Like many cyber experts in Washington, Jamil Jaffer wears multiple hats. He’s worked both inside and outside of government and is currently the Vice President of Strategy and Partnerships at IronNet Cybersecurity, Founder of the National Security Institute at George Mason University and a Visiting Fellow with Stanford’s Hoover Institution. ...

A recent poll conducted by a Russian polling group, suggests that domestic trust in Vladimir Putin is at its lowest level in more than a decade. Still, it’s important to remember that those numbers might not matter so much to Putin himself, since winning a landslide election last year - ...

Chairman Kim Jong-un started off 2019 with a well-rehearsed New Year’s address, in which he utilized a less-formal and relaxed atmosphere – akin to FDR’s ‘Fireside Chats’ or Chinese President Xi Jinping’s New Year’s addresses – and wore a western-style business suit.  In his address, Kim spoke of his diplomatic ...

  Bottom Line Up Front The announced U.S. withdrawal from Syria is compelling Israel to recalibrate its strategy to prevent Iran from further expanding its influence. Israel views Iran’s presence in Syria as an unacceptable threat that must be confronted, despite the risks of doing so. Israeli leaders have secured ...

Thriller writer Brad Meltzer has written 32 books.  Most of them are children’s books, many are thrillers, 2 are ‘How-To’ books, 1 is a TV book and his latest, is the non-fiction, First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington, the author’s first foray into adult non-fiction. Last week, ...

The Government remains shut down after President Donald Trump offered a plan over the weekend to provide temporary protection to some groups of immigrants if Democrats agree to fund the border wall.   Democrats refused the offer and are calling on the President to re-open the government while  they address issues ...

President Donald Trump will hold a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in late February. The White House made the announcement following an Oval Office meeting between President Trump and North Korean envoy, Kim Yong Chol. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the United ...

General Michael Hayden, the co-host of The Cipher Brief’s Annual Threat Conference for the past two years, has famously said that the world has been more dangerous in the past, but it has never been more complicated.  He has also said that if the U.S. doesn’t get China right, nothing ...

OPINION -- Israel is well-positioned as 2019 begins, but it is also primed to face serious challenges over the next twelve months. The following five strategic goals are critical—and achievable—for securing Israel’s future. First, Israel must foil the Iran-Hezbollah-Syria force building project along its northern border. The Supreme Leader of ...

United States Special Operations Forces are attracting attention for the wrong reasons after a spate of incidents overseas that involved the murder of Americans, allegedly carried out by SOF Forces. A former Green Beret, who was working as a contractor for Lockheed Martin died on January 4, after being injured ...

Catherine Lotrionte has been the power broker behind Washington D.C.’s International Conference on Cyber Engagement for seven years now and she’s getting ready to host it again this April with The Atlantic Council.  Formerly serving as Counsel to the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and former Assistant General Counsel at ...

With U.S.-Iran tensions rising after the re-imposition of nuclear sanctions, neighboring Iraq will likely emerge as a critical battleground in the U.S.-Iran contest. As the U.S. and its allies have pulled back from Iraq over the past decade, Iran has upped its engagement with local proxies to gain an advantage ...

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made clear during remarks in Jordan on Tuesday that the U.S. is intent on putting  more pressure on Iran  in the new year and says that Washington will 'redouble' efforts to counter Iran's malign influence in the region. The State Department also says it is 'aware' ...

French philosopher Voltaire claimed that "if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.” The Kremlin, whenever it wishes to free a convicted Russian spy, twists this concept a bit: “If there's no espionage case, it's necessary to invent one”.  The recent arrest of U.S. citizen Paul ...

Russia’s willingness to detain a U.S. citizen in apparent retaliation for the recent case against Russian citizen Marina Butina should serve as a warning to U.S. citizens who are traveling - without the benefit of diplomatic immunity -  of the risks in traveling to countries where the rule of law ...

