David Sanger

Three-time Pulitzer Prize Winner | White House and National Security Correspondent | Bestselling Author, "The Perfect Weapon" and "New Cold Wars"
Twitter iconFacebook iconInstagram iconYoutube icon
When readers of the New York Times look to understand the swirling dynamics of wars, diplomacy, cyber conflict and geopolitics, they look for the byline of one of the paper's most senior correspondents: David E. Sanger, the three-time Pulitzer Prize winner and White House and National Security Correspondent. Over a 40-year career at the Times, Sanger has become known for the depth of his sources in the world of national security, his painstaking reporting and research, and his in-depth investigations into the complex events of our time.
And his reach goes far beyond the Times. He is a CNN contributor on national security and politics. He is the bestselling author of four books — The Inheritance, Confront and ConcealThe Perfect Weapon, and, most recently, New Cold WarsChina'sRise, Russia's Invasion, and America's Struggle to Defend the West, which debuted on the New York Times bestseller list. Sanger also teaches national security at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where the class he conducts with Graham Allison, "Central Challenges in American National Security, Strategy and the Press,'' is among the most popular at the school.
 
His book, The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age is an incisive look into how a new era of cyber conflict has changed the national security landscape, providing new ways to influence national elections, conduct sabotage, and execute short-of-war operations. The Emmy-nominated HBO documentary of the same name, directed by John Maggio, takes viewers deep into the cyber battles of the current age, interviewing current and former military and intelligence officials, while conducting new, on-the-ground reporting from the front lines of the cyber wars. In 2022, Sanger teamed up with Maggio and HBO again to executive produce Year One, a documentary chronicling President Biden's first year struggling to rebuild American democracy at home and alliances abroad.
In 2016, Sanger was a key member of the Times team that examined Russia's interference in the presidential election — part of his broader coverage of nation-states' use of cyber power. That investigation was part of a series of stories that won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in international reporting. Several years previously, it was Sanger's investigation that broke the details of the “Olympic Games,’’ the federal government's codename for the secret cyber-attack on Iran's nuclear program mounted by the United States and Israel: one of the defining moments of the early cyber age. The story of how two Presidents guided that attack was part of Sanger's book Confront and Conceal: Obama's Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power. The book sent shockwaves around the globe and was called an “astonishingly revealing insider’s account” by Foreign Affairs. The docu-thriller, Zero Days, an Alex Gibney film about the secret effort to sabotage Iran's program, tells the story of how Sanger reported on one of the country’s most clandestine operations.
At the Times, Sanger's previous investigative work led to Pulitzers for the investigation into the causes of the space shuttle Challenger disaster and into Chinese technology investment in the United States. His coverage of the Iraq and Korea crises won the Weintal Prize, one of the highest honors for diplomatic reporting. He also won the White House Correspondents’ Association Aldo Beckman prize for his coverage of the American presidency.

Topics

The Perfect Weapon: A New Era of War, Sabotage, and Fear

We live in a new era of constant cyber conflict, as nations use cyber sabotage, misinformation, and fear to gain advantage and exercise power. Everyone is a target, and ordinary Americans are often the collateral damage in a growing conflict among states. David Sanger, the author of “The Perfect Weapon” and executive producer of the HBO documentary of the same name, moves from the White House Situation Room to the dens of Chinese, Russian, North Korea, and Iranian hackers, to Silicon Valley’s boardrooms, as he uncovers a world coming face-to-face with the perils of the technological revolution. It is a conflict, Sanger explains, that the United States helped start when it began using cyberweapons against Iranian nuclear plants and North Korean missile launches. But now we find ourselves in a conflict we are uncertain how to control, as our adversaries not only exploit vulnerabilities in our hyper-connected nation but as we struggle to figure out how to deter these complex, short-of-war attacks. Drawing from David Sanger’s vast experience at the intersection of national security and cybersecurity, “The Perfect Weapon,” explores how the rise of cyberweapons has transformed geopolitics like nothing since the atomic bomb’s invention. From crippling infrastructure to sowing discord and doubt—cyber is now the weapon of choice for democracies, dictators, and terrorists.

