Network Take: Shocked, Not, Over Flynn’s Guilty Plea

by John Sipher

The Cipher Brief asked former CIA Russia hand John Sipher to react to the news that Trump administration National Security Adviser Michael Flynn admitted to lying to the FBI, making him the first...

Use What’s Known to Get to the Unknowns

by Jason Matheny

The U.S. intelligence community has long considered its mission as the gatherer of secrets. But sometimes insights are hiding in plain sight among tweets, blog posts, online videos, newspaper...

U.S. Follows Forever War to Niger

by Frank Archibald

Niger gained the attention of the American public when four U.S. troops were killed there in an ambush on Oct.4, highlighting the expansion of U.S. counterterrorism operations in North Africa. The...

Stop Firing Missiles and Start Talking

by Joseph DeTrani

This has been an unprecedented year for nuclear proliferation in East Asia, namely in North Korea. If not halted quickly, it’s very possible the region will inadvertently stumble into nuclear...

Bipartisan Hill Group Slams Trump’s China Policy

by Walter Pincus

President Donald Trump’s wooing of Chinese President Xi Jinping has so far failed to deliver the results he promised since their first summit meeting in April at his Mar-a-Lago compound in Florida,...

Fighting the Wrong Enemy, aka the Stalemate in Cybersecurity

by James Lewis

Despite all the attention, cyberspace is far from secure. Why this is so reflects flawed technologies and conceptual weaknesses. The result is institutionalized stalemate. Two questions highlight...

Best Of: Trump Changes the Game in Afghanistan

by General Michael Hayden

Earlier this week, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, laid out a two-year plan to take back substantial territory in Afghanistan and drive the Taliban toward the negotiating...

Best Of: “The U.S. is Sick”: How a Chinese Analyst Might View the United States

by Michael J. Morell

For this year’s Thanksgiving Day column, The Cipher Brief revisits a unique column by Michael Morell, the former acting director and deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He agreed to...

Diplomacy: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Just Doesn’t Get It

by Ambassador Richard Boucher

Imagine a general who says, “I’m the only one who matters here.” The response, as we used to say in junior high, might be, “You and what army?” Yet President Donald Trump can say “I’m...

Wrestling with Nukes, Not Enough Troops & Too Much CO2

by Walter Pincus

While most American news outlets last week focused on sexual harassment, tax reform and President Donald Trump’s red-carpet trip to the Far East, the Pentagon and some in Congress were dealing with...