US Climate Envoy John Kerry is heading to Shanghai ahead of a Climate Summit next week hosted by US President Joe Biden.  As tensions between the two countries remain high over issues ranging from Taiwan to trade to cyber, the Biden Administration is hoping there is still room for cooperation ...

As US Worldwide Threats hearings get underway in Washington after a two-year hiatus, experts will be watching to see how the Biden Administration's new senior intelligence officials are ranking and prioritizing threats to US national security.  The hearings have for years, been seen as the most prestigious showing of senior ...

As Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies rise to record levels ahead of the direct offering of crypto exchange Coinbase, former Acting CIA Director Michael Morell is pushing back against conventional wisdom that says Bitcoin is ripe for illicit activity.  In a report sponsored by the Crypto Council for Innovation (a lobbying ...

Cipher Brief Expert John E. McLaughlin 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.  He is currently the Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). OPINION ...

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. EXPERT OPINION -- ...

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. He also won an Emmy ...

Nick Fishwick,Former Senior Member, British Foreign Office Nick Fishwick CMG retired in 2012 after nearly thirty years in the British Foreign Service which included postings in Lagos, Istanbul and Kabul. He served in London as director of security and, after returning from Afghanistan in 2007, as director for counterterrorism. His ...

Carmen Medina, Former CIA Deputy Director of Intelligence Cipher Brief Expert Carmen Medina is a former CIA Deputy Director of Intelligence. A 32-year veteran of the Intelligence Community, she is also the author of Rebels at Work: A Handbook for Leading Change from Within. EXPERT OPINION -- Last week, Zachery Tyson ...

OPINION -- Last week, the Biden administration spelled out its opening carrot-and-stick policy toward the Beijing regime during appearances before two different Congressional committees. Last Wednesday morning, Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivered the carrot elements to members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. During the afternoon, the sticks were ...

Temperatures in Russia are increasing at more than double the global average, according to scientists, proving that climate change and extreme weather doesn’t just affect U.S. national security as outlined in Cipher Brief Expert Admiral Jim Stavridis’ overview here.  It also affects U.S. allies and adversaries, creating new areas of ...

Eric Washabaugh, Former CIA Targeting & Technology Manager Eric Washabaugh served as a targeting and technology manager at the CIA, where he served from 2006 - 2019, leading multiple inter-agency and multi-disciplinary targeting teams focused on al-Qa’ida, ISIS, and al-Shabaab at CIA’s Counterterrorism Center (CTC). He is currently the Vice ...

Sonya Seunghye Lim is a former Chief of Station with the Central Intelligence Agency. Before retiring from the CIA’s Senior Intelligence Service, she had a 24-year distinguished career in the Directorate of Operations, to include two assignments as Chief of Station.  OPINION -- In late January 2021, alarming headlines dominated ...

In a letter obtained by The Cipher Brief this week, former CIA Directors and Acting Directors, including former Director Gina Haspel, endorsed CIA Director Bill Burns in his new role as DCIA. The letter (below) was originally submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee, which oversaw Burns' confirmation hearing last week, in ...

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 -- Reflecting on his ...

Javed Ali is a Towsley Policymaker in Residence at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and served in senior roles at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and National Security Council.  OPINION -- Events over the past year, including ...

In the summer of 2016, then-Director of National Intelligence Lt. Gen. James Clapper began to detect a worrisome trend.  It was an election year, and he was starting to see an uptick in Russian activity around misinformation and disinformation that went well beyond the usual playbook.  Russia had been known ...

Cipher Brief Expert Daniel N. Hoffman is a retired clandestine services officer and former Chief of Station with the Central Intelligence Agency. His combined 30 years of government service included high-level overseas and domestic positions at the CIA.  Hoff man is an advisor to Vaillance Group. Shawnee Delaney was a clandestine officer and former Detachment Chief ...

The Cipher Brief’s Academic Incubator partners with national security-focused programs from colleges and Universities across the country share the work of the next generation of national security leaders.   Alan Maubouche is in his last semester in the International Security (I-SEC) program at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and ...

President Joe Biden’s administration is aiming its Middle East agenda on adhering to campaign promises, examining current policies and undoing some that were enacted under the Trump administration. The U.S. has announced that it will no longer support Saudi offensive operations in Yemen and has appointed special representatives to help ...

The new COVID-19 national security world is one shaped by a host of national and global security issues that were impacted – both good and bad – by the global pandemic. That, in turn, has fundamentally changed the way governments and private sector companies need to think about the old ...

Javed Ali is a Towsley Policymaker in Residence at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and had over 20 years professional experience in Washington, DC on national security issues, to include senior roles at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Office of the Director of National ...

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 -- Newly-installed Director of ...

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 ...

The U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, better known as INR, is charged with providing intelligence products in support of U.S. diplomatic efforts around the world. Established in 1947 by then-Secretary of State George Marshall, the bureau came out of the Office of Strategic Services Research Department that was ...

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 ...