OPINION -- On December 31, The New York Times published a piece that claimed Afghan forces “trained and equipped by CIA agents or contractors” were conducting “torture and killings with near impunity.” The piece opens with the description of one such raid where an alleged CIA-trained strike force burst into ...

There is considerable debate over whether ISIS in Syria has been defeated to a significant enough degree that it would not be able to quickly rebuild as soon as U.S. troops leave Syria.  As part of our special coverage on Syria, The Cipher Brief spoke with Dr. Kimberly Kagan, the ...

Russian President Vladimir Putin is publicly welcoming President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.  In a press conference on Thursday, Putin said that “The fact that the U.S. has decided to withdraw troops is right,” adding “we have dealt serious blows against ISIS in Syria.” Putin’s comments ...

As part of our special coverage on Syria, The Cipher Brief spoke with expert Emile Nakhleh, former member, CIA’s Senior Intelligence Service, to get his assessment on how the President’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria is likely to be acted on by allies, other countries in the ...

As part of our special coverage on Syria, The Cipher Brief spoke with Norm Roule, the former National Intelligence Manager for Iran at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, to get his expert assessment on how Iran might take advantage of a newly uncontested space in Syria, free ...

John Carlin brings a wealth of government experience to his new book, co-written with author Garrett M. Graff, Dawn of the Code War: America’s Battle Against Russia, China, and the Rising Global Cyber Threat. Part of that government experience includes serving as the former Assistant Attorney General for National Security, ...

Vice President Mike Pence put a little rocket fuel behind plans to create a new Space Force on Tuesday by announcing that President Donald Trump has directed the Pentagon to create a U.S. Space Command.  Speaking at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Pence said that the new Command will ...

2018 was a year dominated by a new range of worries for national security experts in Britain.  Brexit and a series of untraditional statements from U.S. President Donald Trump, kept things interesting, to say the least.  This, in addition to the traditional security issues that keep the British up at ...

By Mark Urban Reviewed by Cipher Brief Expert and Former Senior Member of the British Foreign Office, Nick Fishwick The Skripal Files, Henry Holt & Company, 2018 When Sergei Skripal arrived in the UK in 2010 as part of a prisoner swap, he must have assumed that the dramatic, even ...

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released a 23-page report in October outlining proposed major changes for how it wants to screen passengers at airports to help keep them safe from terrorism.  The changes include far greater reliance on biometric technology and intelligence analysis to move people through screening points more ...

At a recent private D.C. dinner, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen gathered with academics and cyber experts from the private sector to talk candidly about urgent cyber threats and actions that DHS is taking to address them. It was an intimate event, hosted by Atlantic Council President Fred Kempe and ...

The Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy and International Security released a statement Wednesday night from General Michael Hayden and his wife, Jeanine at a SPY Museum event at the Ritz Carlton honoring Admiral William McRaven. “Thank you to all who have offered prayers or sent well wishes for ...

BOOK REVIEW:  Red War  (A Mitch Rapp Novel Book 15) by (the late) Vince Flynn and Kyle Mills Reviewed by Robert Richer First of all, I need to highlight that I was a personal friend of the late Vince Flynn, and assisted him as he developed the characters of the ...

Cipher Brief readers are wishing General Michael V. Hayden, a speedy recovery after the former CIA and NSA director suffered a stroke last week. Hayden, who is a member of The Cipher Brief's board of directors, suffered the stroke at home just before Thanksgiving.  According to a statement from the Michael ...

BOOK REVIEW: Dawn of The Code War: Americas Battle Against Russia, China, and the Rising Global Cyber Threat By: John P. Carlin with Garrett M. Graff, Public Affairs, New York, 2018 Reviewed by Peter M. Tran In 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote in a letter that “Our new Constitution is now established, and ...

THE SPY WHO WAS LEFT BEHIND by Michael Pullara, Scribner, New York, 2018 Reviewed by Joseph Augustyn There are currently 129 stars carved into the white Alabama marble wall in the lobby of CIA Headquarters, each star representing a CIA employee who died in service to their country.  One of ...

