooperation or collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians require serious investigation.

“For me, the one that stands out that needs the closest look is what was Michael Flynn up to when he went to Russia on RT’s dime,” Hall said. “That to me is one of the more concrete things that bears hearing testimony directly from Flynn about, under oath, and finding out were there any additional conversations, was the campaign discussed, what exactly went on. That for me is one of the key things.”

Flynn served as Trump’s first National Security Advisor before he departed the White House following revelations he had withheld the truth on speaking with the Russian ambassador about sanctions. In early March, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes called Flynn a “tangent” to the investigation, but said he would welcome his or anyone else’s testimony during the course of the investigation.

“But as I said, we’re not going to just call in witnesses based on just press reports alone,” Nunes said at a Wednesday press conference, adding that the inquiry has not yet spoken to Flynn “at this point.”

John Sipher, who retired in 2014 after a 28-year career in the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, said the most important thing for the congressional investigation is to confirm what the IC already concluded — that “the Russian government managed a dedicated attack against the U.S. election and the Democratic nominee.”

Sipher, who is a member of The Cipher Brief Network, said he also hopes the investigation will look into any potential aspects of the Trump campaign’s role in the Russian effort.

“I would like them to ask why any member of the Trump campaign was in contact with Russian government officials,” Sipher wrote in an email. “Why would a Presidential campaign risk meeting representatives of a hostile and corrupt government? How would meeting Russian officials inside and outside the U.S. help a candidate win votes in Iowa, Ohio, etc.? I would also like them to ask if the Trump campaign can document similar contacts with officials from other countries, both inside and outside the U.S.”

However, the investigation must stay focused, Sipher said, and “while I would like to see a serious investigation into the Trump campaign's contacts with Russia, it may be better for this effort to remain focused on Russia.” 

“It will be important if the investigation clearly supports the findings of the Intelligence Community,” he said. “If they find problems with the consensus of the intelligence report, it will highlight serious issues worth further attention. The best thing they can do — if they do not address the Trump campaign issues — is to explain in simple and clear language exactly what the Russians did and why.  The American public needs to understand the seriousness of the issue, and that Russia's actions were a serious act of aggression.”

“I think that too many people don't really understand what happened. This was made worse by the emotion of the election,” Sipher added.

Cortney Weinbaum, National Security Policy Associate at RAND Corporation, said the committee could focus their efforts on revealing the extent of Russian activities and what the U.S. could do both at home and abroad to ensure elections are free from interference.

“What infrastructure did Russia need in the U.S. to conduct these activities, and which aspects of that infrastructure still remain in place? Has Russia continued to conduct these activities since the election? If so, are they demonstrating an ability to apply even more sophisticated or advanced tactics in future US elections?” Weinbaum said.

Polyakova noted that public hearings about Russian interference in the U.S. elections could potentially offer a chance to deeply examine Kremlin influence operations and for the first time, really inform the public about how the efforts work to shape and feed a narrative favorable to Russia.  

It is important the committee’s series of open hearings feature witnesses who know “how disinformation works and who can explain that even though it’s unlikely that your average American voter changed their vote from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump because Putin told him to, it doesn’t mean there was no influence operation,” Polyakova said.

When asked what the most important question to answer is in the investigation, Nunes said “I don't see that there's one important question. I think they're all important.”

Ranking member Adam Schiff, meanwhile, highlighted three major aspects the inquiry needs to focus on. One focus needs to be uncovering the “whole range” of what the Kremlin did, given the need to help European countries who are facing the same kind of information warfare, Schiff pointed out, while another is the U.S. government response and how to improve that in the future. The third is the question of whether any U.S. citizens were involved.

“I think we know a lot about the Russian hacking and dumping — we know the Russians did it. We know, obviously, some of the platforms they used for the dissemination of this information. I think one question that the country has that is among the most weighty is, were U.S. persons involved? Did they get help? Was there any form of collusion with the campaign? And I think the public knows far less on that issue than they do on many of the others,” Schiff said.

“And for that reason, as well the far-reaching consequences one way or the other, I think it's very important that our committee get to the bottom of it and if at all possible, speak with one voice on that important issue,” he added.

A likely detour

While the inquiry is aimed at the Russian active measures campaign in the 2016 U.S. election, Monday’s hearing will see another topic taking center stage. Trump’s claims that his predecessor, President Barack Obama, wiretapped him while he was a candidate will be up for discussion, although Nunes and Schiff have said there has been no evidence to back up those allegations. At a joint press conference on Wednesday, Nunes said that the “evidence still remains the same, that we don't have any evidence that that took place.”

On Thursday, the leadership of the Senate Intelligence Committee said in a joint statement that “based on the information available to us, we see no indications that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the United States government either before or after Election Day 2016.”

