OPINION -- Last Wednesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci used the metaphor, “the cavalry is on the way,” referring to two COVID-19 vaccines that are expected to be approved for initial distribution next month, with one additional vaccine still in the testing phase. It’s an apt metaphor for distribution because leading that ...

BOOK REVIEW: Law and Leviathan: Redeeming the Administrative State by Cass R. Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule / Belknap Press Reviewed by Terence Check Terence Check is an attorney in the federal government, and works on data privacy, biometrics, counterterrorism, criminal law, cybersecurity, information-sharing and technology-related matters. All opinions and statements are his own. ...

Eldad Shavit, Sr. Researcher, INSS Eldad Shavit is a senior researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) and previously served in senior roles in Israeli Defense Intelligence and the Prime Minister’s Office. Dr. Raz Zimmt, Research Fellow, INSS Dr. Raz Zimmt is a research fellow at the Institute ...

Philip Reitinger is the President and CEO of the Global Cyber Alliance. You can follow him on Twitter @CarpeDiemCyber OPINION -- “Black Tuesday” for cybersecurity came on November 17, when the President of the United States fired Chris Krebs, Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Mr. Krebs had the temerity to do ...

The Cipher Brief is an apolitical national security publisher. We are committed to presenting multiple opinions to help produce a more informed understanding of the issues. 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 ...

The Cipher Brief’s Academic Incubator program partners with colleges and Universities across the country to bring you the voices of the next generation of national security leaders.  Dalton Lin is assistant professor at Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology. His most recent work is "The Political ...

Cipher Brief Expert Ambassador Joseph R. DeTrani was the former Special Envoy for Negotiations with North Korea and Director of the National Counterproliferation Center.  He is also former director of East Asia Operations for CIA and served as the Associate Director of National Intelligence and Mission Manager for North Korea ...

OPINION – The military has become the U.S. institution in which the public has the most confidence, as measured by the latest Gallup Poll, which gave the military 72 percent followed by the Supreme Court at 42 and the Presidency at 39. Therefore, it was important last week that Joint ...

Akash "Aki" Jain is President of Palantir USG, Inc. where he focuses on Artificial Intelligence, USG Technical Engagement, Enterprise Data Management and Cloud Architecture. Private Sector Perspective -- Neil Armstrong’s small step for man in 1969 was a symbolic resolution to the Cold War’s most visible global security power struggle: ...

The Listening Post focuses on women in the national security space. This new column offers a collection of experienced national security insights, interviews, and profiles of women who are ushering in the new era of national security.  Lauren Zabierek is Executive Director of the Cyber Project at Harvard Kennedy School's ...

Cipher Brief Expert Nick Fishwick CMG retired in 2012 after nearly thirty years in the British Foreign Service. He did postings in Lagos, Istanbul and Kabul. His responsibilities in London included director of security and, after returning from Afghanistan in 2007, director for counterterrorism. His final role was as director ...

OPINION – President-elect Joe Biden’s national security transition team should be developing plans for extending the New START strategic nuclear arms treaty with Russia, but also preparing to undertake its own, wide-ranging, Nuclear Posture Review that rethinks the Trump administration’s aggressive nuclear weapons building program. First up must be the ...

The Cipher Brief is a non-political media outlet focused on publishing expert perspectives on national security issues. We are committed to presenting multiple opinions to help produce a more informed understanding of the issues.  John McLaughlin is the Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International ...

Among his first priorities, President-Elect Joe Biden is announcing a coronavirus task force and is expected to start work on an economic recovery plan this week as COVID-19 cases continue to climb in the US.  From a national security perspective, there are a number of other complicated global dynamics that ...

The Cipher Brief is a non-political media outlet focused on publishing expert perspectives on national security issues. We are committed to presenting multiple opinions to help produce a more informed understanding of the issues. Cipher Brief Expert Emile Nakhleh is a retired CIA Senior Intelligence Service Officer and founding director ...

The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) recently issued an advisory, reminding businesses that if they pay ransom to cyber hackers, they could be violating OFAC regulations.  At first glance, it puts businesses that are already in an incredibly difficult situation, in an even harder one. ...

The Cipher Brief's Private Sector column focuses on national security thought leadership in the private sector.   Andrew Razumovsky is Principal of CANDA Solutions, providing Risk Management, Enterprise Security, Cloud and Agile services to Fortune 1000 companies and Government agencies. OPINION -- Many in our society today recognize the threat to ...

