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A Nuclear Deal with Iran: Managing the Consequences
By AFPC Iran Task Force , October 7, 2015

The announcement of a nuclear deal in July 2015 brought to a close nearly two years of intensive negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 powers (the U.S., UK, France, Russia, China and Germany). It also ushered in a new — and arguably more challenging — phase of American policy in the Middle East...

Internet Security Governance - Building Security Without Piling On
By Trey Herr and Heather West , October 2, 2015

Internet Security Governance covers the policy challenges that arise from building and governing security in the Internet’s architecture and key protocols. It is not a description of security for computers and networks (Information Assurance),  how to man- age the negotiated structure and key functions of the Internet (Internet Governance), or the pursuit of crim- inal groups and other threat actors (Cyber Crime).2 Internet Security Governance is the discussion of de- fensively oriented technical and legal topics that cross national boundaries and/or involve security of the un- derlying protocols and hardware which make up the Internet...

Strategic Primer - Missile Defense
By Rich Harrison , October 1, 2015

The goal of the new Strategic Primer initiative is to provide a concise, comprehensive overview of specific defense technology issues presented in a clear, direct, and graphical manner that serves as an accessible reference to policymakers. Volume 1 of the series focuses on Missile Defense.

The War Against ISIS Through Social Media
By Dr. Abraham Wagner, Dr. Rand Waltzman, and Amb. Alberto Fernandez , July 7, 2015

On July 7, the American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC) held the fourth installment of its Defense Technology Program’s Understanding Cybersecurity lunch briefing series for Congressional Staffers. This event, entitled, “How the Caliphate is Communicating:” Understanding and Countering the Islamic State’s Messaging outlined how and why the Islamic State has been winning the “war of ideas” through the use of social media, and how the group is using social media to further its operations...

Cyber Crime: Security Under Scarce Resources
By Trey Herr and Sasha Romanosky , June 30, 2015

Cyber crime covers a wide range of activities that includes theft, fraud and harassment; stealing valuable intellectual property as part of industrial espionage; committing financial fraud and credit card theft; and disrupting internet services for ideological goals (“hacktivism”). The crimes target both firms and consumers, and while they rarely result in physical harm or property damage, there can still be severe consequences...

Iran Strategy Brief No. 7: Iran's Various Voices
By Ilan Berman , June 17, 2015

Is the Islamic Republic of Iran a country or a cause? For decades, the question is one that has bedeviled Western observers. Foreign politicians and diplomats long have struggled to reconcile the Iranian regime’s radical rhetoric and destructive international behavior with its pragmatic participation in numerous treaty arrangements, and its prominent role in various multilateral forums.

Understanding Cybersecurity - Part 2 - Information Assurance
By Trey Herr and Eric Ormes , April 15, 2015

Information Assurance is the art and science of securing computer systems and networks against efforts by third parties to disable, intrude, or otherwise impede operations. It is the focus of most “cybersecurity” professionals in the technical community. The principal goals are to maintain an information system’s Confidentiality (the secrecy of information as it is used and stored), Integrity, reliability of data and equipment, and Availability, that a computer system is ready and able to function as needed. Information Assurance includes writing secure software, deploying it safely, and managing it to minimize the risk of compromise.

Asia for the Asians
By Scott Harold, Ph.D , January 29, 2015

In recent months, Xi Jinping’s China has rolled out a large number of new foreign policy initiatives. Some of these have been economic proposals such as the BRICS Bank; the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank; the China-Korea and China-Australia free trade agreements; the land and maritime silk road proposals; a massive, albeit not entirely transparent, energy deal with Russia; an increasingly effective effort to promote international trade denominated in the yuan or Renminbi; and an attempt to push ahead with either the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement or the Free Trade Agreement of the Asia-Pacific.

Redefining Cybersecurity
By Trey Herr and Allan Friedman , January 22, 2015

Cybersecurity is an often abused and much misused term that was once intended to describe and now serves better to confuse. While originally intended to cover security related issues associated with “cyberspace,” a phrase coined by author William Gibson in the short story “Burning Chrome,” it has become the byword for a staggeringly diverse array of topics. While this is frustrating, the term is popular as shorthand, so we offer this paper to identify and explain four clusters of related topics under the larger umbrella of “cybersecurity.”  Each is a distinct issue area with unique technical and policy challenges, while retaining some association to the others...

American Deterrence and Future Conflicts
By Dr. Jacquelyn K. Davis , December 22, 2014

On the centennial of the start of World War I—a war that began largely as a result of crisis miscalculations

and escalations—we are entering a new era with important implications for deterrence, escalation control, and coalition management. Today, like at the time of World War I, we confront a large number of actors who have the potential to misread cues and red lines while relying on treaty relationships if they miscalculate. Then, as now, military technologies were widely diffused. Prevailing assumptions about how an adversary (or potential adversary) would react in a crisis or confrontation were based on imperfect intelligence and inadequate understanding of red lines...