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Intelligence Matters

Intelligence Matters

Former acting Director of the CIA Michael Morell speaks with top leaders of the U.S. intelligence community as they reflect on their life, career and the critical roles they play in shaping national security policies. As a central figure in the most significant U.S. counter-terror efforts of the past two decades and a former CIA intelligence analyst, Morell is uniquely skilled at taking industry leading knowledge to make connections that provide deep insight into complex security events ? helping decode intelligence officials? key priorities and providing perspectives on how to achieve national security objectives. Morell is the author of ?The Great War of Our Time? and a vivid account of the Central Intelligence Agency, a life in secrets, and a war in the shadows.

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The CIA in the Movies: A Review with the Co-Founders of Spycraft Entertainment

This week on Intelligence Matters, Michael Morell speaks with John Sipher and Jerry O'Shea, former CIA officers and co-founders of Spycraft Entertainment, about what Hollywood gets right and wrong about its depictions of the CIA. Sipher and O'Shea review movies, TV series, and books on how realistic their portrayals are of life in the agency. 

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2022-11-30
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Working at CIA: In Conversation with CIA Director of Operations and Director of Analysis

This week on Intelligence Matters, Michael Morell, in partnership with the Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security, speaks with Dave Marlowe, CIA Director of Operations, and Linda Weissgold, CIA Director of Analysis about their careers at CIA and global hotspots. Marlowe and Weissgold discuss what skills and attributes CIA looks for when hiring officers while sharing their own career trajectories at CIA. They examine key issues for the agency including Ukraine, Iran, and China.

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2022-11-23
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Introducing Missing Justice

Christy Woodenthigh?s family rushed to her home on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation when they got the shocking news that the 33-year-old mother was dead. They arrived to find no police officers, no approaching sirens, and no sign of Christy. ?Missing Justice?, a new 6-episode limited series hosted by CBS News reporters Cara Korte and Bo Erickson, takes you inside what really happened that night and how the issues in Christy?s case connect to the larger Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples Crisis. Missing Justice premieres on November 22nd wherever you get your podcasts.

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2022-11-22
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The Evolution of U.S.-China Relations: National Security Analyst Graham Allison

This week on Intelligence Matters, Michael Morell speaks with Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School and national security analyst Graham Allison as he re-examines his interviews on China with Former Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew. Allison inspects how their analysis and predictions on China hold up ten years later. Allison discusses Xi's plan for China, the negative consequences of bellicose rhetoric, and how Taiwan could potentially trigger a war between the U.S. and China. 

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2022-11-16
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The Threat of North Korea's Nuclear Weapons: Markus Garlauskas

This week on Intelligence Matters, Michael Morell speaks with the National Intelligence Officer on North Korea from 2014-2020 Markus Garlauskas about his assessment of North Korea's missile tests and the threat of nuclear weapons. Garlauskas lays out how the U.S. can deter North Korea even as China works as an enabler for the regime.

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2022-11-09
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The Aims and Impact of Chinese Foreign Development: Brad Parks

This week on Intelligence Matters, Michael Morell speaks with the Executive Director of AidData at the College of William and Mary Brad Parks to discuss how China is outspending the rest of the world in foreign development and how the U.S. can catch up. Parks details how China is using foreign aid to gain influence abroad and create a market for its industries. 

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2022-11-02
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Implications of Xi Jinping's Hold on Power: Former Senior CIA China Analyst Chris Johnson

This week on Intelligence Matters, Michael Morell speaks with former senior CIA China analyst Chris Johnson, now President and CEO of the China Strategies Group, to discuss Xi cementing his power at the Communist Party congress, the line-up of the all-powerful Politburo, and what it means for the state of play of U.S.-China relations. Morell and Johnson discuss the implications on foreign policy of the new Politburo and the keeping of China's foreign minister.

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2022-10-26
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U.S. Political Violence on the Rise: Professor Bob Pape

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, Michael Morell speaks with University of Chicago political science professor and director of the Chicago Project on Security and Threats Robert "Bob" Pape about his ongoing research on political violence in America and its implications as the midterms approach. His new research finds that 5% of American adults, or around 13 million people, agree that the use of force is justified to restore Donald Trump to the presidency. Pape discusses the ways in which political violence has turned mainstream and is being exacerbated by political leaders. 