The Cipher Brief recently published an article by expert Tim Willasey-Wilsey asking “Why would China not invade Taiwan now with expert insights from a range of national security experts like General Martin Dempsey, Admiral James Stavridis (Ret.), Ambassador Joseph DeTrani and author and Global Policy Program Director at the Johns ...

As the U.S. counts votes in the presidential election, The Cipher Brief is focusing on Taiwan and its near-term future amid a flurry of activity by both China and the U.S.  As China flaunts a more aggressive approach to reunification, the U.S. has honored its commitment to provide Taiwan with ...

Two years ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping made clear that he wanted China to make progress toward reunification with Taiwan.  This year, China has taken a more aggressive military stand toward Taiwan and has shown that it will not stop short of military pressure to move closer to its goal.  ...

As the U.S. decides on its next president, The Cipher Brief is focusing on increasing, and concerning tensions over Taiwan.  TCB's Brad Christian spoke with Ambassador Joseph DeTrani about increased U.S. military sales to Taiwan and what indicators might signal that China is confident enough to risk an invasion? Ambassador ...

As COVID-19 cases spike in the U.S., the FBI is warning about a new ransomware attack aimed at the U.S. Healthcare system.  In an alert issued on Wednesday, the government said cybercriminals have launched an attack that has already impacted at least five U.S. hospitals and has the potential to impact ...

Earlier this month, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued an advisory, reminding businesses that if they pay ransom to cyber hackers, they could be violating OFAC regulations.  At first glance, the advisory puts businesses that are already in an incredibly difficult situation, in an ...

ENERGY -- 2020 has taken a toll on the world’s energy market, but just how bad is it?  Experts say COVID-19, economic shutdowns and a disastrous oil price war this Spring have left the industry in a position to survive but warn that it will be different. The Cipher Brief ...

OPINION -- Last Wednesday, speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), STRATCOM Commander Admiral Charles A. Richard began with what he described as “a really profound thought,” which “really should grab your attention.” It got mine. He said, “Let me start with this assertion, that we have not seriously considered ...

BOOK REVIEW: Agent Sonya: Moscow’s Most Daring Wartime Spy by Ben Macintyre / Crown Reviewed by Dan Hoffman Cipher Brief Expert Dan Hoffman is a former CIA Chief of Station with 30 years of government service including high-level positions with the U.S. military, Department of State, and Department of Commerce. Hoffman’s ...

The Louisiana National Guard was recently tasked with stopping a string of cyberattacks aimed at infecting state government offices with malware that deploys ransomware, according to a Reuters report, citing two anonymous sources, prompting concerns over election interference. “Experts investigating the Louisiana incidents found a tool used by the hackers ...

Earlier this month, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued an advisory, reminding businesses that if they pay ransom to cyber hackers, they could be violating OFAC regulations.  At first glance, it puts businesses that are already in an incredibly difficult situation, in an even ...

OPINION – The United Nations’ decade-long embargo on the sale of arms to Iran expired on Sunday based on a provision in the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that was aimed at halting Tehran’s nuclear weapons program. So, what happens now? Tehran says it has no plans to ...

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recently hosted the AlphaDogfight Trials putting artificial intelligence technology from eight different organizations up against human pilots.  In the end, the winning AI, made by Heron Systems, faced off against a human F-16 pilot in a simulated dogfight with the AI system scoring ...

In the aftermath of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) recent AlphaDogfight Trials that saw AI defeat a human F-16 pilot in a simulated dogfight, we spoke with Cipher Brief Expert General Philip M. Breedlove (Ret.) about the future of AI in the cockpit.  Gen. Breedlove retired as NATO ...

The Cipher Brief’s Academic Incubator program partners with colleges and Universities across the country to bring you the voices of the next generation of national security leaders.  Christopher Loreck is a graduate of the International Relations Master’s Program at the American University School of International Service and is an alumnus ...

Cipher Brief Expert John E. McLaughlin is the Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) where he teaches a variety of courses and conducts research.  McLaughlin served as Acting Director of Central Intelligence from July to September 2004 and as Deputy Director of ...

The Cipher Brief’s Academic Incubator program partners with colleges and Universities across the country to bring you the voices of the next generation of national security leaders.  Rebecca Glaser is a doctoral student in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at Georgia Tech. During the 2019-2020 academic year, she ...

