The elites still don’t get it. Brexit, Trump, surging right-wing nationalism on both sides of the Atlantic; and yet time after time, the media and global leaders who helped steer the U.S. and Europe into the current morass of broken politics miss the forest for the trees in trying to ...

Relations between Turkey and Europe have been tense for decades. Turkey first applied to the European Economic Community – the European Union’s precursor – in 1987. Turkey has been an associate member since 1963, but the EU still has not offered it full membership, despite the country’s membership in NATO ...

Relations between Europe and Turkey are tense. In the past weeks, Turkey has called the Netherlands “the capital of fascism” and accused Germany of “fascist actions” reminiscent of the Nazi period, after Germany cancelled political rallies aimed at gathering support for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his referendum on ...

Turkey’s damaging crisis with Europe is self-generated in large part – a tactic sometimes used by Ankara to create a problem and then hold the other party responsible. Acting the victim also deflects domestic attention from the government’s own accountability and justifies revenge. Turkey is stirring a crisis with the ...

Turkey has once again been very much on Europeans’ minds. This time, the issue has been about the Turkish referendum on April 16 over whether the country moves from its current parliamentary system to an executive presidency. The vote could be close, and the Turkish leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, needs ...

Where will Russian President Vladimir Putin strike next? With the 2018 Russian election around the corner, former Soviet states are nervous. Foreign adventures are the quickest way for a politician to get a bump in the polls. What does this mean for cybersecurity? In the internet era, one thing is ...

Russia and NATO countries are going tit for tat in the Black Sea region. In 2014, Russia invaded eastern Ukraine and annexed the Crimean Peninsula, on the northern coast of the Black Sea. Over the past three years, Russia has militarized the area, modernizing its Black Sea Fleet at Sevastopol, ...

Black Sea security has become a top NATO concern since Russia’s incursion in eastern Ukraine and annexation of Crimea. A lot of Russia’s ships and aircraft being used in Syria come out of the Black Sea, Magnus Nordenman, a director of the Transatlantic Security Initiative with the Brent Scowcroft Center ...

The Romanian government has announced it will soon spend two percent of its GDP on defense, a goal set for all NATO members. Last year, NATO allies agreed to enhance defense in Romania and Bulgaria with a tailored forward presence. The Cipher Brief asked Romanian Defense Minister Gabriel-Beniamin Leş what ...

This year’s Munich Security Conference (February 17-19) brought together leaders from all over the world to discuss the current state of global affairs and the transatlantic defense partnership. Julianne Smith, Director of the Strategy and Statecraft Program at the Center for a New American Security, attended the conference. She spoke ...

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 ...

European-wide defense is based on two elements: the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union. Understanding how each institution may develop in the coming years and coordinate together on defense is vital to assessing the future of European and transatlantic security. The Cipher Brief spoke with the United Kingdom’s ...

A proliferation of external threats, including terrorism and cyber attacks, combined with a fractious European Union places Europe in a vulnerable position at the start of the new year. The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder sat down with former Deputy Secretary General of NATO (2012-2016) Ambassador Alexander Vershbow to discuss the ...

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, ...

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 ...

The start of a new U.S. administration, elections across Europe in 2017 that could drastically alter politics on the continent, and an increase in the number and kinds of external threats facing the world over the past few years rattle the NATO transatlantic defense alliance. Add to that President-elect Donald ...

Poland and other countries in the region – particularly NATO members located on Europe’s eastern flank – look to the new American administration with both anxiety and hope. During the election campaign, President-elect Donald Trump sent mixed messages about NATO and his willingness to maintain the same level of U.S. ...

A comparison with the 1848 domino-like revolutions that spread across Europe is a bit of a stretch, but far-right populism is definitely on a roll, throwing the whole European project in doubt. Will it continue is the big question in 2017.  A victory by French far-right leader Marine Le Pen ...

