lunes, 3 de julio de 2017

Sunday, July 2, 2017

The United States is preparing to celebrate Independence Day as two key counterterrorism initiates take effect. The Department of Homeland Security unveiled new aviation security measures for all international commercial flights bound for the United States, and, according to Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, “this is just the starting point.” Meanwhile, on Thursday evening, key parts of the Trump Administration’s travel ban went into effect after a Supreme Court decision to allow certain elements of the policy ahead of full arguments to be made before the Court in the fall. What did our experts have to say about the travel ban’s latest version? Find out here. For more on the increased aviation security measures, click here.
On Sunday morning, White House Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Adviser Thomas Bossert told Martha Raddatz that the terrorist threat to the U.S. and its partners around the world is increasing. “We spend an inordinate amount of time and resources as the United States, but also as our partners, trying to not only defeat ISIS and their control of the physical caliphate, but their virtual space that they own, their Internet space," he said on ABC's This Week. "They're proselytizing. It's troubling and…President Trump has taken a number of steps, controversial and otherwise, to protect Americans.”
As we head into the Fourth of July holiday, we bring you some of our most insightful pieces from the past few months, beginning with an analysis of ISIS’ future. Despite the impending fall of Mosul and the tightening noose around Raqqa, our experts tell us that the war against ISIS has only just begun. Meanwhile, Cipher Brief Experts Admiral Sandy Winnefeld, former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Michael Morell, former Acting Director of the CIA, tell us about the importance of realism in dealing with North Korea – and how the U.S. needs to fundamentally change its objectives.
We’ll continue to bring you our experts’ insight and analysis each day. From all of us at The Cipher Brief, we wish you a happy and safe Fourth of July.

Here's what (and who) will appear this week on The Cipher Brief

Best Of: The War Against ISIS Has Just Begun

As the Islamic State is squeezed out of its strongholds in Mosul and Raqqa and witnesses a steady decline in the influx of foreign fighters, the question becomes: what is next for ISIS? Will it continue to retain control of several urban centers in the region—or will it disband and devote its complete attention to external operations and attacking Europe and the West? The Cipher Brief examines ISIS' current level of strength and influence and what to expect from the ISIS threat moving forward. Read now

Best Of: Railguns: The Fast, the Furious — and the Future?

The concept of an electromagnetic railgun has been around for nearly a century. By pulsing electricity through two rails, scientists theorized a weapon could launch objects at speeds far beyond the capability of conventional artillery - up to Mach 7 - to strike targets over 100 miles away. Today, that idea is very near to reality. Electromagnetic railgun systems for the Navy and the Army are now reaching the final stages of development, and could become operational for roles ranging from missile defense to naval surface warfare within the next few years. The Cipher Brief takes a look at this revolutionary technology, and what it may mean for the future of warfare.
  • Tom Boucher Railgun Program Manager, Office of Naval Research
  • Scott Forney President, General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems

Washington and Seoul, Trump and Moon

In a sign of the importance of the U.S.-South Korea relationship, South Korean President Moon Jae-in made his first international trip as president to the United States to meet with President Donald Trump. The visit occurred at a time when the Trump Administration has made ending North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile provocations a top priority. Though Seoul and Washington are united in this objective, they do not see eye-to-eye on other issues. Citing the U.S. trade deficit to South Korea, the Trump Administration is pushing for a revamped trade deal. The Cipher Brief examines the outcome of the summit and what it means for one of the United States' most important bilateral relationships as well as the threat emanating from North Korea.
  • Sung-Yoon Lee Professor of Korean Studies, Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • James Kim Director, Asan Institute for Policy Studies 

With Friends Like These: U.S.-Pakistani Relations

For years, U.S.-Pakistani relations have danced on a blade of mistrust, with the United States claiming Pakistan supports militant groups such as the Taliban—and Pakistan claiming it does not. Despite this, Pakistan's support in counterterrorism operations remains critical to U.S. efforts to stabilize Afghanistan. The Cipher Brief examines the current state of U.S.-Pakistani relations, as well as Pakistan's mixed counterterrorism record.
  • Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States
  • Dan Markey Director, Global Policy Program, Johns Hopkins SAIS

