With Britain leaving the EU, concerns about U.S. President Donald Trump's commitment to Europe, and an increasingly aggressive Russia, Europeans – especially the French and Germans – are bolstering their own defenses. The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder talked with Jeffrey Rathke, Deputy Director of the Europe Program at the Center ...

With Britain leaving the EU, concern from Europeans about U.S. President Donald Trump's commitment to Europe, and an increasingly aggressive Russia, Europeans are looking to bolster their own defenses. France and Germany are the two countries most equipped to lead Europe in the defense and security sphere, and have been ...

Germany is emerging as a major defense player in Europe. With the UK leaving the EU, Germany and France are now leading Europe’s efforts to secure the continent. The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder talked with Stephen Szabo, a senior fellow at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, about Franco-German ...

  Relations between Turkey and the European Union – already fraught – have deteriorated swiftly over the last few months. In June, the refusal of Turkish officials to allow German parliamentarians to visit their troops stationed at the Incirlik air base in southeastern Turkey, who are part of the fight ...

Turkey’s relations with the EU and place within NATO have come under increased scrutiny over the past year, especially during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's campaign to win a constitutional referendum this April, which many saw as a power grab. Now, a row over the access of German parliamentarians to ...

In the run up to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's campaign to win a constitutional referendum this April, rhetorical vitriol between Turkey and EU countries reached historic highs, including accusations that Dutch and German politicians were “Nazi remnants.”. Now, a row over the access of German parliamentarians to Turkey's critical ...

The recently agreed framework for a Europe-Japan free trade agreement could not provide a clearer indication as to the changing of the guard in terms of free trade leadership. At a time when the United States is following an America-First trade policy, it is Germany and Japan that are now ...

In keeping with his America First agenda, President Donald Trump is pushing ahead with the promised new direction in U.S. trade and international economic policy. On July 17, the Trump Administration released a 17-page guideline outlining its ambitious goals for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), top officials ...

Russia has increased its meddling in European countries outside the former Soviet bloc recently. Moscow’s support for populist parties – including France’s National Front, Italy’s Five Star Movement, and Britain’s UK Independence Party – has shown tangible results. During the French presidential election this year, for example, centrist candidate – ...

Russia interfered in France’s recent presidential elections, supporting far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, and is likely to meddle in Germany’s upcoming federal elections in September. Beyond these countries, there is speculation that Russia has close ties with the far-right UK Independence Party (UKIP) and also maintains ties with some of ...

The President of the United States Donald Trump visited Warsaw, the capital of Poland, on Thursday, the president’s first trip to the Central-Eastern Europe (CEE) since his inauguration. The visit took place on the eve of the G20 summit. Choosing Poland as his first stop was not a coincidence and ...

French President Emmanuel Macron clinched a major win in the country’s recent parliamentary elections, and as Germany looks toward federal elections in September, Chancellor Angela Merkel has a good shot at being reelected for a fourth term. With Britain leaving the European Union and the U.S. somewhat disengaging from the ...

With Britain leaving the European Union, a surge in support for populist and anti-EU parties across the continent, and an uncertain United States that seems to be pulling away from Europe, France and Germany – under centrist French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel – look increasingly like ...

Will French President Emmanuel Macron be able to work with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to restore a fracturing European Union to a position of strength? The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder talked with Steven Kramer, a former policy advisor to the U.S. State Department from 1996 to 2002; Kramer said the ...

British Prime Minister Theresa May had hoped to have an ironclad majority in parliament that would bolster her negotiating position in upcoming Brexit talks. That hope was dashed by the results of last Thursday’s elections, during which the Conservatives lost 13 seats, along with their parliamentary majority. This upset has ...

British Prime Minister Theresa May and her Conservative Party’s upset electoral loss on Thursday has thrown British politics into chaos and called May’s survival as prime minister into question. However, May is reportedly still planning to begin Article 50 exit negotiations from the EU on June 19. As the realities ...

