Behind the Headlines brings you expert perspectives on today's headlines by telling you more than what happened, but also what it means.  You can also listen to The Cipher Brief’s Daily Open-Source Collection Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. Jack Devine, Former Acting Director, National Clandestine Service, CIA Cipher Brief ...

Erin Sikorsky is deputy director of the Center for Climate and Security, and the director of the International Military Council on Climate and Security. Previously, she served as the deputy director of the Strategic Futures Group on the National Intelligence Council in the United States, where she co-authored the quadrennial Global Trends report and led the ...

Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist Walter Pincus is a contributing senior national security columnist at The Cipher Brief. He spent forty years at The Washington Post, writing on topics from nuclear weapons to politics.  He is the author of Blown to Hell: America’s Deadly Betrayal of the Marshall Islanders (releasing November 2021) OPINION -- President ...

Robert Dannenberg, Fmr. Sr. CIA Officer, Former Chief of Security, Goldman Sachs Cipher Brief Expert Rob Dannenberg is the former Managing Director and Head of the Office of Global Security for Goldman Sachs.  He is also the former director of International Security Affairs for BP.  Dannenberg is a 24-year veteran ...

Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist 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.  He is the author of Blown to Hell: America’s Deadly Betrayal of the Marshall Islanders (releasing in November 2021) OPINION -- ...

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.   OPINION -- For the Biden administration, an apparently reasonable decision to follow Donald Trump’s wish to end the ‘forever wars’ ...

Cipher Brief 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 served as Associate Director of National Intelligence and Mission Manager for ...

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. OPINION -- One of the most important pieces of advice we offer aspiring Rebels at Work is ...

As part of a special series on climate in partnership with The Intelligence Project at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and Cipher Brief Expert and Senior Editor Kristin Wood, The Cipher Brief is focusing on the national security implications of climate change.  This report is derived from ...

“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”  – Daniel Patrick Moynihan Kevin J. Buckley retired from the Central Intelligence Agency as a member of the Senior Intelligence Service. He is a recipient of the CIA Career Intelligence Medal and served for over 24 years supporting ...

Ties between Russia and China go far beyond mutual lessons-learned and policy coordination.  They have entered into cooperative arrangements that pose clear dangers for the US and its allies.  The most apparent of these are in the military realm. Mark Kelton, Former Deputy Director for Counterintelligence, CIA Mark Kelton is ...

In 1937, Winston Churchill contrasted the “two rival religions” of Nazism and Communism then afflicting the world.  Those fascist and communist “infernal twins”, he wrote, “imagine themselves as exact opposites” but are, in fact “similar in all essentials”, breeding in reaction to each other.  Today’s ‘infernal twins’ – China and ...

Dr. Kenneth Dekleva served as a Regional Medical Officer/Psychiatrist (including 5 years at the U.S. Embassy Moscow, Russian Federation) with the U.S. Dept. of State during 2002-2016, and is currently Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director, Psychiatry-Medicine Integration, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX. The views expressed are entirely his ...

As part of a week-long series focused on Mapping China’s Ambitions, The Cipher Brief is partnering with Harvard Research Fellow and former British diplomat Jamie Burnham to explore China’s threat vectors, how it is organizing to win, what a government ecosystem looks like and the impact that international collaboration will have ...

BOOK REVIEW: Clarity in Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the CIA By Marc Polymeropoulos / HarperCollins Reviewed by Ken Dilanian The Reviewer:  Ken Dilanian is the intelligence and national security correspondent for NBC News.  He previously covered the intelligence community for the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times.  He covered ...

As part of a week-long series focused on Mapping China’s Ambitions, The Cipher Brief is partnering with Harvard Research Fellow and former British diplomat Jamie Burnham to explore China’s threat vectors, how it is organizing to win, what a government ecosystem looks like and the impact that international collaboration will have ...

As part of a week-long series focused on Mapping China’s Ambitions, The Cipher Brief is partnering with Harvard Research Fellow and former British diplomat Jamie Burnham to explore China’s threat vectors, how it is organizing to win, what a government ecosystem looks like and the impact that international collaboration will have ...

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. OPINION -- “The United States must now be prepared for conflict to extend to, or even to originate in or from, space.” ...

Bottom Line Up Front: There are indications that the Taliban have no intention of reaching a compromise and believe they can take over Afghanistan shortly after the US withdrawal. Comparisons with the survival of the Najibullah government may be misleading. An eventual evacuation of the international community should be manageable ...