Thousands of people are virtually gathering this week as the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) kicks off its annual conference focused on the future mission. The pandemic has forced the event to go all-virtual for the first time this year and presenters are expected to discuss a number ...

OPINION -- President Trump and his team are trying to come up with at least one last minute foreign policy success before Election Day, just 21 days away. Trump himself, tried to create some good re-election news last Wednesday about Afghanistan when he tweeted, “We should have the small remaining ...

Cipher Brief Expert Tim Willasey-Wilsey is Visiting Professor of War Studies at King’s College, London and is a former senior member of the British Foreign Office. OPINION -- It was hardly a surprise, but it was shocking nonetheless. President Trump tweeted late last week; “We should have the small remaining ...

A CIPHER BRIEF THREAT CONFERENCE CONVERSATION -- The Cipher Brief Threat Conference brings together thought leaders and experts from the public and private sectors to address the world’s most pressing security issues, and every year for the past four years, the U.S.’ relationship with China has been at the top ...

The Cipher Brief’s Academic Incubator program partners with colleges and Universities across the country to highlight the next generation of national security leaders.   Ameen Karim is a first-year master’s student in the International Security Program at the Schar School of Policy and Government. His research focuses on U.S. foreign policy. ...

BOOK REVIEW:  America in the World: A History of U.S. Diplomacy and Foreign Policy by Robert B. Zoellick / Twelve Reviewed by Jason U. Manosevitz Jason U. Manosevitz is an officer in the Intelligence Community with 16 years of experience covering military and political issues in Asia and the Middle ...

OPINION -- Last Tuesday, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe promised, or maybe threatened, “Additional declassification and public disclosure of related intelligence remains under consideration.” That sentence was part of the same September 29, letter that he sent to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) that contained declassified, unverified, information about Russian ...

 A considerable amount of quiet, intense diplomacy is underway regarding conflict between Greece and Turkey over energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean.  US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited the region last week in a bid to keep escalating tensions between Athens and Ankara from boiling over.    Pompeo said ...

Cipher Brief Expert Nick Fishwick CMG retired in 2012 after nearly thirty years in the British Foreign Service. His work included postings in Lagos, Istanbul and Kabul. His responsibilities in London included director of security and, after returning from Afghanistan in 2007, he served as director for counterterrorism. His final ...

BOOK REVIEW:  Geospatial Intelligence: Origins and Evolution  by Robert Clark / Georgetown University Press Reviewed by Robert Cardillo Cipher Brief Expert Robert Cardillo served as the sixth Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). Prior to that assignment, Mr. Cardillo served as the first Deputy Director for Intelligence Integration, ODNI, ...

OPINION -- Last week, President Trump attempted to use the mistaken discarding of nine military ballots two weeks ago by a just-hired contractor at Pennsylvania’s Luzerne County Election Bureau as part of his months-long campaign claiming mail-in ballot fraud will rig the upcoming election. The Trump-Pence campaign on Friday used ...

We’ve all learned a lot this year.  The onset of the global pandemic sent many of us scrambling to find new ways to do things that would allow for social distancing.  For businesses, that meant employees working from home.  But the cyber world wasn’t necessarily ready for the shift, as ...

[Editors Note: Cipher Brief Senior Book Editor Bill Harlow recently had a conversation with author Chris Whipple about his new book: The Spymasters. A review of the book can be found here. In the book’s acknowledgments section, Whipple thanks Harlow for his assistance.  Harlow tell us that was mostly for ...

Cipher Brief Expert Robert Eatinger has 35 years of experience practicing law in the fields of national security, intelligence, and international law. He is a solo practitioner at Robert J. Eatinger, Jr., PLLC, practicing federal law with a national security and intelligence law focus and the founding Principal of SpyLaw Consulting, LLC. ...

OPINION -- The Navy is scheduled to begin construction next month on SSBN-826, to be named the USS Columbia, the first of 12 planned new, Columbia-class, strategic, ballistic missile submarines. The Navy’s top shipbuilding priority, the $110 billion-dollar, Columbia-class program will provide the major number of thermonuclear warheads for the ...

BOOK REVIEW:  The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations by Daniel Yergin Reviewed by Kristin Wood Cipher Brief Expert Kristin Wood is a former senior CIA officer, and is a Harvard Kennedy School Intelligence Project fellow focused on climate and national security. During her 20-year CIA career, ...