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2022-10-19
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The Ethics and Impact of Drone Strikes: Georgetown Law Professor Mitt Regan

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, Michael Morell speaks with Georgetown Law Professor Mitt Regan about his new book Drone Strike: Analyzing the Impacts of Targeted Killing. They discuss the effect of drone strikes on al-Qaeda's continuation and growth, the lack of a systematic civilian casualty mitigation efforts, and the ethics of drone strikes outside of a war zone. 

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2022-10-12
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Putin's Threat of Nuclear War: Former CIA Moscow Chief of Station Rolf Mowatt-Larssen

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with former CIA Moscow Chief of Station and William J. Perry Distinguished Fellow at the Nuclear Threat Initiative Rolf Mowatt-Larssen about Putin's nuclear threats and how U.S. policymakers should respond. Mowatt-Larssen stresses that Western leaders need to take Putin's threats seriously as we enter the highest point in global nuclear risks since the Cuban Missile Crisis 60 years ago. He details why as Ukrainians are winning on the battlefield, they are not ready to sit at the negotiating table. 

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2022-10-05
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75th Anniversary of the CIA with Deputy Director of the CIA David Cohen

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell is joined by Deputy Director of the CIA David Cohen to discuss the 75th anniversary of the intelligence agency and his career path to the ranks of top leadership. Cohen details the invisible work of CIA agents and responds to critiques of the agency. Cohen provides his analysis of key players on the world stage: Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. He notes that the CIA has not seen indications that Russians are planning to use nuclear weapons. 

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2022-09-28
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The Status of a U.S.-Iran Deal: Middle East Expert Karim Sadjadpour

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Senior Fellow at the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Karim Sadjadpour about a potential new deal between the U.S. and Iran. Sadjadpour details that the Iranians do not believe the Biden administration has a plan B to the deal, leading Iran to not feel urgency to compromise. Sadjadpour provides an analysis of what a Iran deal would mean for the Biden administration in a domestic political context ahead of the midterm elections. 

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2022-09-21
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Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development Elbridge Colby

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development Elbridge Colby about his new book The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict and whether the U.S. military is ready for a new era of great power competition. Colby discusses doubts amongst analysts in the U.S. ability to win a war against the Chinese military. He notes that there is substantial bipartisan agreement that China is the biggest threat against the U.S. 

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2022-09-14
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Journalist and Former Marine Elliot Ackerman

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Journalist and Former Marine Elliot Ackerman about his new book The Fifth Act: America's End in Afghanistan. Ackerman reflects on the impact of the war in Afghanistan for a generation of veterans. He discusses the constructs the United States built in order to sustain the war on terror and how he believes the veterans of the war should be memorialized. 

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2022-09-07
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Global Energy Expert Daniel Yergin

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Global Energy Expert Daniel Yergin about energy security in the context of deep power rivalries as he provides his analysis of Putin's energy miscalculations. Yergin details the Biden administration's efforts to promote more oil production while committing to its long-term climate agenda. He warns against the large impact that any global disturbance can have to tight energy markets.  

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2022-08-31
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Terrorism Analyst Bill Roggio

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Terrorism Analyst and Long War Journal Editor Bill Roggio on the state of the counterterrorism fight in Afghanistan a year after the full U.S. withdrawal and the Taliban regaining control of the country. Roggio says that al Qaida has a stronger global position today than it had prior to 9/11. He notes that while the Islamic State is a more immediate threat, al Qaida is the greater threat long-term. Roggio details the lead up to the U.S. withdraw from Afghanistan and how the Biden administration's lack of a phased withdraw did not give a chance for Afghans to transition to "an Afghan way." 