Editor’s Note: Over the coming days, The Cipher Brief presents some of our most incisive coverage on key issues of 2016 and a look ahead at what is yet to come in 2017. The tumultuous nature of 2016 hit Europe especially hard. Wars in the Middle East became a refugee ...

Europe is facing its biggest refugee crisis since the second world war, with a large number of refugees coming from the Middle East, particularly Syria and Afghanistan. In September, the Cipher Brief spoke with Robert McKenzie – an expert on the Middle East and North Africa and refugee issues – ...

Russian President Vladimir Putin took to the stage for a marathon end-of-year press conference on Friday, declaring Russian’s military might, denying accusations of hacking in the U.S. elections, and addressing concerns over a new nuclear arms race. At the annual event, just shy of four hours in length this year, ...

NATO envoys and Russia’s ambassador to the 28-nation military alliance met in Brussels on Monday, as relations between the two sides remain tense. It was their third meeting this year. In July, the Alliance announced plans to move up to 4,000 troops into Poland and the three Baltic states, to ...

Russia has historically used its dominance in the energy sector to influence Central and Eastern European governments. But since the Russia-Ukraine gas dispute in 2009, when Russia cut supplies to all of southeastern Europe, the region has been pouring resources into creating energy independence. In addition, the Paris Agreement on ...

Russia undeniably wields some degree of influence over Central and Eastern Europe due to the high volume of energy exports it sends their way. However, that leverage may be overplayed. The Cipher Brief spoke with Balázs Jarábik, a nonresident scholar in the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment ...

Russia can influence politics in Central and Eastern Europe via the energy sector. Most of the Visegrad Group countries in Central Europe, for example, are dependent on Russia for natural gas. Some of those countries – like Hungary – recently attempted to diversify supply, only to pivot back toward Russia ...

The election of Donald Trump as the next U.S. President has created uncertainty among European leaders as they consider the future of defense and security cooperation with the United States. Trump’s campaign rhetoric calling NATO – the transatlantic defense alliance – “obsolete” and demanding member nations contribute more to their ...

Donald Trump’s win over Hillary Clinton for the presidency of the United States surprised a number of European leaders. Given Trump’s statements about NATO being “obsolete” and the need for all allies to contribute their fair share, NATO’s European member states are trying to figure out what the alliance will ...

In recent years, defense analysts have increasingly turned their attention to the development of hypersonic weapons, a class of systems intended to strike fast, at range, and evade most existing defenses. Generally speaking, a hypersonic weapon is a system in which the kill vehicle (carrying the warhead) travels in excess ...

The Russian economy has been in recession for nearly two years now, with GDP growth shrinking by 3.7 percent in 2015. However, as the recession continues and persistent low oil prices cut government revenues to the bone, military spending has remained almost immune to cuts, and the country has undertaken ...

A group of high-level defense officials from Central and Eastern Europe and the United States on Wednesday warned of the threat of Russian aggression, discussing ideas to respond to the Kremlin’s moves in its neighborhood and beyond. At the 8th annual Center for European Policy Analysis Forum in Washington, D.C., ...

The world is currently faced with 65 million forcibly displaced people – the most since World War II – of which nearly 41 million are internally displaced persons, 21 million are refugees, and 3 million are asylum seekers. More than a million people crossed into Europe last year, and with ...

Europe’s migration crisis is often framed in terms of the influx of refugees coming from Syria, Afghanistan, and other conflict countries in the Middle East. However, there is also a large number of African migrants that travel across the Mediterranean Sea to Lampedusa, an Italian island, and then onto Europe. ...

When Father Jacques Hamel was brutally killed at his church in northern France this week, the religious community came together, demanding greater protection. The French government responded by saying it would put more police on the streets and bring in extra security reservists, with French President Francois Hollande announcing a National ...

Tweeters, journalists, politicians, even the security forces in Germany responded on Friday to an “extremist terror” attack in Munich, fearing it was inspired by the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL), only to discover later that the attacker – 18-year-old Ali David Sonboly, born in Germany to Iranian ...

