United States

May 25, 2017
On May 9, Moon Jae-in was elected as the new President of South Korea after six months of political turmoil and a power vacuum caused by Park Geun-hye’s impeachment scandal.
May 25, 2017
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, after last year’s U.S.
May 23, 2017
When it comes to Russia, is President Trump following his own guideline, America First, and if not, why?
May 19, 2017
Scrutiny over President Donald Trump’s relationship with Russia heightened this week as former FBI Director Robert Mueller was selected as special counsel to lead the inquiry into Russian influence on last year’s presidential election.
May 17, 2017
The effectiveness of UN peacekeeping is inherently difficult to measure.
May 17, 2017
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.
May 17, 2017
The Trump Administration plans to cut the U.S.
May 16, 2017
North Korea’s successful launch of the road-mobile intermediate range Hwasong-12 missile on Sunday yet again demonstrated the Kim Jong-un regime’s perseverance and improving technical acumen in developing ballistic missiles that can carry nuclear warheads.
May 16, 2017
President Trump’s first trip overseas beginning Friday will test his ability to stay on script, limit impulsive, off-hand, public remarks, and stop controversial tweeting, all of which have caused him trouble here at home and abroad.
May 16, 2017
Imagine the middle of nowhere Alaska. Got that in your head? Great. Now drive 2½  hours further into nowhere and you have arrived at Fort Greeley. I visited in the fall of 2015. It was cold out there—a wet, bitter cold.  It’s also slightly eerie.
May 16, 2017
For decades, North Korea’s continued advancements in ballistic missile technology has sustained U.S. interest in missile defense that can protect the U.S. homeland from nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles.
May 10, 2017
FBI Director James Comey’s firing is likely to have massive implications for the image of the United States around the world – particularly if, as former National Counterterrorism Center Director Mike Leiter suggests, a special prosecutor is appointed to oversee the investigation of Russian i
May 10, 2017
As FBI Director, James Comey was not only a pivotal member of the Intelligence Community (IC), but the head of an organization investigating whether Russia interfered in last year’s U.S. elections.
May 10, 2017
As the White House sent shockwaves through Washington Tuesday, with the announcement that President Donald Trump had fired FBI Director James Comey, James Clapper –  former Director of National Intelligence and The Cipher Brief network expert— said it was “a huge loss for the nation, the FBI, and
May 9, 2017
The role of U.S. special operations forces (SOF) in the Middle East has expanded steadily since the inception of the counter-ISIS campaign in 2014.
May 9, 2017
U.S. special operations forces are widely considered to be some of the most highly trained and effective military units in the world and, as a result, they have played a critical role in America’s wars. Nowhere is that truer than in the Middle East and North Africa, where the U.S.
May 9, 2017
Despite former President Barack Obama’s efforts to cut U.S. military commitments in the Middle East, events quickly drew his Administration back into the region.
May 7, 2017
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the State Department staff
May 5, 2017
The administration of President Donald Trump has thrown key tenets of U.S foreign policy into question. After campaigning on a platform that skewered global free trade deals, called for economically nationalist policies, and questioned the U.S.
April 28, 2017
It might be a “ridiculous standard,” as President Donald Trump put it, but presidents are measured by their first 100 days in office. In fact, even Trump has bought into it.
April 28, 2017
The apparent shift by the Trump Administration towards more traditional foreign policy has been welcomed by many inside, and more outside, of the U.S., as the global security system depends on a strong American role.
April 28, 2017
When Yitzhak Rabin met with President Gerald Ford on his first visit to Washington as Israel’s Prime Minister in 1974, he sought to cash in on Ford’s earlier promise to him that he would move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem if he ever became president.
April 28, 2017
As we approach President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in the White House, it remains difficult to discern U.S.
April 27, 2017
In February, reports emerged that the administration of President Donald Trump was considering rebranding the Obama-era Countering Violent Extremism program to “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism.” This idea quickly sparked a public backlash from rights groups and Democratic congressional r
April 27, 2017
When President Barack Obama nominated Michele Flournoy to be Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, she became the highest-ranking woman in the Pentagon’s history.  She was rumored to be Hillary Clinton’s pick for Secretary of Defense.