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2022-08-24
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Former Senior CIA Analysts on China: Chris Johnson and John Culver

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Former Senior CIA analysts Chris Johnson, President and CEO of China Strategies Group, and John Culver, former national intelligence officer for East Asia, about Chinese and Taiwan relations after Speaker Pelosi's trip to Taipei. Culver describes China's military response as both "unprecedented" and showing "constraints", never escalating to a point where Taiwan had to make a use of force decision. Culver discusses how a real Chinese invasion of Taiwan would involve a national mobilization of not only the People's Liberation Army but of the entire Chinese economy and society. Chris Johnson details the Chinese mindset to Speaker Pelosi's visit and the concerns China has over bills in Congress it believes would erode the one-China policy. 

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2022-08-17
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The Potential of Future Conflict with China: Professor Hal Brands

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Hal Brands, Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of Global Affairs at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and author of the new book, Danger Zone: The Coming Conflict with China, about China's economic, political and demographic trajectory and the percolating risk of conflict with Beijing in the coming years. Brands explains why he believes China, rather than being on the rise, is peaking as a global power and as a result may engage in more destabilizing behavior. Brands and Morell explore how certain external tailwinds - which once propelled China's rise - have become headwinds, and may be driving President Xi Jinping's tightening grip on political power. They also discuss the effect of Speaker Pelosi's visit to Taipei, different scenarios and timelines for a possible Chinese invasion of Taiwan, as well as how the conflict in Ukraine may - or may not - affect Xi's calculus. 

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2022-08-10
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Battlefield Lessons for Ukraine, Taiwan: Former Diplomat Eric Edelman

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Eric Edelman, former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey and Finland and Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, about the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and likely lessons being drawn about the West's response and the nature of the battle by the People's Republic of China. Edelman and Morell discuss a range of possible future scenarios for the war in Ukraine, exploring its military, economic and diplomatic dimensions for both Kyiv and Moscow. Edelman also offers insights into how the conflict may inform China's approach to coercive or forceful reunification with Taiwan. 

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2022-08-03
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Best Of: Stanford Professor and Author Amy Zegart

In this "Best Of" episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Amy Zegart, the Morris Arnold and Nona Jean Cox Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Professor of Political Science at Stanford University about her new book, "Spies, Lies and Algorithms: The History and Future of American Intelligence." Morell and Zegart discuss the impact of emerging technologies on intelligence collection and analysis, both of which, Zegart says, have been fundamentally changed by developments like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and commercial satellite imagery. Zegart also outlines the five "mores" - more threats, more speed, more data, more customers and more competitors - that she says have made the work of intelligence newly challenging. This episode was originally released in February 2022. 

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2022-07-27
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Best Of: Psychiatrist Kenneth Dekleva on Profiling World Leaders

In this "Best Of" episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Kenneth Dekleva, a psychiatrist, former U.S. Department of State Regional Medical Officer, and Senior Fellow at the George H.W. Bush Foundation for US-China Relations, about how experts compile psychological profiles of world leaders. Morell and Dekleva discuss the formative experiences and core characteristics of Russian president Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Khamanei. They also discuss the character of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, as well as how other countries might approach similar profiles of U.S. leaders. This episode was previously released in March 2022. 

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2022-07-20
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Making Fun of Spies: Former CIA Officer and Satirist Alex Finley

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Alex Finley, a former CIA officer in the Directorate of Operations and an author of three satirical books depicting life and work at the agency. Finley describes how CIA officers often use humor in unique ways to cope with high-stress assignments, and she and Morell discuss the ways in which satire can illuminate little-known realities about serious subjects. Finley also describes her newfound role as an amateur 'yacht-watcher,' tracking Russian oligarchs' yachts through the port of Barcelona. 

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2022-07-13
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Expert Heather Conley on Russia's "Strategic Conservatism"

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Heather Conley, president of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, about Russia's use of "strategic conservatism" to exploit divisions with and within the West. Conley explains how Russian President Vladimir Putin has leveraged the support of the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church to portray himself as a global defender of conservative values. Conley and Morell also discuss how the Russian Orthodox Church has undermined its own objective of ecumenism by alienating those who oppose Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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2022-07-06
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Former Ambassador Peter Wittig on Foreign Perceptions of the U.S.