A truck plowed through a crowd gathered in Nice, France for Bastille Day celebrations on Thursday, killing at least 84 people and injuring dozens more. In a statement in the early hours after the attack, French President François Hollande said that “there’s no denying the terrorist nature of this attack ...

Parties on the extreme ends of the political spectrum – along with anti-establishment candidates like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders – are moving into the political mainstream in democracies in the United States, Europe, and parts of Latin America. These formerly fringe parties or political outsiders are promising to better ...

Democracy in Europe is in a parlous state at the moment. The British vote for exit (Brexit) from the European Union (EU) has highlighted deep-seated problems with democracy at both the EU and national levels. But it would be a mistake to think that this means the EU is undemocratic, ...

The Warsaw Summit of NATO heads of state this past weekend affirmed the strategic and ideological importance of the U.S. to the alliance and vice versa. NATO provides security to the European continent. “Europe being secure makes the U.S. more secure because we can do more things in more places ...

The NATO summit in Warsaw this past weekend provided a modest but important boost to a Europe in crisis. Allies demonstrated cohesion and unity in the face of diverse threats to their security. They took steps to bolster NATO’s deterrence and resilience that would have once been unthinkable. These steps ...

Heads of state and government in the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO) met in Warsaw over the weekend to discuss their response to the multiple threats and challenges facing the transatlantic community. The Cipher Brief spoke with Jeff Rathke, Deputy Director of the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and ...

NATO heads of state will meet in Warsaw this Friday and Saturday at a time when the U.S. has been accused by some of pulling back from the world stage in general and from Europe in particular, as the Obama Administration pivoted to the Asia Pacific region and economic interests ...

An emerging nexus between terror and crime in Europe needs to be addressed with an even stronger nexus between law enforcement, the intelligence community, and the financial industry. The crime-terror nexus is not a new phenomenon. Forgery, weapons procurement, and cross-border smuggling are but a few examples of criminal activities ...

Washington DC is currently hosting the fourth and perhaps final Nuclear Security Summit, President Obama's signature initiative to secure the supply of nuclear material. Terrorism has always been a sub-theme of the NSS given its objective of keeping fissile materials away from terrorist groups. But in the wake of the ...

From Russia’s reemergence as a top U.S. adversary to Iran’s reentry into the global market place, the 2016 national security landscape is fraught with challenges and opportunities guaranteed to impact industry, government, and their intersection. Looming questions—Will China cooperate on cyber security? What wider impact will Venezuela’s economic collapse have ...

Estonia packs a punch in the cyber domain. The country is a world leader in cyber-related innovation, and it has charted that course without compromising security. Estonia initially gained global attention as a cyber-target, seeking to overcome a series of organized attacks in 2007 widely attributed to Russian groups.  Estonia ...

The U.S. technology sector received a surprise jolt in October when the European Court of Justice struck down the Safe Harbor Framework, setting off a scramble to accommodate this sudden shift in privacy regulations. The framework was established in 2000 to provide guidance on how companies could transfer customer information ...

The European Union and the United States have been close allies for decades and "partners of first resort," to use the words of both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and current Secretary of State John Kerry. We are the largest trading bloc in the world and the primary destination ...

Twelve days after the Paris attacks, I was waiting for a flight at London's Heathrow Airport, which seemed to be running with its customary sedate orderliness despite Brussels being on "lockdown" and police raids still taking place in Paris and Belgium.  While checking online for the latest developments in the ...

The safe harbour was a convenient fiction that enabled business-as-usual processes to take place between the EU and the U.S. Many were shocked when the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled it invalid, but in reality, the judgment should not have come as a surprise. The reasoning ...

Today in Europe there are more people made homeless by wars and conflict than ever before in recent history. The Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, called it “the worst humanitarian crisis since the Second World War.”  Although the refugees flooding Europe are from many parts of the ...