OPINION -- The Biden administration is reviewing not just the February 2020, Trump administration agreement with the Taliban that calls for all U.S. forces to be out of Afghanistan by May 1, but also the impact of Trump’s surprise, pre-election, October tweet to cut current troop levels to 2,500 from ...

Cipher Brief Expert Tim Willasey-Wilsey is a visiting Professor of War Studies at King’s College, London and a former senior British diplomat. The views expressed in this article are the author’s and do not represent those of any institution. Many observers believed that President Biden would continue the US troop ...

Cipher Brief Expert John E. McLaughlin is the Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).  He served as Acting Director of Central Intelligence from July to September 2004 and as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence from October 2000 to July 2004. EXPERT TAKE ...

Walter Pincus is a contributing senior national security columnist for The Cipher Brief. He spent forty years at The Washington Post, writing on topics from nuclear weapons to politics.  In 2002, he and a team of Post reporters won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. OPINION -- The Senate Armed ...

Cipher Brief Expert John McLaughlin is former Acting Director of the CIA, former Deputy CIA Director and is the Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) OPINION -- President-elect Joe Biden faces a longer and more complex set of foreign policy challenges than ...

OPINION -- President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign slogan, “Diplomacy is back,” will get an instant test after January 20, when his incoming team has just 16 days to find a way to extend the 2010, New START nuclear agreement with President Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Otherwise, it will expire on February 5, ...

OPINION -- President-elect Joe Biden and Defense Secretary-designee ret-Gen. Lloyd Austin will inherit a Defense Department already in transition, shifting to China as the future major threat, replacing terrorism, and the Indo-Pacific theater, rather than the Middle East and Central Asia, becoming the center of military attention. Another major change ...

OPINION -- Was the November 27, assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh - Iran’s top nuclear scientist - the beginning or the end of attempts to sabotage President-elect Joe Biden’s plans for the United States to return to the 2015, multilateral Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)? My guess is that there ...

Even though national security did not play a significant role during the U.S. presidential campaign, President-elect Joe Biden is set to inherent a world in crisis when he takes the oath of office in January. Among the national security challenges facing the U.S. in 2021 are those posed by a ...

Eldad Shavit, Sr. Researcher, INSS Eldad Shavit is a senior researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) and previously served in senior roles in Israeli Defense Intelligence and the Prime Minister’s Office. Dr. Raz Zimmt, Research Fellow, INSS Dr. Raz Zimmt is a research fellow at the Institute ...

OPINION – President-elect Joe Biden’s national security transition team should be developing plans for extending the New START strategic nuclear arms treaty with Russia, but also preparing to undertake its own, wide-ranging, Nuclear Posture Review that rethinks the Trump administration’s aggressive nuclear weapons building program. First up must be the ...

The Cipher Brief is a non-political media outlet focused on publishing expert perspectives on national security issues. We are committed to presenting multiple opinions to help produce a more informed understanding of the issues. Cipher Brief Expert Emile Nakhleh is a retired CIA Senior Intelligence Service Officer and founding director ...