After British snap elections held this Thursday, attention will now turn back to negotiations between the EU and the UK to determine the terms under which Britain will leave the European Union. Headline issues include the so-called "exit fee" that London is being asked to pay Brussels, as well as ...

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party surprisingly lost a dozen seats in the House of Commons, the lower house of Parliament, in snap elections on Thursday. This calls into question Brexit negotiations and the UK’s future defense and security relationship with the European Union, as well as its internal ...

U.S. President Donald Trump shook the post-war foundation of German foreign policy: its integration into the European Union (EU) and NATO. By questioning Pax Americana and trying to divide and conquer Europe, Trump has been forcing European – and particularly German – leaders to stand up for their vital interests. ...

Intelligence cooperation within Europe can get messy. There are national intelligence units, European Union (EU) intel structures, and ones within NATO. How all of these different institutions coordinate and share information is vital to securing the continent and has been of heightened focus with the wave of terror attacks in ...

There has been talk for decades of creating an overarching intelligence structure that works to keep the continent secure, but it has taken on new urgency with the recent increase in terror attacks in Europe.   However, doing so is easier said than done. In fact, there are legal impediments to ...

A spike in terrorist attacks in Europe over the past couple of years has reignited the debate over how to improve European intelligence collection and sharing. The ISIS-claimed terror shooting in Paris last week, which left one police officer dead and at least two others wounded, is just the latest ...

The two remaining candidates in the French presidential race, independent centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen, offer voters stark, opposing choices for the future of their country, as well as its security and defense. Macron, who ran on a pro-Europe platform, topped Sunday’s first round vote, followed ...

Round one of the French presidential elections, on April 23, looks as if it’s going to set up a battle of non-traditional parties. Polls predict Emmanuel Macron, the centrist candidate who recently created his own party, versus Marine Le Pen, leader of the far right National Front party. Now, some ...

As the French presidential election gets underway, the candidates positions toward the EU, Washington, and Moscow vary significantly. Depending on who comes out on top, relations with these different power centers could change. The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder spoke with Charles Kupchan, former special assistant to the president and senior ...

France’s upcoming presidential election is perhaps the most important in the nearly 60-year history of the Fifth Republic. The election’s first round on Sunday comes at a time of an increasingly divided France, stemming from years of corrupt politicians, economic malaise, high unemployment, and terror. France has been in a ...

Africa faces a number of security challenges, from terrorist groups such as Boko Haram and al Shabaab, to civil wars and violent conflicts in South Sudan and Libya, to severe droughts causing hunger crises in Somalia and Yemen. This instability contributes to migration from Africa to Europe. In addition, a ...

Recent heavy migration from Africa to Europe has renewed the European Union’s focus on maintaining stability and contributing to the economic development of its southern neighbor in an effort to stem the migrant flows. Asmita Parshotam, a researcher under the Economic Diplomacy Programme at the South African Institute of International ...

The security of the Sahel is crucial for the European Union. The Sahel region of Africa is plagued by poor governance, extreme poverty, frequent famine and drought, and a burgeoning youthful demography. All these factors, among others, have contributed to a spiraling irregular migration, Islamist extremism, and transnational organized crime. ...

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been vocal about her desire to call a second referendum on Scotland’s independence from the United Kingdom. The devolved government of Northern Ireland, on the other hand, was relatively quiet until earlier this month, when nationalist party Sinn Fein called for an independence referendum ...

British Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon today (March 29), formally notifying the European Union of the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the bloc and embarking on two years of negotiations with the other 27 EU members. “This is an historic moment from ...

British Prime Minister Theresa May trigger of Article 50 of the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty, formally launches two years of negotiations that will determine the future of EU-UK relations after the United Kingdom has left the bloc. However, as talks approach, May faces a divided country at home. Last Tuesday, ...

Relations between Turkey and Europe have been tense for decades. Turkey first applied to the European Economic Community – the European Union’s precursor – in 1987. Turkey has been an associate member since 1963, but the EU still has not offered it full membership, despite the country’s membership in NATO ...

