Why Unmasking is Critical to National Security

by Michael J. Morell

In mid-March, The Cipher Brief spoke with former CIA Acting and Deputy Director Michael Morell about the issue of “unmasking” – the common practice of executive branch officials...

Trump’s Tough U.N. Rhetoric Reassures U.S. Allies

by General Jack Keane

President Donald Trump delivered his address this week at the United Nations General Assembly with a focus on the importance of sovereignty and the threats posed by rogue regimes he called “the...

Expect ‘Ferocious’ North Korea Response If U.S. Strikes

by Joseph DeTrani

The Trump Administration continues to pound away at North Korea, insisting military options are on the table, but so far the threats have not stopped Pyongyang from pursuing tests of its nuclear...

Terrorists Learn Tactics by Watching Each Other

by Mitch Silber

Earlier today, an improvised explosive device was detonated on the London underground railway, known as the Tube, injuring more than 20 people in what British authorities have deemed a terrorist...

Afghanistan: The Kentucky Derby of Spying

by Kevin Hulbert

An old boss of mine at the CIA used to talk to young officers who were deploying to Afghanistan or Pakistan, and in his preamble to discussing the myriad of challenges and interests in the region, he...

“The U.S. is Sick”: How a Chinese Analyst Might View the United States

by Michael J. Morell

Michael Morell, the former Acting Director and Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, agreed to The Cipher Brief’s request to do an unusual interview. We asked Michael to play the role...

The Opioid Crisis Becomes a National Security Threat

by Michael J. Morell

On October 23, 2002, dozens of armed Chechen terrorists seized a Moscow theater and took some 850 people hostage. Because of the layout of the theater, the number of extremists, and the large amount...

Putin's Long War against Russian Democracy

by Daniel Hoffman

Russians are fond of saying “men’she znayesh, dol’she zhivyosh,” translated as, “the less you know the longer you live.” President Vladimir Putin’s formative experience serving as a KGB...

Harvey Tests Post-Katrina Military Response Reforms

by Admiral Sandy Winnefeld

Not since Katrina has the United States been struck by a hurricane as devastating as Harvey. Both inflicted unprecedented damage from floods and wind. Harvey and Katrina differ, however, in a crucial...

U.S. Aid after ISIS Collapse Can Undermine Iran in Baghdad

by Frank Archibald

The liberation of Mosul by the Iraqi military presents the Trump Administration with an opportunity to both stabilize the region by continued successful counterterrorism and to challenge Iran. As the...