172 Items

Image of Jewish flag in rubble


Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Challenging Biases and Assumptions in Analysis: Could Israel Have Averted Intelligence Failure?

| April 2024

The human tragedy continuing to unfold in Gaza and Israel reminds us how important it is to get strategic forecasting right. While in no way excusing Hamas’ culpability for 7 October, we also cannot dismiss the fact that the failure to anticipate and prepare for such an attack has had grave consequences for communities on both sides of this conflict, undermined efforts to bring peace and prosperity to the region, and affected global interests through the expansion of the conflict to the Red Sea and potentially beyond. 

A picture of a three split flags, russia ukraine and the u.s

MasterSergeant | Adobe Stock

Analysis & Opinions - The Cipher Brief

Russia is Learning that Countries that live in Gas Houses Shouldn’t Throw Drones

| Mar. 25, 2024

Bystander video feeds show scenes of fire and destruction, flames engulfing pipelines and smoke billowing from oil tank farms. In one clip, a twin-tailed aircraft flies slowly over a burning refinery. It loiters, banks, and then plunges precisely into the top of a tall, hydrocarbon filled distillation tower followed by explosions and more fire.

Kyiv is turning the tables on Russia by striking at its hydrocarbon lifeblood. Ukraine’s justified and effective homegrown response to Putin’s two-year campaign of attacks on the nation’s energy infrastructure shows Russia that what goes around comes around.

A picture of a man marking off checkboxes

Andranik123 | Adobe Stock

Analysis & Opinions - Harvard Business Review

How to Vet a Corporate Intelligence Vendor

Demand for intelligence vendors is substantial and increasing. In 2022, global cyber threat intelligence was estimated to be a $4.93 billion industry, and U.S. security services was a whopping $48.1 billion. Geopolitical and security risk intelligence is an unquantified but essential and rapidly growing part of the story. But how do you know whether an intelligence vendor aligns with your company’s needs, risk tolerance, and ethics? The authors, from Harvard University’s Belfer Center’s Intelligence Project, have developed a database of 70 vendors that corporate intelligence professionals identified as informing their work. Their systematic analysis of this dynamic ecosystem revealed four key questions for corporate decision makers to ask in order to maximize their return on vendors.

Note: The authors have compiled a checklist accompanying this article, which can be viewed and downloaded from the Belfer Center’s website here.

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Analysis & Opinions - Harvard Business Review

Intelligence Vendor Checklist

As more and more corporate teams leverage private intelligence vendors to understand geopolitical and security operating conditions, it is critical for executives and their intelligence teams to ask the right questions. How should private sector entities ensure that intelligence vendors operating around the world aligns with their needs, risk tolerance, and ethics?

U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla, speaks during roundtable discussion

AP/Marta Lavandier

Analysis & Opinions - The Conversation

A US Ambassador Working for Cuba? Charges Against Former Diplomat Victor Manuel Rocha Spotlight Havana's Importance in the World of Spying

| Dec. 15, 2023

Calder Walton writes that if proved, Victor Manuel Rocha's espionage would place him among the longest-serving spies in modern times. Allowing him to operate as a spy in the senior echelons of the U.S. government for so long would represent a staggering U.S. security failure.

U.S. and UK flags

Alex Brandon | AP

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Forging a Democratic Decision Advantage

| October 2023

2023 marked eighty years since the wartime adoption of the BRUSA Agreement between Great Britain and the United States. This 1943 document codified the growing relationship between U.S. and U.K. signals intelligence organizations and included policies governing the exchange of personnel and joint regulations for handling sensitive material. Security directives and protocols aligned operational processes between the democratic governments, setting new cooperative standards for nation-states battling authoritarian regimes.

A photo of Kyiv

Eugene | Unsplash

Analysis & Opinions - The Cipher Brief

Ukraine’s Big ‘Adventure Capital’ Opportunity

| Oct. 16, 2023

Early after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, as Russian troops threatened Kyiv and Russian cruise missiles destroyed targets across the country, Oleksandr Kamyshin, Head of Ukrainian State Railways, received direct customer feedback that the bathrooms at one of his stations were filthy.

A man waving the Ukrainian flag with the Coat of arms of Ukraine insignia.

Kedar Gadge

Analysis & Opinions - The Cipher Brief

The Ukraine Diaries: Is Ukraine a Vital U.S. National Security Interest?

| Sep. 26, 2023

THE UKRAINE DIARIES — When I first visited Ukraine with The Cipher Brief in May, just ahead of the much-anticipated third Ukrainian counteroffensive, western commentators and media had raised expectations for dramatic Ukrainian breakthroughs. By contrast, Ukrainian military and civilian leaders were confident of success, but more muted in expectations. They did not predict or expect a Russian rout. Rather, knowing what they faced and that the going would be tough, they saw this as one phase of a long campaign.