Bottom Line Up Front On July 22, 2019, China issued a new defense white paper titled China's National Defense in the New Era. The white paper stresses China's ‘peaceful intentions’ and focuses on defensive capabilities while affirming the Communist Party's stance on Taiwan and acknowledging the increasing strategic rivalry ...

Last month, Secretary Mattis and his counterparts from across the Americas met in Mexico City for The Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas to discuss shared regional defense challenges. The event was especially important for North American defense cooperation between the United States, Canada and Mexico.  Secretary Mattis noted ...

The National Space Council heard testimony, and then voted this week to move forward with six recommendations that are intended to provide some lift for President Trump’s call to create a U.S. Space Force.  While there has been a cautious sense of how to move ahead with the idea among ...

Europe’s defense capability is at the nadir of a cycle of decline since the end of the Cold War. It was less important at the time when Europe and its allies, principally the U.S., held sway in the world, but that period has ended as Russia and China, now near-peers, ...

Raytheon, one of the U.S. government’s largest defense contractors, is known for making bold competitive moves. Just a couple of days ago, the company claimed victory after successfully firing a high-energy laser from an Apache helicopter. A sign of things to come with the natural evolution of technology and warfare. ...

Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity Director Jason Matheny worries a lot about national security risks that probably aren’t headlining many lists of pressing threats to the United States — pandemics, autonomous systems, and strategic nuclear war, to name a few. “We also have a need to protect what’s right now ...

America’s commitment to European security is up in the air under the Trump Administration, raising the question, will Europeans have to take more responsibility for their own defense? Europe must “take our fate into our own hands,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel after President Donald Trump’s visit to Europe last ...

From kamikaze drones to prototypes using facial recognition technology to help protect troops, a group of Georgetown University students enrolled in a class dubbed, “Hacking for Defense,” spent a semester developing innovative solutions to rapidly solve major national security problems. On Monday, four teams took to the stage to present ...

More than seven decades after the end of World War II, Germany and Japan – two societies with complicated relationships with armed conflict – are building up defense capabilities. Germany moved toward a more robust defensive posture in 2014, after Russia’s invasion of eastern Ukraine and annexation of Crimea. “That ...

In a world where globalization makes it possible for adversaries to compete with American technologies, the United States must consistently innovate and adopt new tools and methods to stay ahead in the national security space.  That was the message at a special panel held at Georgetown University on Monday, called ...

Amidst a busy week in national security, The Cipher Brief’s CEO and Publisher, Suzanne Kelly, spoke with Admiral James Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, author of the new book The Leader’s Bookshelf, and member of the Cipher Brief Network, to discuss the military budget, cyber security, the use ...

Europe faced a wave of ISIS-inspired terrorist attacks last year, from Brussels to Nice to Berlin. As ISIS-occupied territories in Iraq and Syria continue to shrink under the bombardment of U.S. and coalition forces, former CIA Acting Director John McLaughlin told The Cipher Brief, “I would anticipate the greatest post-caliphate ...

Lockheed Martin is in the midst of a lucrative deal to move production of America’s venerable F-16 fighter jet to India. While there are no more U.S. military contracts for the aging fighter, it is still very popular abroad, and the deal aims to benefit India’s domestic defense industry and ...

After decades of government support and investment, the South Korean defense industry can now produce advanced tanks, ships, and submarines and is poised to become a major arms exporter. South Korea intends to build on this progress in order to develop its own fifth generation fighter. The Cipher Brief spoke ...

India’s growing wealth and regional influence has afforded it the ability and cause to develop a more technologically advanced defense industry. However, since India opened its defense industry to private companies in 2001, progress has been slow in diminishing bureaucratic barriers that hinder innovation. The Cipher Brief spoke with retired ...

The future of the transatlantic defense alliance is in jeopardy, according to news reports from the past few months. It all started with then-candidate Donald Trump’s comments in March about NATO being “obsolete.” Then, in July, Trump seemed to throw into question Article 5 of the NATO treaty – the ...

War, often rationalized as an extension of policy by violent means, has always been a deeply human experience. It defines much of human history and, unsurprisingly, changes in technology accompany—and are often driven by—adaptations in the conduct of warfare. Battles are increasingly fought at distance, progressing from the thrust of ...

Bob Work, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, will tell you the Third Offset is the next generation of warfare. It may take at least ten years but it will showcase the rise of the machine, and the decline of the human in the business of operating weapons systems. The speed ...

Imagine a weapon that strikes on its own, without the slightest hint of human judgment or compassion. It’s a chilling prospect, and not so far in the future unless the world calls a halt to such weapons’ development. Since the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots opened in April 2013, it ...

The crash of a MV-22B off of Okinawa on December 13, 2016 occurred during one of the most difficult tasks a Marine aviator can do in peacetime: night time midair refueling. While the Marine Corps will not release more details until an investigation is complete, this episode, and another involving ...

As President-elect Donald Trump assembles his national security team, The Cipher Brief met with one prospective nominee, General Jack Keane, former Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army and member of The Cipher Brief’s network. He had just met with the Trump team when he sat down with ...

Should humans delegate the responsibility of decisions over life and death to computer algorithms? The answer is not as simple as it seems—and it is the fundamental question concerning the military application of artificial intelligence in the future. The world has seen incredible technological advances in recent decades; not least ...

Discussions on artificial intelligence (AI) too often revolve around concerns about the sensationalist threat of “killer robots,” usually featured in science-fiction films or computer games. Killing is depicted as easy and rapid, done by steel-clad monsters with super-human abilities. Let me put this fear to rest. We do not yet ...

New technologies are changing the face of future warfare and few will be as impactful as the fusion of artificial intelligence into weapons systems. The Cipher Brief spoke with Paul Scharre, Senior Fellow and Director of the Future of Warfare Initiative at the Center for a New American Security, about the rationale ...

How many Americans understand – when they think of the Defense Department budget – that many of those billions are going to defend foreign countries under the longtime strategy that it is better to deal with perceived threats to America “over there,” before they reach our own borders. In fact, ...

It’s been 15 years since the nonpartisan, nonprofit Business Executives for National Security (BENS) issued its first Tail-to-Tooth Commission call to action, a landmark report designed to suggest business-like ways to streamline and improve the Department of Defense’s (DoD) overhead and infrastructure (the tail) to free up resources to put ...