The Department of Defense’s (DoD) Third Offset Strategy has been a subject of considerable confusion since its rollout in late 2014, with Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work, its key architect and primary champion, working hard to clarify the path forward that Third Offset charts for defense innovation. At its ...

In a September 7th speech, then-candidate Donald Trump described his vision for the future of the American military. “As soon as I take office, I will ask Congress to fully eliminate the defense sequester and will submit a new budget to rebuild our military. This will increase certainty in the ...

By some analyses, the U.S. Army has fared the worst in terms of diminished readiness. Fifteen years of operations in the Middle East and budget sequestration have limited opportunities and resources for training and modernization. The Cipher Brief spoke with retired Army Lieutenant General Guy Swan about the state of ...

“My biggest goal was just getting here, but knowing other Vets were here made it easier for me.” Brian is an Army reservist who attended an Operation Purple Healing Adventure® (OPHA) in the Poconos, Pennsylvania. OPHA is a program of the National Military Family Association (NMFA) that brings currently serving ...

Donald Trump has been elected the 45th President of the United States and his most solemn responsibility is ensuring the safety of all Americans as well as helping protect the country’s allies.  The Cipher Brief’s Pam Benson sat down with retired General Jack Keane, a member of The Cipher Brief’s ...

Last week, presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump answered questions at the Commander in Chief Forum—designed specifically to allow the candidates a chance to address military family issues as well as those of veterans. But if you tuned in, you know that there was no mention of military families. ...

During the Cold War, the nuclear threat was a defining national security challenge. Now, climate change is “the great global challenge of our era,” says Sherri Goodman, Former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense. Goodman tells The Cipher Brief that “climate change has emerged as the most serious challenge,” in which military ...

The crisis after 9/11 forced every branch of the military to reevaluate its mission set, its structure, and its identity. Fifteen years later, the process is ongoing. Last week, a congressional report highlighted the debate over whether it should be enlarged or reduced from its current 475,000 soldiers. In that ...

Following the tragic attack on 9-11, U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) and the CIA, supported by airpower, conducted a punitive expedition that resulted in the Taliban and al Qaeda being routed from Afghanistan.   In 2003, working with the Kurds, U.S. SOF conducted operations in northern Iraq, accomplishing the mission intended ...

In the 15 years following 9/11, the U.S. Army pivoted away from its traditional role and took on the challenge presented by new missions and enemies. The Cipher Brief spoke with Lt. General Guy Swan about the gains and sacrifices that have forged the Army of the present and the ...

Today, the role of U.S. Special Forces (SOF) in the fight against terror has never been more important. Mike Vickers, former Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, explains that “U.S. SOF will continue to play a central role in our counterterrorism efforts” and that they have been a “key tool ...

Last week marked the fifth anniversary of the U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) action that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. The publicly acknowledged raid highlighted the prominent role special operations forces have played in the ongoing war against terror. More recently, U.S. SOF have served on the front ...

As the war on terror rages on, U.S. Special Forces are at the frontlines of America’s counterterrorism strategy abroad. Michael Waltz, the President of Metis Solutions and a former commander of U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan explains that U.S. Special Forces have “the lead in the global war on terror” ...

It’s not back to business as usual, but NATO and Russian ambassadors did meet in Brussels on Wednesday for the first time in two years. A halting of all practical cooperation between the two sides was imposed by NATO after Russia’s support for an armed insurgency in eastern Ukraine and ...

Check the most recent RT (Russian TV) news coverage from Syria and you will see Moscow’s latest military hardware on display. Russia’s top of the line attack helicopters—the Ka-52 and MI 28N—remain a fixture on the battlefield even after President Vladimir Putin’s nominal declaration of a Russian pullout. Beneath the ...

The drop in Russian state revenues has affected Russian military modernization to some extent, though the Russian government has made an effort to insulate the military from budget cuts. Although the 2015 military budget was cut by five percent mid-year, the total allocation was still 25 percent higher than the ...

The Pentagon today is paying greater attention to Russia as a security threat.  That reflects several factors:  Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, its bellicose rhetoric, and the modernization of its military.  As the United States prepares to modernize its own nuclear forces, arms control could play an important role in stabilizing ...

Memorial Day brings a set of complex emotions. I think about the thousands of Americans who gave their lives so that we could live free. I think about the cemeteries and the flags and the names on the tombstones. Memorial Day brings up memories that are a bit less common ...