Presidents vs. The Kremlin

by John Sipher

Naiveté is never a good way to approach foreign policy challenges.  However, it seems that every new Presidential Administration has a tendency to place hope over experience in dealing with...

Questions Congress Should Ask the Defense Secretary Nominee

by Walter Pincus

President-elect Donald Trump has called his chosen Defense Secretary, retired Marine General James Mattis “the real deal,” but after January 20, will President Trump, an amateur when it comes to...

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,...

The Real Story Behind the King of Cocaine

by Steve Murphy

“Narcos” is the Netflix fictionalized series that traces the rise and fall of one of the world’s most notorious narcotic traffickers, Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. (Spoiler Alert: If you...

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...

Company Systems Vulnerable to Mobile Devices

by Michael Covington

With the pervasive growth of smart phone and tablet use, cybersecurity professionals are worried these devices could present new vulnerabilities to company systems. The Cipher Brief spoke with...

A Challenging Four Years for the Media

by Walter Pincus

Don’t be fooled that there is a new Donald Trump now that he is president-elect. As I have written before, this Trump presidency is going to test our democratic institutions, not just Congress and...

Re-Thinking Iraq: A Problem Can Become a Solution

by Charles Duelfer

Should we think of Iraq as a solution rather than a problem? For most Americans, Iraq is immediately associated with words like:  disaster, problem, mess, intractable, resource drain, incubator for...

Security Dynamics Amidst Africa's Armed Conflicts

by Kaitlin Lavinder

There has been a downward trend in large-scale warfare on the African continent since the number of wars peaked in the mid 1990s. However, new forms of violence are now replacing mass warfare in many...

Best Of: Nothing Good Comes from Humiliation

by Carmen Medina

For this year’s Thanksgiving Day column, The Cipher Brief revisits Carmen Medina’s exploration of the powerful role humiliation plays in personal psychology, national psyches, and current...