Behind Benghazi

by Steven L. Hall

In 2012, after returning from an overseas tour of duty, I was assigned as the senior National Clandestine Service representative to the Central Intelligence Agency’s Office of Congressional Affairs...

After ISIS: A New ISIS

by Jacob Olidort

In August, U.S. President Barack Obama reassured the Pentagon that the Islamic State will “inevitably be defeated.” U.S. government officials, generals, and pundits have been debating what could...

How the Kremlin Views a Trump Presidency

by John Sipher

A potential Trump Presidency provides both opportunities and challenges for Russia and President Vladimir Putin. Putin’s strategic goals are to weaken the U.S., diminish U.S. influence in Europe,...

Trump’s Statements: More than Just Words Abroad

by Walter Pincus

What presidential candidate Donald Trump says on the spur of the moment about foreign events – without understanding, or perhaps caring about its impact overseas — can create serious and...

Best Of: Essential Knowledge

by Carmen Medina

For this year’s Labor Day coverage, The Cipher Brief revisits Carmen Medina’s discussion of “Essential Knowledge.” Medina’s discussion of internet trends is crucial...

Beware of Boko Haram's Resilience

by J. Peter Pham

While claims last week by a Nigerian army spokesman that Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau was “fatally wounded” in an August 19 airstrike should be taken with a dose of skepticism—the military...

Divergent Growth in Africa

by Ayso Van Eysinga

Downward growth revisions for Sub-Saharan Africa over the past year have tended to highlight the continued impact of external stimuli on the sub-region. The IMF’s latest revision cut growth...

Why Nation Building is Needed to "Halt the Spread of Radical Islam"

by Walter Pincus

Before Donald Trump speaks out again on the subject of nation-building, I suggest he – or his staff – study what the Pentagon terms “Building Partner Capacity,” which has been expanding over...

Syria: No End In Sight

by Robert Richer

As the Syrian civil war progresses with no end in sight, Rob Richer, former Associate Deputy Director for Operations at the CIA and member of the Cipher Brief network, discussed recent developments...

Open Up Intelligence Briefings to Third Party Candidates

by David Priess

American exceptionalism comes in many forms. When it comes to intelligence, there has been a unique tradition in the United States for more than 60 years: the current president grants his two...