The current Administration’s top leadership on defense, diplomacy and intelligence – the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, and Director of National Intelligence – all agree that climate change is happening and presents risks to the United States that must be addressed. For example, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, in ...

FBI Director James Comey was the guest of honor at an Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) Leadership Dinner Wednesday in Alexandria, Virginia. INSA is an intelligence and national security organization representing leaders from the public, private, and academic sectors. Director Comey’s opening remarks focused mainly on the FBI’s cyber ...

Season 5 of the acclaimed FX Series The Americans has returned after a 9-month hiatus, and it might be hard to follow if you start at this point.  I’ve watched religiously over the past four seasons, and I found the new episode hard to understand, at least for the first ...

Actor Kiefer Sutherland may not be returning to Fox’s new iteration of its hit show "24" (more on that in a future column), but he will return to TV in a much-hyped Washington DC based series, which was snatched up by ABC. This fall, Sutherland plays a low level cabinet ...

It's the year 2011 and the "Arab Spring" has begun in Cairo, Egypt. Guests at a nearby hotel are panicking and desperate to leave, and mild-mannered hotel manager Jonathan Pine must take charge of making sure all are safe in the midst of the chaos. Thus begins the critically acclaimed ...

TRUMP THIS: A group of more than 100 national security experts signed an open letter this week pledging to work “energetically to prevent the election of someone so utterly unfitted to the office” of president as Donald Trump. There are a lot of familiar names in the group – people ...

THE CURSE OF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS.  Several Dead Drop sources told us how surprised they were to see several news items recently about an Inspector General’s investigation into a salty tirade reportedly launched by Lieutenant General John Mulholland when he was Deputy Commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command.  Army General Mulholland, who is ...

READY FOR HILLARY – The Dead Drop is very reliably informed that optimism in the Hillary Clinton camp is reaching epidemic proportions.  Why? Because the Republicans are fixated on this Trump fellow you may have heard about.  While general election voting is about 11 months away – some on Team Hillary ...

Should I Stay or Should I Go?  Dead Drop insiders tell us there is much speculation going on inside the Obama Administration over who will stay in their current role and who might bail before the next election. Rumors have been flying for a while now that Director of National ...

In American culture, Veteran is a powerful word, and for better or worse, it is used universally. The Department of Veterans Affairs is a common topic for Congress, the news, and Facebook. Veterans Day features sales, promotions, and free donuts. We are highlighted at sporting events, during the State of ...

For many Americans, holidays have become something to look forward to, because they mark the beginning of special season like summer, a day off from work, or the chance to get a deal on some big purchase. Too often, we fail to reflect on the true meaning of the holiday. ...

Every year, about 200 thousand service members complete their military service and transition to civilian communities and the civilian workforce. Military downsizing—forced by budget pressures and the end of large-scale combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan—will mean even more troops needing jobs. Unlike previous post-war downsizings, more of these troops ...

As Veterans Day approaches, I find myself thinking about the veterans in my family—three generations. There is my 95-year-old father-in-law, who did his World War II service as an enlisted man in the Army in North Africa, Italy, and France. Next is my husband, whose nearly 40-year Air Force career ...

Master Sergeant William "Spanky" Gibson is a retired United States Marine, who served for 22 years in multiple theaters.  On May 16th, 2006, while on a foot patrol in Iraq, then-Gunnery Sergeant Gibson was shot through the left knee during a fire fight. His wounds required his left leg to ...

Retired LTG Guy Swan spent more than 35 years in the Army, commanding at every level.  Now, as a Vice President of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), he stays attuned to the concerns of today’s new veterans.  Swan tells The Cipher Brief that those returning from the ...

Got a secret?   Welcome to the Dead Drop. SERIOUS CONVERSATIONS. The Chertoff Group hosted a Who's Who among the public-private sector this week to host a conversation about risks facing the connected generation. Accenture Strategy, Apple, Cisco, Cyphort, Microsoft, Palo Alto Networks, Adobe and Sailpoint made the east coast ...

Got a secret... Welcome to the Dead Drop. AND THE WINNER IS:  The Dead Drop hears that the National Defense University Foundation is giving its annual American Patriot Award this year to “the men and women of the Central Intelligence Agency.”  (Editorial Note: It’s about time they started getting applauded once ...

Got a secret... Welcome to the Dead Drop. AND THE WINNER IS:  The Dead Drop hears that the National Defense University Foundation is giving its annual American Patriot Award this year to “the men and women of the Central Intelligence Agency.”  (Editorial Note: It’s about time they started getting applauded ...

Got a secret? Welcome to the Dead Drop. Finally a smoking gun? Much of the obsession over Hillary Clinton’s email server has seemed like a scavenger hunt in search of a scandal, but the revelation late last week from Benghazi Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy that a March 2011 email sent ...

Got a secret? Welcome to the Dead Drop. ETHOS SOS. The CIA and George Washington University are joining up to hold a public conference on October 27 titled “Ethos and Profession of Intelligence.”  (Sounds to us like they left a word out of the title – but perhaps the word ...

Carmen Medina is the CIA’s former Deputy Director of Intelligence and a member of The Cipher Brief network of experts. Her unique insights will be featured regularly on TCB. Having started my professional career in 1978, I've seen my fair share of international affairs and bust-ups—everything from the Soviet invasion ...

