The Man in the Kremlin Must Be Smiling

by Mark Kelton

Vladimir Putin is smiling because he thrives on chaos, particularly in the camp of the “Main Enemy,” a term the Soviet and Russian intelligence services have long used to refer to the United...

America Needs Smart Power, Not Just Hard Power

by Admiral James Stavridis

Amidst a busy week in national security, The Cipher Brief’s CEO and Publisher, Suzanne Kelly, spoke with Admiral James Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, author of the new book The...

The IC Is Not a Murky Cabal Pulling the Strings in Washington

by John Sipher

A recent narrative has taken hold among journalists and pundits that a “deep state” is behind the recent flood of leaks embarrassing the Trump Administration.  It is a notion that the...

Trump Needs Political-Military Plan for ISIS

by Ambassador James Jeffrey

On January 28, President Donald Trump signed an order for the U.S. military to review the campaign against ISIS and develop a decisive plan to defeat it within 30 days. Given the threats that...

The Battle Against ISIS: The Trump Administration’s 30-day Review

by Bruce Hoffman

This week, Secretary of Defense James Mattis is expected to deliver the 30-day review President Donald Trump ordered regarding the United States’ strategy to fight ISIS. The formal presidential...

Intelligence and the Trump Administration

by Frank Archibald

There has been much said about how often President-elect Donald Trump takes his Presidential Daily Brief (PDB), the Intelligence Community’s (IC) assessment of key national security threats.  The...

Technology Advances Prompt Changes in CIA Collection Procedures

by Robert Eatinger

In the final few days of the Obama Administration, CIA Director John Brennan, after consulting with the Director of National Intelligence, brought years of CIA and interagency efforts to a close by...

A History of What Works with Iran

by Michael Morell

The Trump Administration is correct that the U.S. should focus on the significant threat posed by Iran’s misbehavior in the Middle East. Luckily, history provides a guide on how we can change that...

America First Equals America Last

by Ambassador Richard Boucher

The world got a taste last week of what “America First” means: insulting Iraqis who’ve risked their lives with U.S. forces; blacklisting dual-citizen legislators in Canada; and jeopardizing the...

Haspel Hailed by CIA Vets

by Michael J. Morell

We’re revisiting a 2017 piece, when Gina Haspel was nominated to become the CIA’s deputy director, after Tuesday’s news that President Donald Trump is nominating her to replace Mike...