Show more

The Revival of Superpower Conflict

For three decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Americans believed that we were in a different world—one in which terrorism, climate change, viruses and disinformation were the primary threats to the country. They were partly right, but the past few years have demonstrated that the age of superpower conflict is back—this time with a vengeance. David Sanger takes a deep look at our twin confrontations with Russia and China, and why the struggle America finds itself in now is so much more complex than the Cold War ever was. In a world of technological interdependence, of cyber vulnerabilities and misinformation and disinformation that can circle the globe in seconds, the challenge is dramatically different than it was when the Berlin Wall fell. With examples that range from Beijing to Ukraine, David Sanger tells the story of a struggle that seems familiar, but is not.

Show more

Can Biden Restore America's Global Influence?

As Joseph R. Biden Jr. settled into his office as the 46th President of the United States, he was immediately confronted with a huge agenda of interlocking crises: A devastating pandemic that has killed more Americans than died in combat in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan combined; an economic crisis that brought with it joblessness and inflation; a crisis of racial justice and a burgeoning climate catastrophe. Overarching them all, however, is a collapse in American influence around the world. These past few years of partisan division have caused allies and adversaries alike to question whether the United States remains the model for the rest of the world. And as doubts rise, China has raced to exploit the opportunity – investing across the globe, wiring it for 5G networks, and using its cash and prowess to help authoritarians retain control. But is this a temporary blip or a terminal decline? In this event, David Sanger offers his expert insight into the Biden Administration’s policies and takes on the question on every American’s mind: Can American strength abroad be rebuilt, starting by rebuilding at home?

Show more

Around the World in 60 Minutes

Every war the United States has entered since 1941 has something in common: Twelve months before it broke out, there was no warning or real conception that within a year, the United States could once again be on the battlefield. Major cyber-attacks have taken us by surprise. So has a global pandemic and a war for Ukraine. David Sanger takes his audience on an hour long tour of the world's hotspots, and the conflicts few see coming. And he will remind the audience that while the world is unpredictable, it is not unmanageable. Resilience and preparation make the difference between successful national responses and failures.

Show more

Videos

Are we on the brink of a new cold war? | GZERO World with Ian Bremmer
David Sanger
U.S. in a "very different competition than what we had in the Cold War" author says
David Sanger
David Sanger on “New Cold Wars” and the Return of Superpower Conflict | Amanpour and Company
David Sanger
Is there a new cold war?
David Sanger
"New Cold Wars" with Russia and China | The Daily Show
David Sanger
New Cold Wars: A Conversation with David Sanger
David Sanger
How Do The New Cold Wars Compare To The Cold War We Know Historically?
David Sanger
David Sanger: A Russian nuclear weapon in space this year?
David Sanger
Cybersecurity in the Digital Age
David Sanger
The Revival of Superpower Conflict with David Sanger | Global Security Forum 2022
David Sanger
Year One | Official Trailer | HBO
David Sanger
Year One: A Political Odyssey
David Sanger
The Perfect Weapon (2020): Official Trailer | HBO
David Sanger
North Korea summit, lack of deterrence for cyberattacks
David Sanger
A Digital Geneva Convention?
David Sanger

