Amid Dire Warnings About Russia, Europe Has A Troop Problem
The Cipher Brief
by Ethan Masucol
3d ago
SUBSCRIBER+EXCLUSIVE REPORTING — When France’s President Emmanuel Macron warned that Europe might have to send troops to Ukraine to stop Russia from advancing elsewhere in Europe, it was only the most extreme in a series of warnings that Russian President Vladimir Putin won’t stop at Ukraine – and that Poland, the Baltic states and other parts of the continent must prepare for Russian aggression. But in many European nations, where military recruitment lags and armies are a fraction of their Cold War size, experts and defense officials worry that military preparedness hasn’t matched the level ..read more
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After $130 Billion in U.S. Aid, Why Israel Can ‘Stand Alone’
The Cipher Brief
by Ethan Masucol
4d ago
SUBSCRIBER+EXCLUSIVE REPORTING — “If we need to stand alone, we will stand alone,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week, in response to President Joe Biden’s warning that the U.S. would not provide arms for a major military operation in Rafah. “I have said that if necessary, we will fight with our fingernails,” Netanyahu said. “But we have much more than fingernails.”    So much more than fingernails.   “The Cipher Brief has become the most popular outlet for former intelligence officers; no media outlet is even a close second to The Cipher Brief ..read more
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Former Top NATO Commander Warns of “Drone Swarm” Threat
The Cipher Brief
by Ethan Masucol
6d ago
SUBSCRIBER+EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW — While the use of lethal drones is escalating in Ukraine, Russia, the Middle East and elsewhere, the global proliferation of the technology and advances in artificial intelligence have raised concerns about the threat posed by so-called autonomous weapons – drones that destroy targets with limited human intervention, relying on algorithms and onboard sensors.    As human control or oversight is reduced, fundamental questions arise: Can these autonomous systems be trusted to make spur-of-the-moment judgments, differentiate between friend and foe ..read more
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South China Sea Flareups Raise Fears of Wider Conflict
The Cipher Brief
by Tom Nagorski
1w ago
SUBSCRIBER+ EXCLUSIVE REPORTING — The South China Sea is boiling again.   This month, the Philippines  accused  China’s coast guard of deploying water cannons and ramming maneuvers against Philippine vessels near the disputed Scarborough Shoal. The incident followed multiple  near collisions  and  accusations  of military interference and intimidation between the two countries in the South China Sea, all of which have sparked fresh fears of conflict in one the world’s most vital waterways.  “The Cipher Brief has become the most popular outlet for former intelligence officers ..read more
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Will American ATACMS Help Ukraine Win the War?
The Cipher Brief
by Tom Nagorski
1w ago
SUBSCRIBER+ EXCLUSIVE REPORTING — In late March, hunkered in his sandbag-lined compound with visiting Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pleaded for Congress to pass the long-promised $60 billion Ukrainian military aid package. While the bill included a broad range of weapons, Zelensky had one particular item on his mind. “ATACM-300s, that is the answer,” Zelensky said. “The Cipher Brief has become the most popular outlet for former intelligence officers; no media outlet is even a close second to The Cipher Brief in terms of the number of articl ..read more
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Cybersecurity Official: Many Water Facilities Still Unaware of Threat – and Unprepared
The Cipher Brief
by Tom Nagorski
1w ago
SUBSCRIBER+ EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW — Last week The Cipher Brief published a look at the threat to the nation’s water supply posed by cyberattacks – an issue brought to the fore by a series of recent hacks against local water facilities in different parts of the U.S. While the attacks have caused limited damage, Cipher Brief experts warned that some of the perpetrators – particularly those tied to nation states including Russia, China and Iran – are probing local water systems for weakness, with the likely aim of gaining a cyber-foothold should they wish to carry out more damaging attacks in ..read more
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Raising Awareness of Cyber Threats – With Some Help From Hollywood
The Cipher Brief
by Ethan Masucol
2w ago
SUBSCRIBER+EXCLUSIVE ANALYSIS — While top cybersecurity officials sound the alarm over intrusions by Russia, China and individual hackers into U.S. critical infrastructure, they’ve noticed another problem: It’s hard to get ordinary Americans to pay attention. With so many other things to worry about in terms of global news and information (not to mention disinformation), it’s an understandable concern. And when it comes to cybersecurity, getting the public to listen isn’t just a public service; it’s a necessity. That’s because a citizenry that ignores this particular problem will make fightin ..read more
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Former Afghan Intelligence Chief Sees “Jihadist Utopia” Since U.S. Withdrawal
The Cipher Brief
by Ethan Masucol
2w ago
SUBSCRIBER+EXCLUSIVE REPORTING — The last Afghan head of intelligence before the 2021 Taliban takeover of Afghanistan believes terrorist groups have regained a foothold in the country, and that conditions there are ripe for what he called a jihadist “utopia.” In an interview with The Cipher Brief, Ahmad Zia Saraj said the world needed “a wakeup call,” given that more than a dozen regional Islamist terrorist groups have reconstituted operations in Afghanistan since the 2021 U.S. withdrawal and return of Taliban rule. Saraj said the groups had taken advantage of implicit support from the Taliba ..read more
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Is Made-in-Ukraine the Answer to Russia’s War Machine?
The Cipher Brief
by Ethan Masucol
2w ago
SUBSCRIBER+EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW — Russia’s relentless assault on Ukraine has forced a revival of Ukraine’s domestic defense industry. Ukraine tripled defense production in 2023, the first full year of weapons manufacturing following Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022.  While Ukraine cannot counter Russia’s invasion without international support, its local production of military equipment has been critical, particularly given delays in the delivery of Western military aid.  Ukraine’s greatest achievement in this sector has involved drone weapons; the country is now producing 90 ..read more
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A Russia-China Show of Force in the Arctic
The Cipher Brief
by Tom Nagorski
2w ago
SUBSCRIBER+ EXCLUSIVE REPORTING — As Russia and China put on a show of force in the Arctic, security officials are voicing concerns over NATO’s readiness to counter the threat. “While still less than during the Cold War, increased Russian military activity and modernized capabilities in the Arctic have shifted the balance of power,” Walter Berbrick, a military analyst and former Senior Arctic Policy Adviser to the Secretary of the Navy, told The Cipher Brief. “Unlike during the Cold War, however, Russia is a different and increasingly more unpredictable actor now.” “The Cipher Brief has bec ..read more
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