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Peter Wittig, Germany's former ambassador to the United States, United Kingdom, Lebanon, Cyprus and the United Nations, about foreign perceptions of the United States at pivotal historical moments. Wittig and Morell trace the evolution of America's standing in the eyes of the world from the end of the World Wars to the end of the Cold War, through the period following 9/11, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to today. Wittig offers insights on the effect of the Trump administration's "America First" policy on global alliances and shares his view on the Biden administration's effort to rally global support for Ukraine before and during Russia's invasion. Wittig and Morell also discuss how its domestic instability may undermine America's credibility and ability to lead. 

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2022-06-29
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Strategic Opportunities and Challenges in Latin America: Pedro Burelli

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Pedro Burelli, a Venezuelan citizen, a former senior Venezuelan oil official, and an astute observer of Latin America and the world. Burelli and Morell exchange observations about Latin America's political and economic trajectory, including key influences and inflection points in Cuba, Chile, Mexico and other countries. They discuss shifts in political leadership, the degradation of democratic norms, and the opportunistic entrances of Russia and China into the region. Burelli also reflects on the achievements of the Biden administration's recent Summit of the Americas. 

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2022-06-22
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China's Path and Xi's Political Future: Expert Chris Johnson

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with former senior CIA China analyst Chris Johnson, now President and CEO of the China Strategies Group, about the state of play in the U.S.-China relationship and how China's approach to Russia, its COVID lockdowns and economic policies are affecting the bilateral and global dynamic. Johnson and Morell discuss President Xi Jinping's political objectives ahead of the 20th Party Congress this fall, including whether there exists a timeline for 'reunification' with Taiwan. Johnson also offers views on the Biden administration's recently announced China strategy. 

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2022-06-15
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Big Tech, Regulation & National Security: Klon Kitchen & Jamil Jaffer

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Klon Kitchen, Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and Jamil Jaffer, founder and Executive Director of the National Security Institute at George Mason University, about a range of current national security topics, including Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Iran's pursuit of nuclear capabilities, and the national security implications of regulating Big Tech companies. Kitchen and Jaffer offer their views on why politically-driven legislation could negatively affect innovation that they say is crucial to U.S. national security and to maintaining the country's competitive edge. They also share thoughts on why European and Chinese approaches are ill-suited for American markets. 

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2022-06-08
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The Sandy Hook Shooting and How Conspiracy Theories Affect National Security: Journalist Elizabeth Williamson

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with journalist and author Elizabeth Williamson, who traced the rise and proliferation of conspiracy theories surrounding the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in a new book, Sandy Hook: An American Tragedy in the Battle for Truth. Williamson and Morell discuss how the conspiracy theories began, to whom they tend to appeal, and how social media companies have been integral to their spread. Williamson also explains how the U.S. may have begun 'exporting' politicized disinformation and techniques now being coopted by authoritarian governments around the world. 

Editor's note: This episode was taped before the tragic events in Uvalde, Texas.

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2022-06-01
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Reporting From Ukraine's Front Line: CBS News Correspondent Holly Williams

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with award-winning CBS News senior foreign correspondent Holly Williams about her on-the-ground reporting in Ukraine since the days of the 2014 Maidan revolution. Williams and Morell discuss the scenes at the front lines of the conflict today, including the brutality of Russia's tactics, the morale of Ukraine's forces, and Volodymyr Zelenskyy's unlikely rise to the presidency. Williams also offers insights into the kinds of preparations that are made for conflict zone reporting and reflects on the sacrifices journalists have made while covering Russia's war. 

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2022-05-25
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State of Play in Ukraine: Former Moscow Chief of Station Rolf Mowatt-Larssen

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with former senior CIA operations officer and Moscow station chief Rolf Mowatt-Larssen about the likely trajectory of the war in Ukraine, including the possibility of a negotiated peace -- or dangerous escalation. Mowatt-Larssen offers insights on Putin's options, potential rifts among his intelligence agencies, and persistent rumors about the Russian leader's health. Morell and Mowatt-Larssen also discuss Western involvement in the conflict and the lingering potential for the Kremlin to use weapons of mass destruction. 

