Bottom Line Up Front A serious military escalation is underway in Libya as General Khalifa Haftar and his forces move to take Tripoli. The battle is now unifying a range of violent non-state actors with the recognized interim government against Haftar, who is receiving significant external state support. For ...

Leaving the courtroom after a long day of closing arguments in the recent trial of Ahmed Abu Khattala, I felt something all too rare these days—immense pride in our government. The accused ringleader of the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks against the U.S. mission and the CIA annex in Benghazi ...

In 2012, after returning from an overseas tour of duty, I was assigned as the senior National Clandestine Service representative to the Central Intelligence Agency’s Office of Congressional Affairs (OCA).  As a career operations officer much more interested in clandestine collection and intelligence production than in Washington politics, I did ...

The Cipher Brief spoke with Doug Brooks, the President Emeritus and Founder of the International Stability Operations Association (ISOA) to better understand the role of the private sector in embassy security.  Created in 2001, ISOA created a Code of Conduct for private companies operating – and often providing security – ...

On the night of September 11, 2012, four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, were killed in terrorist attacks at U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya. These attacks highlighted the highly volatile environments in which U.S. diplomatic personnel sometimes operate, and led to a period of sustained scrutiny of the ...

It was just after lunchtime on April 18, 1983, when a suicide bomber attacked the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon.  63 people were killed and the shocking nature of the attack prompted the U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz to order an evaluation of the State Department’s security posture overseas.  ...

The Cipher Brief spoke with Kevin Hulbert, a former senior intelligence officer in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, to get his thoughts on embassy security three years after the Benghazi attacks. Kevin consults on a variety of international and security issues and served multiple overseas tours as CIA Chief of ...

The State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, which grew out of the Inman Report recommendations, was never meant to be a war zone security force.  But then again, diplomats were never meant to conduct business as usual in places that were still, in effect, war zones.  Simply put: Iraq was a ...