The White House has continued to stand by Trump’s allegation. In response to White House press secretary Sean Spicer saying on Thursday that the congressional intel committees have not been provided all the information, a spokesperson for ranking member Sen. Mark Warner said “the bipartisan leaders of the Intelligence Committee would not have made the statement they made without having been fully briefed by the appropriate authorities.”

The House Intelligence leaders have said they will ask Comey about the allegations on Monday.

These allegations from Trump serve as “sort of a diversionary tactic to make people forget what’s really going on” with the election interference investigation, given that the White House tasked the intelligence committees with looking into these, former CIA officer Hall said. As Spicer said on Thursday, “The bottom line is, is that I think the president made it clear two Sundays ago that he wanted the House and the Senate Intelligence Committee to work with these agencies to collect the information and make a report.”

“You’ve got to wonder if Trump wakes up tomorrow and has a bizarre thing he thinks is going to throw everybody off track and says, ‘Hey, you guys have to investigate that too — there’s no evidence for it, there’s no fact, but you guys should be looking at that too’ — is Nunes going to say, ‘Yep, we’ll look at that too’?” Hall said.

“If I were Trump sitting in the White House right now, that’s what I’d be doing. I would say, ‘How much chaff can we get up in the air that will force the committee to do almost anything but look at what really matters most or really worries him the most,’ which is calling into question the results of the election — in other words, possible connectivity to Russia,” he added.

 The most effective process?

Experts noted that there are concerns about the congressional inquiries, given the politicized nature of the issue and the history of previous investigations. Hall suggested that an independent, 9/11 style commission, rather than inquiries by the Intelligence oversight committees, may be the best approach for the issue of Russian interference in the U.S. election.

“I have to say, sadly, I don’t think the congressional oversight committees are the most effective and even the right way to go on this,” Hall said, noting he worked for a year in the CIA’s congressional affairs office, and he has great respect for the committees’ professional staffers. “But the committees are, by definition, inherently political, and I saw this again and again on the committees where you would have splits along party lines. This issue is simply too important.”

Partisan divisions present the most likely setback to the investigation, according to Weinbaum.

“If the parties cannot agree on the purpose of the hearing, they risk not making significant progress,” she said. “These hearings provide an opportunity to conduct an unbiased look into how a foreign government intervened in a U.S. election, but only if the hearings do not become a witch-hunt into either the former Obama administration or current Trump administration.”

Former CIA official Sipher, meanwhile, said he worries that Congress “does not have the expertise to handle the investigation effectively and that, despite the best efforts of a few serious representatives, it will quickly become a partisan affair. I fear that the subtle and complicated issues will get lost.”

“I am very concerned that that the investigation will devolve into partisan warfare and leave us in an even more difficult position than we are now,” he added. “The investigation of CIA's enhanced interrogation program is a good example. The Democrats came to one conclusion, and the Republicans to another. Despite all of the effort and work, the country is not any wiser for the effort.”

A number of other congressional committees are investigating the Kremlin’s actions as well. The Senate Intelligence Committee has said it will hold its own public hearings in the future, while on Wednesday the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism held a hearing on Russian tactics to undermine democracies around the world.

Meanwhile, the House Intelligence Committee’s second public hearing will be held on March 28, and expected witnesses invited by the committee are former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, and two senior officials from CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm that identified and attributed the hacks of the Democratic National Committee. 

Mackenzie Weinger is a national security reporter at The Cipher Brief. Follow her on Twitter @mweinger.

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
Europe Intel Sharing Will Take Trust
Rebranding Countering Violent Extremism Programs: A Sharper Focus or Missing the Point?
Trump 100 Days: From the Travel Ban to TPP
The Power of Botnets: Amplifying Crime, Disinformation, and Espionage
The “China Solution”: Beijing Aims for Global Leadership
Venezuela Teetering on the Edge
A Tale of Three Libyas
Worlds Collide in the French Election
NSA Curtails Collection Under FISA Provision
U.S. Special Operations Forces’ Changing Mission in the Middle East
The Comey Fallout
Is Sudan Still a State Sponsor of Terror?
Will Moon Bring Back Sunshine Policy in South Korea?
WannaCry Attack: Microsoft Questions Role of Intelligence Community
Defending the U.S. from North Korean Long Range Missiles
Blue Helmets Under Fire - From Trump
The War Against ISIS Has Just Begun
The “Renaissance” in Private Space Launch for Defense
Chinese Industrial Spies Cast a Wider Net
Could Iran’s Elections Indicate a New Future?
Western Balkans in Russia’s Crosshairs
Japan, South Korea Shaken by Pyongyang, Beijing – And Now, Washington