In the modern era, there is great convergence in the technologies used by friendly nations and by hostile ones. Signals intelligence agencies find themselves penetrating the technologies that they also at times must protect. To ease this tension, the United States and its partners have relied on an approach sometimes called Nobody But Us, or NOBUS: target communications mechanisms using unique methods accessible only to the United States. This paper examines how the NOBUS approach works, its limits, and the challenging matter of what comes next.
Holger Albrecht is a professor in the Department of Political Science at the American University in Cairo (AUC) where he teaches courses in comparative politics and Middle East politics. His recent research interests in civil-military relations brought him to the United States Institute of Peace, in 2012 and 2013, where he was a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow. He was also a visiting fellow at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University. Apart from the role of the military in politics, Holger is interested more generally in questions of authoritarian resilience and regime change, political opposition in the Middle East and North Africa, and political participation in the region. He is the author of Raging Against the Machine: Political Opposition under Authoritarianism in Egypt (Syracuse University Press, 2013) and the editor of Contentious Politics in the Middle East (University Press of Florida, 2010). Holger is currently working on an edited volume on Armies and the Arab Spring and a number of journal articles. He travels extensively in the Middle East and, apart from Egypt, has become particularly interested in Yemen, Syria, and Tunisia. He was formerly an associate at MEI.Last Updated: Aug 29, 2017, 10:08am