The Cipher Brief spoke with David Miliband, President of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and former British Foreign Secretary, about how the international community should tackle humanitarian crises from Syria to Afghanistan, South Sudan to Myanmar – the topic of his new book, “Rescue: Refugees and The Political Crisis of ...

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 – ...

EU unity has been challenged by almost a decade of low growth and high unemployment. This has led to populism and nationalism challenging mainstream political parties. The refugee crisis, Russia's aggression in Ukraine and Syria, and Brexit exacerbate the EU's fundamental governance challenges. The Cipher Brief's March interview with Sir ...

More than 160,000 migrants and refugees arrived in Italy this year, compared to just over 142,000 during the same time last year. Of those taking the Central Mediterranean route from northern Africa to Italy, 3,755 have died at sea, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). That’s more deaths ...

The European Union (EU) is entering into partnership deals, or “compacts,” with at least five African countries to try to stem the flow of migrants from Africa to Europe. The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder asked Kate Hooper, an associate policy analyst with the Migration Policy Institute’s International Program, what these ...

Irregular migration from Africa to Europe is increasing. As Africa’s population continues to grow, the European Union (EU) will need to figure out how to deal with what is expected to be even more African migrants in the coming years. The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder spoke with Philippe Fargues, founding ...

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. ...

In March of this year, Turkey came to an agreement with the European Union (EU) on Syrian migration. In return for $6 billion in aid assistance, visa-free travel for Turks within the EU, and a promise to restart Turkey’s E.U. accession talks, Turkey agreed to restrict the number of Syrian ...

Since its birth, modern Turkey has occupied a delicate position in the world. Straddling both Asia and Europe, the ancient Ottoman capital of Istanbul captures the blessing and the curse of Turkish geography. On the one hand, it sits at the center of the old world, bordered by western Europe, ...

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière announced on Thursday proposals for strengthening Germany’s security apparatus, after four attacks – three committed by refugees – shook the country last month. Included in the plan is a controversial proposition about dual citizenship that could strip German citizenship from double passport holders who ...

Europe is used to dealing with crises. In fact, what we now call the European Union is a result of one of the biggest crises in modern history. But there is something different about the crises that Europe faces today: they are all happening at a time when solidarity within ...

The United States needs strong allies in Europe. The United States also needs European unity. This has been a recurrent theme in Barack Obama’s foreign policy since the start of his campaign for the presidency in 2007. It is a theme he borrowed from the second administration of George W. ...

For seven of the last eight years, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has topped Forbes’ list of the world’s most powerful women.  Last year, she was a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize and TIME Magazine’s “Person of the Year.”  But in the final hours of 2015, sexual attacks on women ...

The Islamic State (ISIS) is the “preeminent global” threat and remains determined to execute direct attacks against the U.S. homeland, the top U.S. intelligence official told Senators at the annual Worldwide Threats hearings on Tuesday. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said ISIS “leaders are determined to strike the U.S. ...

Intelligence failure: those are two words we often hear following a devastating terrorist attack such as what we saw this weekend in Paris.  Almost by definition, if the intelligence community didn’t know about it, then it failed in its core mission: keeping citizens safe.  But when a small group of ...

The Cipher Brief spoke with Rob Richer, CIA's former Associate Deputy Director for Operations, about the terrorist attacks in Paris. Richer spoke about the importance of cooperation between US intelligence agencies and their foreign counterparts. He also discussed how legal restrictions have hurt the Intelligence Community’s ability to collect. The ...

The Paris attacks last Friday demonstrated ISIS ability to strike in the heart of Western Europe. Kevin Hulbert, a former senior intelligence officer in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, tells The Cipher Brief that these attacks signify a paradigm shift in ISIS’ tactics. The Cipher Brief: Do you think the ...

The Cipher Brief sat down with General Keith Alexander, former Director of the National Security Agency. Alexander discussed the Paris attacks, the impact of the Snowden leaks on intelligence collection, and the trade off between privacy and security. TCB: You were the longest-serving NSA director.  During your tenure, you saw ...

Over the course of the last 18 months, since ISIS burst on to the scene with its dramatic regional tactical advances, capturing Mosul in Iraq and significant territory in Syria, it has maintained that its primary focus was on expanding its Islamic State, or Caliphate, in the Middle East and ...

ISIS is part of the multi-generational struggle against radical Islam which will likely dominate the first half of the 21st century similar to the fight against communism which dominated the second half of the 20th century. ISIS is the most successful terrorist organization in modern history. It is driven by ...

Former New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was preparing for his new post-NYPD role as Vice Chair at K2 Intelligence in New York when news of the Paris attacks started rolling in last week.  He knew from initial reports that the news would be bad, but he wasn’t at ...

Conventional wisdom among Western officials indicated ISIS was primarily interested in gaining territory for its caliphate or Islamic state.   Big bold attacks against Western targets were the hallmark of al Qaeda.  But the coordinated, multiple attacks by at least eight terrorists in Paris this weekend, as well as the suicide ...

Last week the image of a tiny toddler’s body washed up on a Turkish beach became symbolic of a growing crisis in the Mediterranean. Tens of thousands of people are fleeing Syria for the safety of Europe, but Europeans have mixed feelings about how or whether to receive them. Since ...

Other than its open-air outlet mall, busy with shoppers from neighboring Slovakia and Hungary, there’s little memorable about the Austrian village of Parndorf. On Friday, August 27, however, Parndorf had its short moment of fame – for the worst of all possible reasons. On the hard shoulder of a highway ...

The Cipher Brief sat down with Robert Richer, former CIA Associate Deputy Director for Operations, to talk about the Middle East refugee crisis that threatens to overrun Europe. He helped unravel why this crisis is occurring and suggested ways to mitigate it. The Cipher Brief: The media is characterizing the ...