The Promise of Space-Based Missile Defense

In May, the U.S. Ground-based Midcourse Defense system - or GMD - successfully intercepted a mock intercontinental ballistic missile in a critical test of the U.S. missile defense umbrella. However, the failed test of the sea-based SM-3 interceptor on June 22 underlines that challenges remain in perfecting the U.S. missile defense system. This system is largely ground- and sea-based, with advanced interceptors radar installations spread across the globe. But space-based sensors - and possibly even interceptors - could vastly improve the efficacy of this system. The Cipher Brief takes a look at space-based missile defense systems, and how optimizing space architecture could revolutionize U.S. missile defense. 
  • Deborah Lee James Former Secretary of the U.S. Air Force
  • Thomas Karako Senior Fellow, International Security Program, CSIS

Network Spotlight

The Cipher Brief welcomes new Network member Leslie Ireland!

Leslie Ireland

Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Intelligence and Analysis
Leslie Ireland joined Treasury in 2010 after 25 years at CIA where she specialized in Iran, the Middle East and WMD. She retired in November 2016 after more than 31 years in the Intelligence Community.

The Cipher Brief Podcasts

This week, The Cipher Brief celebrates Independence Day by looking back at interviews with those who served this country in the Armed Forces. From Robert 'Buzz' Patterson, a former air force pilot and military aide to President Clinton, to Senator John McCain, a former naval pilot and POW, to Jack Keane, a retired four-star general, these men have made important sacrifices for and contributions to national security.

Listen to 15 Minutes: Former Members of the Armed Services - or get it on iTunes

Don't Miss on The Cipher Brief

Israeli Lawmaker: Iran’s Fingerprints Are Everywhere
Anat Berko, Member, Israeli Knesset
You see the fingerprints of Iran everywhere. You see them in Lebanon, in Syria, in Iraq, in Yemen, in Libya, in South America. Therefore, it was a good thing when President Trump said that Iran is the enemy of the U.S., the West, and most definitely Israel.

Rethinking U.S. Nuclear Policy: Stable Energy vs. Security Risks
Debra Decker, Senior Advisor, Stimson Center
President Donald Trump, speaking last Thursday at the Department of Energy, called for several initiatives to propel “American energy dominance,” and heading his list was the revival and expansion of the U.S. nuclear energy sector. The details are yet to be revealed as he has called for a complete review of U.S. nuclear energy policy. Such a review is overdue.


Columnists This Week

Expert View
Best Of: Realism and North Korea
Admiral Sandy Winnefeld 
Former Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
Michael Morell Former Acting Director, CIA 

Agenda Setter
Can the U.S. Navy Maintain an "Around the World Presence"?
Ray Mabus
Former Secretary of the U.S. Navy

State Secrets
A Conversation with Nicholas Rasmussen, Director of the National Counterterrorism Center
Suzanne Kelly CEO & Publisher, The Cipher Brief

Expert View
The Making of a Russian Spy
Rolf Mowatt-Larssen
Former Director of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, Department of Energy

Strategic View
Creating the (Soft) Power to Transform Fragile States
Larry Sampler Former Special Assistant to the Administrator, Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs, USAID

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The Dead Drop

STATE OF DISARRAY? Something to shout about. Politico reported Thursday that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is so frustrated with interference and leaking from White House staffers that he blew his lid last week in a meeting in Chief of Staff Reince Priebus’s office. Four people, familiar with the encounter, then leaked the details. What is at the heart of the matter? The Washington Post reported recently that Tillerson is insisting on appointing nominees who have certain skills, while the White House wants them to have demonstrated strong loyalty to the President. Apparently, the universe of people who fit in both categories is somewhat limited. One demographic which seems to be favored is sport team moguls. Last week the White House announced the President’s intent to nominate Woodie Johnson, owner of the New York Jets, to be Ambassador to the U.K. and Jamie McCourt former owner of the LA Dodgers to be Ambassador to Belgium. Hey NFL fans: share with us your recommendations for where controversial Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder might be sent. 
Catch up here. Got a tip? Email us at and share the scoop. We promise to protect our sources and methods.


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