Security and Defense News

The shocking mediocrity of Islamic State 'hacker' Junaid Hussain

Oct 27, 2015
"But his example is sobering because he was trivial, not exceptional. Anyone can learn to do what Hussain could do. Going forward, given his celebrity, more jihadists likely will," writes Meg King and Grayson Clary.

ISIS Rising: Overestimating the Threat?

Oct 22, 2015
For obvious reasons, ISIS remains a major focus of security discussions. But is it possible that we are overestimating the threat? A recent Wilson Center panel considered the possibility that the Islamic State, like the mythological Icarus, may be headed for a crash of sorts.

El Chapo Continues to Evade Capture

Oct 22, 2015
The infamous “El Chapo” Guzman continues to evade capture. Mexico Institute Director Duncan Wood provides perspective on efforts to find the elusive drug lord.

The Russian Intervention in Syria: Policy Options and Exit Strategies

Oct 21, 2015
"The problem in D.C. goes back to 2011: strategically choosing to avoid this conflict, while at the same time staking a loud and unachievable policy position that Assad must go. From this perspective, Russia is doing the United States a favor, though it comes with bruised ego attached," writes Michael Kofman.

Five Takeaways From Bashar al-Assad’s Secret Visit to Moscow

Oct 21, 2015
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad surprised the world on Tuesday with an unannounced meeting in Moscow. Here are five takeaways from the visit.

The Next Refugee Crisis: Afghanistan

Oct 21, 2015
"The new surge of refugees began with the Taliban’s offensive this year, and intensified after fighting reached populated areas like Kunduz. Last month, employees at Afghanistan’s passport agency said they were issuing an average of 2,000 passports daily — triple the number of six months ago," writes Michael Kugelman.

CIA Director’s Email Hacked

Oct 20, 2015
Following reports that CIA Director John Brennan’s email had been hacked, we asked Meg King to explain the implications.

Washington Doesn’t Help Pakistani Democracy

Oct 20, 2015
"At the end of the day, when Washington needs to get something done to serve its chief interests in Pakistan, one can assume it goes to the generals, not the civilians. This is incredibly ironic and misguided — given that the generals imperil U.S. interests in the region with their sponsorship of non-state militants — but nonetheless a fact of life for U.S.-Pakistan relations," writes Michael Kugelman.

Advice for Congress, the weakest link in cybersecurity

Oct 19, 2015
"We need a public sector ready to make the case that privacy does not come at the expense of security, prosperity, and the open flow of ideas," writes Jane Harman.

9,800 U.S. Troops Won’t Fix Afghanistan. Here’s What They Can Do.

Oct 16, 2015
"Given the resurgent Taliban and an emerging ISIS threat, Afghan forces need all the help they can get. U.S. troops can provide assistance, much as they did in the recovery of Kunduz—an operation that may have had a much less happy ending were it not for U.S. involvement," writes Michael Kugelman.