Turkey’s damaging crisis with Europe is self-generated in large part – a tactic sometimes used by Ankara to create a problem and then hold the other party responsible. Acting the victim also deflects domestic attention from the government’s own accountability and justifies revenge. Turkey is stirring a crisis with the ...

Relations between Europe and Turkey are tense. In the past weeks, Turkey has called the Netherlands “the capital of fascism” and accused Germany of “fascist actions” reminiscent of the Nazi period, after Germany cancelled political rallies aimed at gathering support for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his referendum on ...

Europe faced a wave of ISIS-inspired terrorist attacks last year, from Brussels to Nice to Berlin. As ISIS-occupied territories in Iraq and Syria continue to shrink under the bombardment of U.S. and coalition forces, former CIA Acting Director John McLaughlin told The Cipher Brief, “I would anticipate the greatest post-caliphate ...

A bubble burst, consumers cut spending, and investment plummeted. Unemployment soared to astronomical levels, banks failed, and U.S. GDP declined. Europe and the rest of the world were hit by the spillover from America’s economic woes. This is the world former U.S. President Herbert Hoover had to navigate in 1929, ...

The pound rallied and Brexiteers cheered after British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday outlined her plans for a “hard” UK exit from the European Union. This means the possibility the United Kingdom might stay in the single EU market is officially off the table – although this may not ...

President-elect Donald Trump will inherit a close defense alliance with Poland when he enters the White House later this month. America is getting ready to deploy additional troops to Poland. An armored brigade combat team from Fort Carson, Colorado will be based in western Poland soon. By April, a U.S. ...

From Constitutional Court reforms that make the judiciary less independent of political power to restrictions on journalists to suppressing of the opposition, Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party is causing a commotion within the European Union (EU). European authorities consistently make their displeasure with the Polish government actions known, ...

Poland’s democratic institutions are under pressure from the ruling right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS). PiS efforts to control the judiciary and media risk alienating its Western allies, which it relies on for defense and national security. The Cipher Brief spoke with Piotr Buras, Head of the European Council on ...

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 ...

Editor’s Note: Over the coming days, The Cipher Brief presents some of our most incisive coverage on key issues of 2016 and a look ahead at what is yet to come in 2017. The tumultuous nature of 2016 hit Europe especially hard. Wars in the Middle East became a refugee ...

A comparison with the 1848 domino-like revolutions that spread across Europe is a bit of a stretch, but far-right populism is definitely on a roll, throwing the whole European project in doubt. Will it continue is the big question in 2017.  A victory by French far-right leader Marine Le Pen ...

Editor’s Note: Over the coming days, The Cipher Brief presents some of our most incisive coverage on key issues of 2016 and a look ahead at what is yet to come in 2017. 2016 has been a year of fundamental change for Turkey. In Syria, the threat of ISIS and ...

The European Union remains strong, despite the British vote to leave the organization and Sunday’s Italian vote to reject constitutional changes backed by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, the EU envoy to the United States told the Cipher Brief on Wednesday. In addition, EU Ambassador David O’Sullivan expressed optimism about the ...

Italians called to confirm or reject Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s constitutional reform on December 4 may be under the impression that they are participating in a plebiscite on the popularity of their young, bold, over-confident leader. To be sure, an unnecessarily heated, confused and ultimately misleading electoral campaign has spread ...

On Sunday, Italians definitively voted “No” to a constitutional referendum supported by the country’s Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi. After the vote, in which nearly 60 percent of 33 million voters rejected the bill, Prime Minister Renzi said that he would fulfill the promise he made earlier this year to resign ...

Italians head to the polls on Sunday, December 4, to approve or reject a series of constitutional reforms, which will redirect policy competence from the regions to the state, transform the Senate into a council of regions, and concentrate power in the Chamber of Deputies and the national government. Italian ...

On December 4, Italians will vote on a far-ranging constitutional referendum, which promises to completely change the way that Italy's political institutions operate. Proponents of the referendum, led by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, claim that a “Yes” vote is necessary to streamline Italy’s creaking parliamentary system and allow vital reforms ...