We’ve all learned a lot this year.  The onset of the global pandemic sent many of us scrambling to find new ways to do things that would allow for social distancing.  For businesses, that meant employees working from home.  But the cyber world wasn’t necessarily ready for the shift, as ...

OPINION -- The scientific, medical, public health and morbidity/mortality reporting as well as the media writ large, are all documenting the profound negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the physical and economic wellbeing of the global population. We measure this in lives lost, the outsize impact of the virus ...

The Cipher Brief recently hosted General Joseph Votel (Ret.) for a member’s briefing on lessons learned from SOF to Silicon Valley and how the US needs to pull together to be ready for the next crisis. General Votel joined Business Executives for National Security (BENS) as their CEO and president ...

Cipher Brief Expert Emile Nakhleh is a retired CIA Senior Intelligence Service Officer and founding director of the CIA’s Political Islam Strategic Analysis Program Office. Nakhleh is currently a Research Professor and Director of the Global and National Security Policy Institute at the University of New Mexico. Since retiring from ...

OPINION -- The Defense Department has gone to war against the coronavirus, employing some 50,000 troops on both offense and defense. Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen, Mark A. Milley announced during a Pentagon press conference April. 14, “We are, in fact, at war against a virus. We are a supporting organization.” ...

Cipher Brief Expert Carmen Medina is a former CIA Deputy Director of Intelligence and a 32-year veteran of the Intelligence Community.  Medina is also author of the book, Rebels at Work: A Handbook for Leading Change from Within. Thinking in the Time of Coronavirus - Part One  discussed three important thinking ...

Cipher Brief Expert Carmen Medina is a former CIA Deputy Director of Intelligence and a 32-year veteran of the Intelligence Community.  Medina is also author of the book, Rebels at Work: A Handbook for Leading Change from Within. I’ve been wanting to comment on all the examples of bad thinking ...

Yahoo News national security and investigations reporter Jenna McLaughlin published a story last week, under the headline ‘Intelligence officials weigh possibility coronavirus escaped from a Chinese lab’, reporting that “Although the U.S. intelligence community early on dismissed the notion that the coronavirus is a synthesized bioweapon, it is still weighing ...

Cipher Brief Expert John McLaughlin is a distinguished practitioner in residence at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He served as Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2000-2004 and Acting Director in 2004. The COVID-19 crisis cries out for a coordinated global response. However, conditions in ...

Stewart Baker is a partner in the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson in Washington, D.C. From 2005 to 2009, he was the first Assistant Secretary for Policy at the Department of Homeland Security.  Baker previously served as General Counsel of the National Security Agency and General Counsel of the ...

General David Petraeus (US Army, Ret) served over 37 years in the U.S. military, culminating his career with six consecutive commands, five of which were combat, including command of the Multi-National Force-Iraq during the Surge, U.S. Central Command, and Coalition and U.S. Forces in Afghanistan.  He subsequently served as Director ...

Cipher Brief Expert Nick Fishwick CMG retired in 2012 after nearly thirty years in the British Foreign Service. He held postings in Lagos, Istanbul and Kabul. His responsibilities in London included director of security and, after returning from Afghanistan in 2007, director for counterterrorism. His final role was as director ...

As of this writing, Johns Hopkins, is reporting more than 432,438 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the US, and nearly 1.5m confirmed cases worldwide.  While the battle to save lives is expected to continue until a vaccine is developed (which experts say could still be 12-18 months out), national security ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Authoritarian leaders have used the coronavirus as an opportunity to further consolidate power and crush dissent. Countries including Turkey, Hungary, Israel, and the Philippines have all seen political leaders using the coronavirus as a way to promote their own governments while discrediting opposition figures and ...

"America is no longer protected by vast oceans. We are protected from attack only by vigorous action abroad, and increased vigilance at home." - President George W. Bush, State of the Union Address, January 29, 2002. The COVID-19 outbreak will likely prove to be the most consequential event since the ...

Things weren't great between the US and China even before COVID-19. Bloomberg is now citing three anonymous US officials as saying that the US Intelligence Community has come to the classified conclusion that China intentionally concealed the full extent of the coronavirus outbreak by under-reporting the total number of cases ...

  Bottom Line Up Front President Trump signed a $2 trillion stimulus package into law last week, designed to provide relief for an American economy that many experts suggest is heading for a recession—some even predict a depression. Overall, the bill has been credited for being more transparent than previous ...

OPINION -- If fighting the Covid-19 virus is a war, the Army Corps of Engineers is being led into battle by an exemplary field commander, Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite. The Corps’ job is to provide future hospital facilities for those cities and towns that are about to run out ...

