Bottom Line Up Front On November 6, the United Nations stated it had found over 200 mass graves in Iraq in areas once held by the Islamic State. The UN assessment of at least 12,000 people buried in these mass graves is likely an underestimate of the murders committed ...

Leslie Ireland is the former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Intelligence and Analysis. She joined Treasury in 2010 after 25 years at CIA where she specialized in Iran, the Middle East and WMD. Prior to joining the Treasury Department, from 2008-2010 Ms. Ireland served as daily intelligence briefer to ...

The war in Yemen has been for some time one of the worst current man-made humanitarian disasters.  Now, comes a report, from the United Nations Human Rights Council and based on extensive investigations of a group of experts examining the past four years of the war, documenting not only human suffering ...

The Trump administration is hinting it will soon follow through with threats to curtail foreign aid to countries that don’t vote with Washington at the United Nations. The irony is, more and more countries are voting with the U.S., at record rates, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping the ...

President Donald Trump delivered his address this week at the United Nations General Assembly with a focus on the importance of sovereignty and the threats posed by rogue regimes he called “the scourge of our planet.” The president used his time at the podium to threaten that the United States ...

President Donald Trump used his debut address at the United Nations General Assembly to threaten that the United States would have “no choice but to totally destroy” North Korea if forced to defend itself or its allies and to criticize the Iran nuclear deal as an “embarrassment” to the U.S. ...

No consensus report resulted from the yearlong negotiations of the 5th United Nations Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on the Developments in the Field of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs). As the meeting drew to a close in June, the 25 government officials ended their work with a disappointing acknowledgement ...

Unsurprisingly, the fifth UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) ran into difficulties that proved fatal. Previous GGEs operated in a more favorable international climate. The substance of the GGE’s work peaked with its 2013 Report and by the end of the 2015 session, it was clear that the GGE format ...

North Korea took a significant step forward in its missile program this week with a successful test launch of what is believed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).  This technical milestone highlights the questions surrounding potential military or diplomatic responses to North Korea, given the threat any kind of ...

The technology sector continues to disrupt and remake scores of industries, from brick and mortar retail, to medicine, transportation, operations management, and financial services. Government is behind the curve in recognizing how fundamentally major technology companies are altering the balance of power between the public and private sectors. Recognizing and ...

“The United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord,” President Donald Trump announced Thursday afternoon, keeping a promise he made on the campaign trail. The U.S. will renegotiate the deal or work on creating an entirely new deal on “terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, ...

The Trump Administration plans to cut the U.S. contribution to United Nations peacekeeping by $1 billion, from its current level of $2.2 billion, as part of a broader effort by the White House to make other nations contribute their fair share in supporting what it considers bloated international institutions. The ...

The effectiveness of UN peacekeeping is inherently difficult to measure. With the Trump Administration proposing cuts to foreign aid that would impact UN peacekeeping missions, The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder asked Peter Yeo, President of the Better World Campaign and Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy at the United ...

UN peacekeeping is rarely headline news, but when the Trump Administration announced in March that it was seeking to make cuts of $1 billion in funding for UN peacekeeping, the announcement attracted wide attention. The United States has agreed to contribute $2.2 billion toward the cost of UN peacekeeping activities ...

The Cipher Brief’s Bennett Seftel sat down with Mohamed Eljarh, former political consultant to the Libyan Mission to the European Union, to discuss the ongoing conflict in Libya, the current terrorist threat in the country, and prospects for peace. The Cipher Brief: What is the current state of political affairs ...

To put it mildly, circumstances on the ground in Libya are complicated. Mired in a state of conflict since former head of state Muammar Gaddafi was forced from power in 2011, Libya has become a battleground where several factions and militias have been jockeying for political and military control throughout ...

That Libya is a mess is beyond doubt, but who is actually trying to resolve the conflict is a harder question to answer. U.S. President Donald Trump recently said that he sees no role for the U.S. in Libya and there seems to be no urgency to appoint a new ...

The Trump Administration budget includes deep cuts to some U.S. agencies, including the State Department and Environmental Protection Agency, as well as U.S.  foreign aid. The cut includes the U.S. contribution to the United Nations, which accounts for 28 percent of the UN budget. The Cipher Brief spoke with former ...

The Trump Administration has proposed a 28 percent cut to State Department funding and other international programs in order to help pay for an increase of $54 billion to military spending next year. The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder spoke with J. J. Messner, the Executive Director of the Fund for ...

The United Nations is at an inflection point, with a new Secretary General, growing disbelief in multilateral institutions among members of the international community, and wavering U.S. support for the organization under the new Trump administration. A top concern right now is whether the White House will cut funding to ...

From the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union in 2015, to the protectionist rhetoric of U.S. President Donald Trump, the concepts of multilateralism and liberal internationalism appear increasingly under threat. The United Nations is perhaps the most visible symbol of these values, and despite its successes, its failures ...

The United Nations is at an important point in history, where growing skepticism of multilateral institutions and the current liberal international order led by the United States threatens to derail organizations like the UN. The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder spoke with James Cockayne, the head of the New York office ...