In this episode, I’m talking with journalist and author Renee Dudley. Renee is a technology reporter at ProPublica who stumbled onto a band of what she describes as misfits while reporting on the rapid rise of ransomware. What she found was an incredible group of individuals who decided to be a change for good by helping fight cybercrime. She tells the story in a new book she wrote with co-author and fellow journalist Daniel Golden, The Ransomware Hunting Team: A Band of Misfits’ Improbable Crusade to Save the World from Cybercrime.
Here's my conversation with Renee Dudley.
China remains the top concern for long-term US national security and tensions over Taiwan have increased steadily over the past several months. Chinese President Xi Jinping used the 20th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party to cement his grip on power – and to make clear where his party stands on its future ambitions, to include the reunification of the self-governing island of Taiwan.
So just how close are China and the US moving toward war over Taiwan?
That's something that Cipher Brief Expert Admiral James Stavridis (Ret.) has been contemplating for some time. He is the author of 2034: A Novel of the Next World War - that he co-wrote with journalist Elliott Ackerman - played out just how that war might start.
Chinese President Xi Jinping opened the 20th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in October - with a speech that makes clear where his party stands on its future ambitions, to include the reunification of the self-governing island of Taiwan.
But tensions between the US and China over Taiwan’s future are really just one part of the story. Beijing has made clear that it has a thorough and organized strategy to achieve its ambitious goals while the US – in part because of a democratic system that can change leadership every four years – is realizing that it must do something different if it wants to remain a dominant power in the world.
I can’t imagine anyone better on this issue that my guest in this episode: former assistant secretary of defense turned Harvard Professor Graham Allison. Allison is the Douglas Dillon Professor of Government and Harvard and he is also the author of the book, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’ Trap? If you haven’t read it, it’s a master class in understanding just where both countries are coming from and what advantages they hold in this great power competition.
Here's my State Secrets conversation with Harvard Professor Graham Allison.