Much initial reaction to the North Korean - American Singapore Summit has been negative, with critics targeting the concessions made by President Trump including; a dramatic, public endorsement of Kim Jong-un’s status and a halt to joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises in exchange for North Korea’s commitment to “nuclear disarmament”, ...

At first glance, it would appear that the Middle East President Donald J. Trump now faces is far different than the region which confronted President Barack Obama in 2009. The Arab uprisings of 2011 swept away the leaders of Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Libya. Civil war has rent apart and depopulated Syria, ...

The Middle East went through maelstrom developments during the Obama Administration. Some of these were put into motion by the 2003 American invasion of Iraq. Others, such as the Arab Spring, were the direct result of corrupt and brittle authoritarian regimes no longer capable of responding to their citizens’ aspirations ...

In the fall of 2008, a bipartisan group of cybersecurity experts delivered some sage advice to Barack Obama, set to become president in January: “Don’t start over.” That group, organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, made a strong and persuasive case that the Obama Administration needed to ...

As President Barack Obama heads out of office, he leaves behind an unexpected legacy: as arms exporter-in-chief. “The Obama administration has made more major arms sales, by value, than any other administration in the history of the United States,” William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center ...

A bubble burst, consumers cut spending, and investment plummeted. Unemployment soared to astronomical levels, banks failed, and U.S. GDP declined. Europe and the rest of the world were hit by the spillover from America’s economic woes. This is the world former U.S. President Herbert Hoover had to navigate in 1929, ...

Thirteen years ago, on a reporting assignment for The Boston Globe, I described “Burma” as a “deteriorating” country where “the frayed fabric of a nation [was] coming apart at the seams.” The capital, Rangoon, was “clogged with 20-year-old cars running on spare parts and spewing black exhaust.” Today, Yangon is ...

Though January will see a major transition in American power, the global threat of terrorism will remain. As the Obama Administration enters its final weeks in office and Washington prepares for a changing of the guard, there is much uncertainty about how the incoming administration will approach counterterrorism. How can ...

As the calendar approaches January 21st and President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office, the Cipher Brief sat down with Patrick Skinner of the Soufan Group to discuss the successes and failures of the Obama Administration’s counterterrorism policy and how the next administration might approach the same issues. According to ...

The Cipher Brief spoke with network member and former Acting Director of the CIA, John McLaughlin, about the current U.S. counterterrorism strategy, as well as what to expect from the terrorist threat in the coming year. According to McLaughlin, under President Barack Obama, the U.S. has been “highly successful” at ...

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a statement Friday that he will not expel U.S. diplomats in response to U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia yesterday by President Barack Obama, a move Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov had advocated for. Putin called the “recent unfriendly steps” taken by the outgoing Obama ...

From drone warfare to the targeting of Osama Bin Laden, President Barack Obama’s legacy on peace and security issues is largely being defined by a range of high-profile decisions and policies on counterterrorism.  But a much less prominent program, the Security Governance Initiative (SGI), is steadily gaining momentum, representing a ...

As the United States prepares for a new administration, The Cipher Brief's Leone Lakhani sits down with Ambassador Dennis Ross, Counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a former senior Middle East Adviser to three U.S. Presidents. Ross gave The Cipher Brief his thoughts about the next ...

A Congressional inquiry next year into Russian involvement in the U.S. presidential election will be only one of several Legislative Branch initiatives that may interrupt President-elect Donald Trump’s stated goal of easing relations with Moscow. The current, Republican-controlled Congress, with Democratic support, has quietly added a package of anti-Russian items to ...

In what many expect to be the final national security speech of his presidency, U.S. President Barack Obama reflected on U.S. counterterrorism achievements during his two terms as Commander-in-Chief, saying “We should take great pride in the progress that we’ve made over the last eight years.” “No foreign terrorist organization ...

The Cipher Brief sat down with Bruce Hoffman, Director for Security Studies at Georgetown University, to discuss President Obama’s counterterrorism legacy and the outlook for the terrorist threat in the coming year. According to Hoffman, although the U.S. has achieved “tactical gains” against al Qaeda and ISIS during Obama’s tenure, ...

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 Russia.  President George W. Bush tried to look into Putin’s soul, President Barack Obama tried a re-set, and it seems ...

With the incoming Trump presidency, much ink has been spilled regarding the “end” of President Barack Obama’s pivot to Asia. The pivot was centered on the military prong of moving 60 percent of U.S. naval assets to the Asia Pacific along with the economic prong of the Trans Pacific Partnership ...

When asked recently by The Atlantic about President Barack Obama’s foreign policy legacy with China, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger replied: “I’d say B-plus.” As President Obama wraps up his final days in office, presidential watchers are evaluating how well he performed, wonder what his legacy will be, and ...

As 2016 draws to a close and along with it the presidency of Barack Obama, it is perhaps time to reflect on the relationship with Russia during the eight years of his presidency and consider what might have been different.  It is fair to say relations between the United States ...

I am not an expert in anything that has to do with Cuba. I don’t speak Spanish. I visited the country for the first time in March to go fishing, not to research Cuban society. I only spent four days in Havana, as a tourist. But I still came back ...

President Barack Obama’s arrival in Havana, Cuba marks the first visit by a sitting U.S. President in 88 years.  But more than just a warming of relations with the island nation, the visit is a symbol to the entire hemisphere.   The President will also travel to Argentina this week.  It ...

President Barack Obama’s trip to Argentina and Cuba gives welcome attention to the dynamics and challenges of Latin America and the Caribbean. While designed to capitalize and build upon positive developments in both countries, it also invites reflection on what will be his legacy there. At the beginning of his ...

Frank Mora, the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Western Hemisphere, told The Cipher Brief that President Barack Obama has two distinct objectives during his Latin America trip:  In Cuba, the President wants to “maintain the momentum” and in Argentina, he hopes to “start a new chapter in ...

Five Things to Watch as Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau Visits Washington Less than six months after leading his Liberal Party to a decisive victory over Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, 44-year old Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits Washington, D.C. for meetings and a formal State Dinner March 10 hosted by President ...