Pablo Escobar’s childhood dream was to be a millionaire by the time he was 22.  It is unclear if he met that specific goal, but at the height of his wealth, Escobar was worth $30 billion, money he earned as a Colombian drug lord.  In its new series, Narcos, Netflix ...

Got a secret? Welcome to the The Dead Drop.  Each week we pass along news and gossip from the world of national security and intelligence.  While the rest of The Cipher Brief is deadly serious, stop off at The Dead Drop for information that can be fun, intriguing or the ...

Got a secret? Welcome to the The Dead Drop.  Each week we pass along news and gossip from the world of national security and intelligence.  While the rest of The Cipher Brief is deadly serious, stop off at The Dead Drop for information that can be fun, intriguing or the ...

The Cipher Brief spoke with thriller novelist Brad Thor to discuss how he got his start writing, his approach to penning best-selling fiction, and the latest entry in the Scot Harvath series, “Code of Conduct.” The Cipher Brief: What made you want to become a writer? Brad Thor: When you ...

Do you want an opinion from someone who doesn’t have any relevant information?  Probably not.  However, many journalists and self described experts don’t seem deterred by their ignorance when they write about the U.S. intelligence community.   Normally, a failure to understand a subject would deter someone from writing about ...

Anthony Horowitz is a British novelist and film and television writer whose credits include the Alex Rider novels and Foyle’s War.  The Cipher Brief spoke with Mr. Horowitz about Trigger Mortis, his latest book and the newest addition to the James Bond series. The Cipher Brief: When did you know ...

It’s no secret that getting a product placed in a Bond film can be an expensive undertaking, so imagine the surprise of Wayne Weber, President of Heckler & Koch (HK) USA, when a friend flagged a publicity photo for the upcoming Bond film Spectre, featuring Daniel Craig carrying a VP9. ...

Anthony Horowitz is a British novelist and film and television writer whose credits include the Alex Rider novels and Foyle’s War.  The Cipher Brief spoke with Mr. Horowitz about Trigger Mortis, his latest book and the newest addition to the James Bond series. The Cipher Brief: When did you know ...

We all know that James Bond is the classic example of what a perfect spy should be, at least once upon a time.  But let’s be real, times have changed.  We thought it would be perfect to ask a real former spy (one who loves a good novel), to read ...

Got a secret, can you keep it? Welcome to the The Dead Drop.  Each week we pass along news and gossip from the world of national security and intelligence.  While the rest of The Cipher Brief is deadly serious, stop off at The Dead Drop for information that can be ...

Got a secret, can you keep it? Welcome to the The Dead Drop.  Each week we pass along news and gossip from the world of national security and intelligence.  While the rest of The Cipher Brief is deadly serious, stop off at The Dead Drop for information that can be ...

Got a secret, can you keep it? Welcome to the The Dead Drop.  Each week we pass along news and gossip from the world of national security and intelligence.  While the rest of The Cipher Brief is deadly serious, stop off at The Dead Drop for information that can be ...

The Cipher Brief sat down with David Hoffman to discuss his new book, The Billion Dollar Spy.  He gave us his thoughts on storytelling and what he’s learned after years of covering Russia as a journalist. The Cipher Brief:  How did you make the transition from journalism to writing books ...

Got a secret, can you keep it? Welcome to the The Dead Drop. Each week we pass along news and gossip from the world of national security and intelligence.  While the rest of The Cipher Brief is deadly serious, stop off at The Dead Drop for information that can be ...

The Cipher Brief sat down with Rob Richer, the CIA's former Associate Deputy Director for Operations, to talk about the evolution of espionage and the value of human intelligence. TCB: Does Hoffman’s book, the Tolkachev story, bring you back to the good old days of the Cold War? RR: First of ...

For years, when I was asked to describe the intensity of the relationship between a CIA handler and his/her foreign sources, I would often refer to a seminal spy case handled on the streets of Moscow in the early 1980s.  I told the story of an agent whose efforts to ...

Got a secret, can you keep it? Welcome to the The Dead Drop. Each week we pass along  tidbits of news and gossip from the world of national security and intelligence.  While the rest of The Cipher Brief is deadly serious, stop off at The Dead Drop for information that ...

When CIA case officers graduate from the Field Training Course, they are reminded of the deep moral responsibility they have to the sources they cultivate, especially those who are put in harm’s way by the very fact of their relationship with the officer.  That same ethic motivated the Directorate of ...

Got a secret, can you keep it?  “Dead drop” – Noun.  A location to secretly pass information without a face-to-face meeting. Each week we hope to pass along to our readers, tidbits of news and gossip from the world of national security and intelligence.  While the rest of The Cipher ...

The painting is compelling.  The spy looks tense, perhaps a bit rushed.  He casts a sidelong glance at the clock on the table as he photographs a document spread out on the chair in front of him.  It is thirty minutes past midday—his lunch hour—and he is an agent of ...

Memorial Day brings a set of complex emotions. I think about the thousands of Americans who gave their lives so that we could live free. I think about the cemeteries and the flags and the names on the tombstones. Memorial Day brings up memories that are a bit less common ...

There’s one group you almost certainly did not hear mentioned as the news media and others on Memorial Day lauded, honored, and remembered our richly deserving military heroes – those who gave their all for our country.  I’m speaking of the CIA officers who have also given that last full ...

There are some voices that are rarely heard from on Memorial Day.  The families of Special Operators understand better than anyone the sacrifices that every member of their family makes in order to do their collective part to keep our country safe.  We don’t often get a look inside their ...