Learning and teaching have quickly gone virtual due to coronavirus: schools, universities, museums, libraries, even zoos and gyms are delivering virtual learning experiences.  The need for virtual (and fast) applies to foreign language learning programs as well.  Out of necessity, we are all caught up in quickly finding solutions now ...

Bottom Line Up Front   Threats to national security have not receded as a result of the coronavirus and many have only grown more acute with resources now shifted to respond to the pandemic. ‘Social Distancing,’ while a necessary medical mitigation tactic intended to slow the rate of infection, is ...

During this time of social distancing, The Cipher Brief is bringing our experts to your laptop in a new series of web-based briefings on critical national security issues.  Members can sign up via email invitations and can ask questions of the experts that you aren’t getting answers to from traditional ...

  Bottom Line Up Front The spread of coronavirus is compounding the well-known problems faced by Middle East governments and societies. The coronavirus crisis could become particularly acute in conflict-ravaged countries where governance is already weak or absent. The decision by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to try to ...

Ambassador Joseph DeTrani is former Special envoy for Six Party Talks with North Korea and the U.S. Representative to the Korea Energy Development Organization (KEDO), as well as former CIA director of East Asia Operations. He later served as the Associate Director of National Intelligence and Mission Manager for North ...

  Bottom Line Up Front It was only a matter of time before Russia looked to spread disinformation surrounding the coronavirus, a global pandemic that is crippling nations’ health care systems and economies. Russia has been presented with new fault lines to target as a result of the pandemic including ...

Cipher Brief Expert John McLaughlin is a distinguished practitioner in residence at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.  He served as the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2000-2004 and Acting Director of the CIA in 2004. The new coronavirus brings us smack up against the modern ...

  Bottom Line Up Front The relationship between the United States and China continues to deteriorate as fallout from the coronavirus (COVID-19) fundamentally alters geopolitics, economics, and society writ large. Chinese diplomats have been spreading conspiracy theories, false rumors, and deliberate disinformation that the United States was somehow responsible for ...

Tom Bossert is the Chief Strategy Officer at Trinity Cyber, and a national security analyst for ABC News.  He served as homeland security advisor to two U.S. Presidents, serving as the Nation’s chief risk officer and senior most advisor on cybersecurity, homeland security, counterterrorism, and global health security policy.  Follow him ...

Cipher Brief Expert Sean Roche served as the Associate Deputy Director of CIA for Digital Innovation serving as the second-in-command of CIA’s first new directorate in more than 50 years. OPINION -- An Analogy:  We've all been there, during an uneventful flight there is suddenly a jolt of significant turbulence.  Our ...

We are literally waking up in a new world every day as we work to better understand the comprehensive threat of the coronavirus and how to stop its spread.  New federal guidelines regarding the virus are expected from the White House Monday. They will follow state and local closings of ...

Norman T. Roule served for 34-years in the Central Intelligence Agency, managing numerous programs relating to Iran and the Middle East.   He served as the National Intelligence Manager for Iran (NIM-I) at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence from November 2008 until September 2017.  As NIM-I, he was ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Countries are struggling to counter the spread of the coronavirus respiratory disease, while also trying to figure out how to navigate a range of political, economic, and logistical challenges. High levels of distrust that populations in authoritarian countries have toward their governments will, at least ...

OPINION -- When Edward Gabriel passed away unexpectedly this January, I lost one of my closest friends, but America—in the throes of coronavirus panic—lost a leader who would have helped us deal with the crisis with precision, speed, and compassion. Ed was the deputy assistant secretary for preparedness and response ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Facing growing criticism for its handling of the coronavirus (COVID-19), China is now working to engineer perhaps the largest quarantine in history. Chinese President Xi Jinping, one of China’s most powerful leaders in recent history, is experiencing limited but notable criticism from China’s domestic population ...

Ambassador Joseph DeTrani is former Special envoy for Six Party Talks with North Korea, as well as former CIA director of East Asia Operations. He served as the Associate Director of National Intelligence and Mission Manager for North Korea and the Director of the National Counter Proliferation Center, and also ...

Dr. Kenneth Dekleva served as a Regional Medical Officer/Psychiatrist, including 5 years at the U.S. Embassy Moscow, with the U.S. Dept. of State from 2002-2016.  He is currently Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director, Psychiatry-Medicine Integration, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX.  OPINION — In 2000, Xi Jinping, a relatively ...

  Bottom Line Up Front The Coronavirus continues to spread from Wuhan, China, as global health authorities work to contain the spread of the disease. In a globalized world with abundant transportation modes and consistent cross-border movements of people, diseases can spread rapidly. Over the past two decades, a number ...