(Photo caption:  Full-size dummy LCTs, codenamed BIGBOB, moored in South East England before the Normandy invasion (British Imperial War Museums, photograph H 42527, public domain).  This article was adapted from a nonfiction postscript in Christopher Turner’s Lieutenant Barnaby’s Inflatable Air Force. Christopher Turner had a 25-year career in the Central Intelligence Agency’s Directorate ...

Javed Ali is a Towsley Policymaker in Residence at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and had over 20 years professional experience in Washington, DC on national security issues, to include senior roles at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Office of the Director of National ...

The Listening Post tells the stories of women in national security by sharing columns, interviews, and profiles of women who are ushering in the new era of national security.  Colonel Candice E. Frost is the Director of Foreign Intelligence for the Army G-2 within the Headquarters, Department of the Army where she provides current ...

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

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 -- On the eve ...

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 fiscal 2021 ...

As Washington continues to investigate the true depth of what experts are describing as one of the most damaging cyberattacks in U.S. history, both government and private sector leaders are considering not only the aftermath, but the shifting dynamics of global espionage. The hack was first publicly reported by FireEye ...

Views expressed in The Cipher Brief are individual views and do not represent all experts. Gregory Sims served in the CIA’s Clandestine Service for over thirty years, including multiple field tours as Chief and Deputy Chief of CIA stations.  He is currently retired. OPINION -- As a retired CIA officer ...

Cipher Brief Expert Tim Willasey-Wilsey is Visiting Professor of War Studies at King’s College, London and is a former senior member of the British Foreign Office. OPINION -- It was hardly a surprise, but it was shocking nonetheless. President Trump tweeted late last week; “We should have the small remaining ...

A CIPHER BRIEF THREAT CONFERENCE CONVERSATION -- The Cipher Brief Threat Conference brings together thought leaders and experts from the public and private sectors to address the world’s most pressing security issues, and every year for the past four years, the U.S.’ relationship with China has been at the top ...

The Cipher Brief’s Academic Incubator program partners with colleges and Universities across the country to highlight the next generation of national security leaders.   Ameen Karim is a first-year master’s student in the International Security Program at the Schar School of Policy and Government. His research focuses on U.S. foreign policy. ...

BOOK REVIEW:  America in the World: A History of U.S. Diplomacy and Foreign Policy by Robert B. Zoellick / Twelve Reviewed by Jason U. Manosevitz Jason U. Manosevitz is an officer in the Intelligence Community with 16 years of experience covering military and political issues in Asia and the Middle ...

OPINION -- Last Tuesday, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe promised, or maybe threatened, “Additional declassification and public disclosure of related intelligence remains under consideration.” That sentence was part of the same September 29, letter that he sent to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) that contained declassified, unverified, information about Russian ...

Cipher Brief Expert Robert Eatinger has 35 years of experience practicing law in the fields of national security, intelligence, and international law. He is a solo practitioner at Robert J. Eatinger, Jr., PLLC, practicing federal law with a national security and intelligence law focus and the founding Principal of SpyLaw Consulting, LLC. ...

"The U.S. intelligence community must invest in understanding its own business model to make data-driven decisions for the future," argue authors Katrina Mulligan, Cipher Brief Expert Matt Olsen and Alexandra Schmitt from the Center for American Progress. Katrina Mulligan, Managing Director, Center for American Progress Katrina Mulligan is the managing ...

Cipher Brief Expert Tim Willasey-Wilsey served for over 27 years in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He is now Visiting Professor of War Studies at King’s College, London. One can imagine the intense discussions in Beijing, primarily within the Central Military Commission (CMC) but also at the Politburo Standing ...

Understanding expert perspective on where the US stands in the world with regards to national security is a key component of how The Cipher Brief keeps the security community connected.  Michael Morell and Cipher Brief Expert Mike Vickers  recently sat down to talk with each other about the challenges facing ...

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 the ...

Cipher Brief Expert 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 also as the Associate Director of National Intelligence and Mission Manager ...

The Cipher Brief is incredibly proud to present its first-ever Lifetime National Security Award to veteran intelligence professional, Mr. Charles E. Allen this Sunday, September 13 during opening day of The Cipher Brief Threat Conference. As The Cipher Brief enters its fifth year of publishing expert national security insights, perspectives ...

The Cipher Brief continues it's coverage on Russia this week in light of the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.  We tapped Cipher Brief Expert Michael Sulick who served as director of CIA’s National Clandestine Service, for his thoughts on Putin's Playbook for the West.  While at CIA, Sulick also served ...

BOOK REVIEW:  Dead Doubles: The Extraordinary Worldwide Hunt for One of the Cold War’s Most Notorious Spy Rings by Trevor Barnes Reviewed by Nick Fishwick Nick Fishwick CMG retired in 2012 after nearly thirty years in the British Foreign Service. He did postings in Lagos, Istanbul and Kabul. His responsibilities in ...

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 ...

Gary Grappo is a former U.S. ambassador who held senior positions including Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad; U.S. Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman; and Charge d’Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As a ...

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 also served as the Associate Director of National Intelligence and Mission Manager for North Korea and the Director of the National Counter Proliferation Center, and ...