On 25 September 2017, the board of UK-based Imagination Technologies, founded in 1985 (and listed on the LSE in 1994), agreed to a take-over by a Palo Alto-based, Cayman Island-registered private equity firm named Canyon Bridge.  The UK’s Guardian newspaper described Imagination as a global leader in designing graphics processors ...

Cipher Brief Expert Joseph R. DeTrani served as the special envoy for negotiations with North Korea from 2003-2006 and is the former director of the National Counterproliferation Center.  He’s also a veteran of the CIA. The views expressed are his and do not imply endorsement by the Office of the ...

In the Biden Administration’s highest-level face-to-face visit, Secretary of State Antony Blinken is traveling to the Middle East to seize momentum created by last week’s Gaza ceasefire in what could be the first step back toward peace talks. The Biden Administration has been criticized for not taking more aggressive action ...

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. OPINION – Israeli ...

BOOK REVIEW: Japanese Foreign Intelligence and Grand Strategy: From the Cold War to the Abe Era  By Brad Williams / Georgetown University Press  Reviewed by Stephen C. Mercado The Reviewer – Stephen C. Mercado is an analyst, researcher and translator, who has worked in the Washington area and in East ...

A rarely discussed but high impact trend that seems to have been amplified by the COVID-19 virus is affecting investment in countries that have traditionally attracted investors interested in minerals and rare earth materials.   A process that is open to corrupt parliaments, dictators and authoritarian governments has long been ...

Cipher Brief Expert John McLaughlin served as Acting CIA Director from July to September 2004 and as Deputy Director from October 2000 to July 2004. He is the Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). EXPERT PERSPECTIVE – President Joe Biden’s decision to ...

As part of a special series on climate in partnership with The Intelligence Project at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and Cipher Brief Expert Kristin Wood, The Cipher Brief is focusing on the national security implications of climate change.  We spoke recently with Sherri Goodman, Senior Strategist ...

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. OPINION -- It’s time for serious planning to re-engage in nuclear arms control talks with Russia, China and other nuclear powers. “Arms ...

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

Tim Willasey-Wilsey, Former Senior Member, British FOreign and Commonwealth Office 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. Much of his career was spent in Asia including a posting ...

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. Joshua Stone is a U.S.-China relations specialist and Ph.D. Political Science student with the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. ...

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. OPINION -- “We cannot continue to life-extend our leftover Cold War era [nuclear] weapons and systems indefinitely, and successfully prevail in strategic ...

The White House is preparing to launch a Leaders Summit on Climate hosted by President Joe Biden beginning Thursday. 40 World leaders were invited to participate in the two-day series of conversations on climate and emissions as The Washington Post quotes anonymous sources saying the Biden administration is expected to ...

Peter Pascucci is a commander in the United States Navy and Kurt Sanger is a lieutenant colonel in the United States Marine Corps.  They have been legal advisors to senior decision makers on military cyberspace operations and both are 2015 graduates of the Georgetown University Law Center National Security Law ...

US Climate Envoy John Kerry is in China 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 on ...

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 ...

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 ...

The Pentagon often wargames future scenarios for when 'all hell breaks loose' with the idea of training for the worst-case scenario.  Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin made clear when he took the helm at the Pentagon earlier this year, that - consistent with President Joe Biden’s focus on climate change ...

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 -- ...

Rep. John Katko (R-NY) is Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security. He is also a former federal prosecutor.  OPINION -- It should not come as a surprise to anyone reading this article that we find ourselves in the wake of two significant cyber incidents. While we are ...

Cipher Brief Expert Alex Cresswell led an operational division of GCHQ and served in the Cabinet Office, directing the team of analysts (the Joint Intelligence Organisation) which provides the British Prime Minister’s daily briefing and strategic assessments for the NSC.  EXPERT PERSPECTIVE – On 17 February 2021, the DOJ and the FBI finally ...

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 ...

Join us this week Tuesday - Thursday for The Cipher Brief's Cybersecurity Summit featuring leaders from the public and private sectors, including Microsoft President Brad Smith, FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia, and 28 other cyber security thought leaders, including today's author, Andrew Stewart.  Attendance is free and registration is required. Executing Commander’s Intent at Machine Speed for Cyber ...

Cipher Brief Expert Ambassador Joseph DeTrani is former Special envoy for Six Party Talks with North Korea and the former 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 ...

Thomas Warrick was DHS Deputy Assistant for Counterterrorism Policy from August 2008 to June 2019 and is now Director of the Future of DHS Project at the Atlantic Council.  Javed Ali held senior counterterrorism positions at DHS, the FBI, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the National ...

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 ...

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.   OPINION -- In order to ...

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 ...