The National Space Council heard testimony, and then voted this week to move forward with six recommendations that are intended to provide some lift for President Trump’s call to create a U.S. Space Force.  While there has been a cautious sense of how to move ahead with the idea among ...

OPINION -- While President Trump’s claimed $110 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia remains “fake,” and shouldn’t be even considered “news,” there are deliveries of past sales in the pipeline to the Saudis that should be held up in response to the murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi. ...

As Turkish officials continue to release details that draw a gruesome picture of the apparent murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the level of information they say they have collected suggests a robust espionage capability against the Saudis in Turkey. While the rightful diplomatic question of how the United ...

Cipher Brief CEO & Publisher Suzanne Kelly sat down with Cipher Brief Expert and retired four-star General Stanley McChrystal at the NYSE in New York this week to talk about his new book, Leaders: Myth and Reality.  The Cipher Brief will release that full, fascinating interview next week, but we ...

‘The Homeland’ is bringing you a series of candid, intimate interviews with former Secretaries of the Department of Homeland Security throughout the month of October.  DHS was born out of 9/11, when 23 different agencies were pulled into one department in an effort to provide greater organization and communication in ...

Bill Evanina is the Director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) - a part of the U.S. Intelligence Community that leads and supports the government’s counterintelligence and security efforts.    The NCSC tackles that mission in a number of ways, but a large part of their task is ...

The Homeland is bringing you a series of candid, intimate interviews with former Secretaries of the Department of Homeland Security throughout October.  DHS was born out of 9/11, when 23 different agencies were pulled into one department in an effort to provide greater oversight and communication to help better address ...

While much of the focus on North Korea has been on efforts by the U.S. to negotiate a denuclearization deal, the cyber threat posed by Pyongyang remains a real threat, just out of view of the headlines. Bottom Line: The Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) foreign doctrine in cyberspace is ...

Long before 'The Best of Enemies' was published (on sale today), movie producer Ron Howard and Imagine Entertainment optioned the book with an eye toward making a motion picture from the tale.  It's not hard to see why.  'The Best of Enemies' has all the elements that Hollywood loves.  To ...

Bottom Line Up Front: Islamabad has invited Saudi Arabia to join China as a partner in Beijing’s extensive infrastructure initiative throughout Pakistan. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project is a $60 billion investment by Beijing aimed to bolster trade and create a land bridge through Pakistan for Chinese goods and ...

Bottom Line Up Front: The increasing odds of a ‘no deal’ Brexit in 2019 portends serious negative consequences for both the United Kingdom and the European Union. The UK’s National Police Chiefs’ Council warned that ‘existing EU tools allow us to respond quickly and intelligently to crime and terrorism in ...

The Department of Homeland Security's Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) was borne from the idea that there were real gaps in seeing threat patterns inside the United States, and that the focused law enforcement work of the FBI and others was coming up short on traditional strategic trend analysis ...

Cipher Brief Expert and former senior national security officer for the Australian Government, Alasdair Gordon, weighs on on the risks of the U.S. not placing more focus on the growing terrorist threat in Indonesia. Recent terrorist incidents in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world, with a population of ...

'The Homeland' is part of a dedicated series of Cipher Brief columns focused on examining the full range of threats to U.S. national security. The United States is reawakening to the Russia threat. Indeed, it would be hard to sleep through Vladimir Putin’s brazen tactics. Although American media has shined ...

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Neilsen, along with several of her Department of Homeland Security senior leaders held a conference in New York this week, sending a clear statement that cyber is a national security issue that impacts all of us, and highlighting the real impact of issues like software ...

The United States inherently boasts a creative, risk-taking culture that is inextricably linked to its free enterprise system. And while the federal government has a critical role to play in creating an environment for innovation that advances the common good, it is imperative that private companies, not government bureaucracies, are ...