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...

How Britain’s GCHQ Decides Which Secrets to Share with You

by Robert Hannigan

The Trump Administration’s National Security Council has released an unclassified set of guidelines for determining when the U.S. government will disclose – rather than retain for espionage...

Open Source Information: Info Ops' Untapped Weapon

by Carmen Landa Middleton

There has been growing discussion about the importance of open source information – both in terms of the power and potential of creating and disseminating news and narratives worldwide, whether...

What Scares Putin? Democracy.

by Daniel Hoffman

Speaking to the Russian Federal Assembly in March 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin defended his country’s annexation of Crimea and forcefully presented his national security strategy to gain...