Bottom Line Up Front: There are indications that the Taliban have no intention of reaching a compromise and believe they can take over Afghanistan shortly after the US withdrawal. Comparisons with the survival of the Najibullah government may be misleading. An eventual evacuation of the international community should be manageable ...

Cipher Brief Expert Tim Willasey-Wilsey served for over 27 years in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office where his focus was on South Asia and North East Asia as well as on the issues of terrorism, organised crime, insurgency and conflict resolution. He is a Visiting Professor of War Studies ...

The killing of Al Qaeda’s second in command reportedly at the hands of Israeli operatives working in Tehran signals a significant reduction among al Qaeda’s founding generation, leaving questions about how the organization will conduct itself in the hands of younger leaders. While Tehran denies the reports, sources told The ...

Understanding expert perspective on where the US stands in the world with regards to national security is a key component of how The Cipher Brief keeps the security community connected.  Michael Morell and Cipher Brief Expert Mike Vickers  recently sat down to talk with each other about the challenges facing ...

The Cipher Brief’s Open Source Trend Line Report utilizes open source data on a quarterly basis to track trends around the world that impact national and global security.  We break the world down by region and provide you with a recent timeline to help understand the pace at which events were developing and ...

The United States signed a peace agreement with Taliban leaders on Saturday that is intended to end the US’ 18-year involvement in Afghanistan. The deal agreed to in Doha, included the involvement of U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban Co-Founder and leader of the Taliban Political ...

While not in the headlines every day, al Qaeda operatives are still the targets of somewhat regular military operations in places like Yemen.  The U.S. carried out a series of air strikes against al Qaeda targets in Yemen over the summer according to U.S. Forces Central Command (CENTCOM). Former Acting ...

A United Nations report delivered to the Security Council last month offered a stark reminder that al Qaeda remains a serious threat around the world.  The report suggested that the de-centralized terrorist network is stronger than ISIS in countries like Yemen and Somalia.      The report was issued just before ...