Beyond Illegal Orders: Concern About a Misuse of Executive Power

by Rhea Siers

During this unusual political season, I hear a recurring question from former, present, and aspiring intelligence officers.  It’s a question that I have rarely heard before, no matter the...

Implications for the U.S. of the Brexit Vote

by Ambassador James F. Jeffrey

President Barack Obama attracted much attention, positive and negative, for his comments during his April trip to the UK, advocating for Britain to remain in the EU.  The invitation to come to...

The Walls We Build

by Admiral James Stavridis

As the 16th Supreme Allied Commander at NATO, my operational headquarters was in central Belgium, not far from the World War One battlefield at Verdun.  During my time in command, I would...

Orlando Attack Shows ISIS is Still Potent

by Mitch Silber

The Cipher Brief sat down with former Director of Analysis at the NYPD, Mitch Silber, to discuss the fallout from the Orlando attack this past week. According to Silber, the attack benefitted ISIS...

The Structure and Psychology of Drug Cartels

by Mike Vigil

One of the most prominent and visible characteristics of a transnational drug trafficking organization is the existence of a highly formal hierarchy that is distinguished by clearly defined levels of...

An Act of Terror, An Act of Hate: Figuring Out What Happened in Orlando

by Elaine Lammert

At least 50 people were killed and 53 more were injured in an attack at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida this weekend, officials said, in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. The suspect,...

The China Challenge

by Joseph DeTrani

Good relations with China are necessary and achievable.  Since President Richard Nixon’s historic meeting with Chairman Mao Zedong in 1972, the U.S. – China relationship has developed into a...

How the CIA Remembers its Fallen Heroes

by John McLaughlin

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...

Cyber Indictments - The Legal Deterrence Strategy?

by Rhea Siers

On May 10, 2016, Peter Romar, a hacker associated with the Syrian Electronic Army, appeared in a U.S. courtroom after his extradition from Germany to face charges of conspiracy and a host of computer...

Special Operations Forces: A Primary Tool

by Michael Vickers

Today, the role of U.S. Special Forces (SOF) in the fight against terror has never been more important. Mike Vickers, former Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, explains that “U.S. SOF...