April 27, 2017
U.S. counterterrorism efforts have achieved their fair share of successes – killing terrorist leaders with drone strikes and commando raids, keeping terrorist cells on the run so they can’t plot future attacks, and destroying militants’ underground bases and infrastructure.
April 27, 2017
The Cipher Brief’s Bennett Seftel spoke with Michael Leiter, former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, about U.S. government efforts to counter violent extremism.
April 25, 2017
After weeks of uncertainty regarding its mission, the American aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson finally arrived in waters off the Korean Peninsula and began joint military exercises with Japan Sunday.
April 25, 2017
Some planners advocate building smaller carriers that could employ many U.S. Navy supercarriers’ capabilities at less cost.
April 25, 2017
As I write, the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson is steaming toward the Korean Peninsula—finally. It does so at a time—as happens about once or twice per decade—when some in the policy world are questioning once again the efficacy of large-deck, nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.
April 20, 2017
The Cipher Brief’s Bennett Seftel sat down with Charlie Allen, former Under Secretary for Security and Analysis at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, to discuss the continued threat that individuals who become radicalized pose to U.S. security.
April 20, 2017
The process of radicalization, by which disaffected members of society are convinced to embrace violent means to pursue the goals of a terrorist ideology, has been intensely studied since the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
April 20, 2017
Over the last two decades, the U.S. government, Intelligence Community, and law enforcement apparatus have worked tirelessly to ensure that a repeat of 9/11 does not occur on U.S. soil. Through such efforts, the U.S.
April 16, 2017
It is probably not a bad thing that U.S. President Donald Trump recently dispatched Jared Kusher, his son-in-law and his Administration’s jack-of-all-issues, to Iraq.
April 13, 2017
Now that President Donald Trump has demonstrated his willingness to get tough with a regional bad actor by using a cruise missile attack to punish the Assad regime and try to deter it from any future uses of chemical weapons, similar deterrent actions against challenging Iranian behavior seem mor
April 13, 2017
The presidency of Donald Trump has had a rocky start, punctuated by embarrassing personnel shakeups, sloppy messaging, and major policy changes.
April 13, 2017
The United States has been the standard-bearer for free trade, multilateralism, and globalization since the end of World War II.
April 13, 2017
Since taking office in January, President Donald Trump has backed up the protectionist – and even isolationist – rhetoric of his campaign with concrete action.
April 11, 2017
In his first summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping offered his counterpart a Chinese calligraphy scroll with the aphorism “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
April 11, 2017
In their first summit, Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping needed to demonstrate their leadership and authority to their respective publics. President Trump needed to show he was in charge and restore momentum after a major legislative defeat over health care reform.
April 11, 2017
At 8:40PM EDT last Thursday, as the two were wrapping up a ceremonial dinner with their families, President Donald Trump informed President Xi Jinping that the United States was concluding a cruise missile strike against a Syrian airfield involved in a chemical weapons attack against rebels earli
April 7, 2017
After the United States launched airstrikes against a Syrian airfield late Thursday night, The Cipher Brief reached out to Rob Richer, the former Associate Deputy Director of Operations at the Central Intelligence Agency and Cipher Brief Network Expert, to discuss the message the Trump Admini
April 7, 2017
The United States launched a missile strike on a Syrian air base early Friday morning, local time, in response to this week’s deadly chemical weapons attack in Idlib province. The strike marked U.S.
April 5, 2017
Since at least the 1979 Iranian revolution, intelligence and national security analysts have been working hard to identify the causal factors that lead to political instability. Working hard and yet struggling.
April 2, 2017
Even by the standards of the Trump Administration’s generally rocky start, the State Department has fared badly in media reporting and insider commentary.
March 31, 2017
The diversity and scope of national security challenges facing the U.S. continues to grow, asking ever more of an Intelligence Community (IC) that must stretch its resources to meet these demands.
March 31, 2017
Though the battle to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Mosul is slowly reaching its denouement, the campaign to take the jihadists’ Syrian stronghold of Raqqa has not experienced similar success.
March 29, 2017
The elites still don’t get it.

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