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 ...

Hitesh Sheth is the president and CEO of Vectra. Previously, he was chief operating officer at Aruba Networks and before that,  he was EVP/GM at Juniper Networks. PRIVATE SECTOR -- The March 3 notice from the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity command was crisp and urgent. The headline: “Mitigate Microsoft ...

Tim Willasey-Wilsey, Cipher Brief Expert Tim Willasey-Wilsey is a Cipher Brief Expert on Afghanistan and a visiting Professor of War Studies at King’s College, London and a former senior British diplomat. The views expressed in this article are the author’s and do not represent those of any institution. EXPERT PERSPECTIVE -- ...

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 ...

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 ...

Kristin Wood, Sr. Climate Editor, The Cipher Brief Kristin Wood is the Senior Climate Editor for The Cipher Brief, a Cipher Brief expert, a non-resident fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs’ Intelligence Project, and a former senior CIA officer with 20 years of ...

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 ...

OPINION -- The Biden administration is reviewing not just the February 2020, Trump administration agreement with the Taliban that calls for all U.S. forces to be out of Afghanistan by May 1, but also the impact of Trump’s surprise, pre-election, October tweet to cut current troop levels to 2,500 from ...

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 ...

Zachery Tyson Brown is an intelligence and national security futurist interested in the many ways in which intelligence, strategy, organizational design, and disruptive technologies intersect. A veteran military intelligence analyst who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Zach is now a National Security Fellow at the Truman National Security Project, ...

OPINION -- “Americans have not yet seriously grappled with how profoundly the AI (Artificial Intelligence) revolution will impact society, the economy, and national security,” is one of the opening sentences of the draft final report from the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence that is now being publicly circulated for ...

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 ...

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 worldwide cyber war ...

Doowan Lee is a strategic advisor to the Institute for Security and Technology and adjunct professor of politics at the Univ. of San Francisco.   Phil W. Reynolds is a visiting scholar at the Center for Futures Studies at the University of Hawaii and is the author of Ouroboros: Understanding ...

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 later served as the Associate Director of National Intelligence and Mission ...

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 -- “Terrorism is an ...

Rob Knake is the Whitney Shepardson Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Knake served from 2011 to 2015 as director for cybersecurity policy at the National Security Council. In this role, he was responsible for the development of presidential policy on cybersecurity and built and managed federal processes for cyber ...

Cipher Brief Expert Sean Corbett retired from the Royal Air Force in September 2018 after a 30-year career as a professional intelligence officer. His last appointment in the military was a two-year rotation in Washington DC where he served as the first non-US Deputy Director of a major US Intelligence ...

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 ...

CLIMATE -- One of President Biden’s first areas of focus after taking office on Wednesday was on the climate, reinstating a commitment that the US will rejoin the Paris climate accord. The Biden Administration is also pledging a review of more than 100 other climate or environment-related regulations and the ...

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 ...