Articles

Newspaper icon
Aggression or Caution: The Choice Facing Iran's Next Leaders
New York Times
Newspaper icon
A New Diplomatic Strategy Emerges as Artificial Intelligence Grows
New York Times
Newspaper icon
New Cold Wars review: China, Russia and Biden's daunting task
The Guardian
Newspaper icon
Review: The Dawn of New Cold Wars
The Cipher Brief
Newspaper icon
The Dawn of New Cold Wars
The Cipher Brief
Newspaper icon
With Nuclear Deal Dead, Containing Iran Grows More Fraught
New York Times
Newspaper icon
How America Is Picking Up the Pieces of a Broken Global Order
New York Times
Newspaper icon
How America is Picking Up the Pieces of a Broken Global Order
New York Times
Newspaper icon
Biden is 'Outraged.' But is He Willing to Use America's Leverage with Israel?
New York Times
Newspaper icon
Why Russia Is Protecting North Korea from Nuclear Monitors
New York Times
Newspaper icon
Biden’s Armageddon Moment: When Nuclear Detonation Seemed Possible in Ukraine
New York Times
Newspaper icon
As Putin Threatens, Despair and Hedging in Europe
New York Times
Newspaper icon
U.S.Fears Russia Might Put a Nuclear Weapon in Space
New York Times
Newspaper icon
An Outburst by Trump on NATO May Push Europe to Go It Alone
New York Times
Newspaper icon
Biden's Options Range From Unsatisfying to Risky After American Deaths
New York Times
Newspaper icon
A New Concern on the Ukrainian Battlefield: North Korea's Latest Missiles
New York Times
Newspaper icon
Iran's New Missile Fleet: Part Deterrent, Part Sales Pitch
New York Times
Newspaper icon
The Regional War No One Wanted Is Here. How Wide Will It Get?
New York Times
Newspaper icon
The Most Anticipated Books of 2024
Foreign Policy
Newspaper icon
Biden Confronts the Limits of U.S. Leverage in Two Conflicts
New York Times
Newspaper icon
Biden Issues Executive Order to Create A.I. Safeguards
New York Times
Newspaper icon
Biden's Support for Israel Now Comes With Words of Caution
New York Times
Newspaper icon
Hamas Attack Raises Questions Over an Israeli Intelligence Failure
New York Times
Newspaper icon
On Russian Nuclear Threat, Putin Lets Others Rattle the Saber
New York Times
Newspaper icon
For Japan, joining the nuclear planning pact is a bridge too far
New York Times
Newspaper icon
For Japan, joining a nuclear planning pact is a bridge too far
New York Times
Newspaper icon
Biden Orders Ban on New Investment in China's Sensitive High Tech Industries
New York Times
Newspaper icon
U.S. Hunts Chinese Malware That Could Disrupt American Military Operations
New York Times
Newspaper icon
On his stops in Europe, Biden adds to talk of a new Cold War
New York Times
Newspaper icon
'As Long as it Takes': Biden Adds to Talk of a New Cold War
New York Times
Newspaper icon
The Next Fear on A.I.: Hollywood’s Killer Robots Become the Military’s Tools
New York Times
Newspaper icon
3 Nuclear Superpowers, Rather Than 2, Usher In a New Strategic Era
New York Times
Newspaper icon
The latest leaked documents differ from past intelligence breaches.
New York Times
Newspaper icon
What We're Learning From the Leaked Military Documents
New York Times
Newspaper icon
How the Latest Leaked Documents Are Different From Past Breaches
New York Times
Newspaper icon
With Beijing opposing a TikTok sale, the Biden administration’s options narrow.
New York Times
Newspaper icon
New Biden Cybersecurity Strategy Assigns Responsibility to Tech Firms
New York Times
Newspaper icon
For a President Who Spends His Days Confronting Russia and China, a Domestic Focus
New York Times
Newspaper icon
Balloon Incident Reveals More Than Spying as Competition With China Intensifies
New York Times
Newspaper icon
United States Enters a New Era of Direct Confrontation with Iran
New York Times
Newspaper icon
NYT's David Sanger interviews Author David Ignatius on his latest novel "The Director"
Aspen Institute

Podcasts

Testimonials

This speaker does not have any Articles yet.
Book David Sanger for your event
Request Availability
Download Bio
PDF icon
Foreign Affairs
Cybersecurity
National Security
Technology
Economics
Artificial Intelligence
Moderators
Geopolitics & Globalization
US Politics
Authors
Twitter iconFacebook iconInstagram iconYoutube icon
By continuing to browse you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. If you do not wish to allow cookies, please see our cookie policy for instructions. Learn more