Obama’s Legacy in the Middle East: One Size Doesn’t Fit All

by Ambassador Dennis Ross

As the United States prepares for a new administration, The Cipher Brief‘s Leone Lakhani sits down with Ambassador Dennis Ross, Counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a...

An Intelligence Officer's Guide to Dissent

by Steven Ward

Throughout my nearly 30 years at CIA, I was regularly reminded of the scripture that serves as a philosophical foundation of the Agency’s work. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall...

An Open Letter to the CIA Director Nominee

by Douglas H. Wise

One of President-elect Donald Trump’s first choices for his national security team was Representative Mike Pompeo for Director of the CIA.  A graduate of West Point and a Harvard educated lawyer,...

Confronting North Korea: A War of the Will

by Soo Kim

As the incoming administration continues to define its contours, and as President-elect Donald Trump begins to outline a foreign policy strategy for the next four years, it’s worth reassessing the...

AQAP's Opportunism in Yemen: Benefit or Bust?

by Joshua Koontz

On September 24, Abu Khalid al-Sana’ani, a mid-level al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) commander, was killed by a U.S. airstrike as he and three other militants traveled through the oil-rich...

International Espionage on Campus

by Anthony Bishop

The idyllic American university campus conjures the image of a safe and open academic environment where students spend four or more years learning new ideas and preparing for future careers. ...

The Consequences of Eroding Human Intelligence Collection

by Dan Harris

The U.S. Intelligence Community’s (IC) clandestine human intelligence (HUMINT) services are experiencing an erosion of their core mission and values, with consequences to our current and future...

Iraq's Grim Prospects Post ISIL

by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

In the coming months, and possibly weeks, the Iraqi Security Forces, with the help of a diverse group of fighters spanning the Iraqi political spectrum, will raise the Iraqi flag atop the Ninevah...

A Letter to the Next Secretary of State Re: East Asia

by Dr. Thomas Cynkin

Chinese rivalry with the U.S. for regional dominance will be central to U.S. East Asia policy for the incoming administration.  China’s aggressive use of economic leverage, its mercantilism and...

Underestimating al Qaeda

by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The United States and its allies are consumed by their battle with ISIS, but to many terrorism experts, al Qaeda remains a serious force to be reckoned with, one that is actually increasing in...