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...

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...

Are Humans Planting the Seeds of Their Destruction?

by Carmen Medina

During times like these, it’s admittedly hard to keep things in perspective. I bet that few Americans this past week have been contemplating the long march of human history. But I have....

Getting There is Half the Battle: Veterans Find Joy in the Post-Injury Journey

by Besa Pinchotti

“My biggest goal was just getting here, but knowing other Vets were here made it easier for me.” Brian is an Army reservist who attended an Operation Purple Healing Adventure® (OPHA) in the...

"Order to Kill": Appealing to America's Derring-Do, Pioneer Spirit

by Michael Sulick

CIA operative Mitch Rapp, the ruthlessly efficient hero of Vince Flynn’s thrillers, has singlehandedly prevented a string of terrorist attacks since the series began in 2000. After Flynn’s...

Spies in the Congo: The Unique Role of the OSS

by Frank Archibald

Susan Williams’ book, Spies in the Congo, provides a well-researched and detailed history of the efforts of the Office of Strategic Services, America’s first strategic intelligence agency and the...

The Fall of Moscow Station: Thinking Outside the Box

by Bennett Seftel

Mark Henshaw’s latest spy thriller could have been ripped straight from today’s headlines as tensions between Moscow and Washington continue to mount. The Fall of Moscow Station is the third...

Brad Thor's Foreign Agent Formulaic and Unrealistic, But Enjoyable

by John Sipher

Want to read all the good stuff the novelists and former spies are reading?  Treat yourself by becoming a Cipher Brief Level I Member.   You can then access all  via login so sign up to...

"Snowden" Wrongly Portrays the NSA as an Outsized Bogeyman

by General Michael Hayden

Edward Snowden is back in the news.  Oliver Stone’s sympathetic and conspiracy-heavy biopic landed in theaters this month.  Meanwhile, a raft of Snowdenistas are leveraging the movie to...

"Snowden" Snow Job

by Mark Kelton

The Cipher Brief asked our network member Mark Kelton, the former CIA Deputy Director of the National Clandestine Service for Counterintelligence, for his impressions of the new movie...