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2022-05-18
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Counterterrorism Chief Christy Abizaid on Top Terror Threats to the U.S.

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Christine "Christy" Abizaid, director of the National Counterterrorism Center within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Abizaid explains how the center's mission has evolved in the two decades following 9/11 and where its current areas of focus are. She details the existing external attack capabilities of terror networks including ISIS, al-Qaeda and al-Shabaab and explains how their ideologies have spread worldwide. Abizaid also offers her perspective on the threat within the United States of domestic violent extremists, explaining how NCTC supports domestic law enforcement agencies in tracking and disrupting potential attacks. 

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2022-05-11
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Israel's Security Challenges: Former Senior Mossad Officer Zohar Palti

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Zohar Palti, former senior Mossad officer and head of the Israeli Defense Forces' Political-Military Bureau, about his career, Israel's approach to the Iran nuclear issue and Tehran's response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Palti shares his views on the value of intelligence to key decision points in Israel's historic national security choices and the bond between the Mossad and CIA. He also discusses the current top threats to Israel today. 

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2022-05-04
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Former GOP Congressman and CIA Officer Will Hurd

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Will Hurd, a former CIA officer and Republican Congressman from Texas who served on the House Intelligence Committee. Morell and Hurd, who is the author of the new book, "American Reboot: An Idealist?s Guide to Getting Big Things Done," discuss a range of domestic challenges - including immigration, political division, and adapting to advanced technologies - that may pose broader national security threats. They also discuss the U.S. policy toward Ukraine amid Russia's invasion and America's preparedness for long-term competition with China.

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2022-04-27
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John McLaughlin on Russia's World-Changing War

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with former CIA deputy director John McLaughlin about the global implications of Russia's invasion of Ukraine - including within Russia itself, across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. McLaughlin offers analysis on Russian president Vladimir Putin's personal position, the nature of a potential Ukrainian insurgency, and the rebuilding that will have to follow the end of the war. Morell and McLaughlin also discuss the future of Western alliances, how China deals with the world, and how the world deals with China.

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2022-04-20
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Top State Department Intelligence Official Brett Holmgren

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Brett Holmgren, Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research (INR) at the U.S. Department of State, about the unique history of his agency, its future, and how its analysts work to equip diplomats with key intelligence today. Holmgren and Morell discuss the Biden administration's unprecedented strategy of publicly releasing declassified intelligence about Russia's military plans in Ukraine, the risks it entails, and how it may have solidified Western support for rigorous sanctions. They also discuss China's support for Russia and other key global challenges, including the elusive nuclear deal with Iran and democratic backsliding in Latin America.

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2022-04-13
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Global Effects of Russia's War in Ukraine: Oil and Energy Expert Mark Finley

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Mark Finley, fellow in energy and global oil at Rice University's Baker Institute, former senior economist for British Petroleum, and former analyst and manager at CIA. Finley explains the effects of Russia's invasion of Ukraine on global oil and gas markets and why current Western sanctions may not immediately meaningfully curtail Moscow's energy revenues. Morell and Finley also discuss how the rest of the world may experience price shocks stemming from growing commodities prices, including the risk of a recession. 

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2022-04-06
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WMD Risks in Ukraine: Former Senior CIA Operations Officer Rolf Mowatt-Larssen

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with former senior CIA operations officer and senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center Rolf Mowatt-Larssen about Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, the prospect of Russia using weapons of mass destruction, and the likelihood of a near-term political solution to the crisis. Mowatt-Larssen, who spent a significant part of his career in Moscow and dealt with WMD terror threats after 9/11, outlines some of Putin's most significant miscalculations, his efforts to control domestic narratives within Russia, and the internal fissures that the Ukraine conflict has laid bare. Mowatt-Larssen also offers insights into how the war - and potential political solutions - may proceed from here. 

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2022-03-30
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Nuclear Confrontations with Moscow: Author Brian Morra

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Brian Morra, former Air Force intelligence officer and author of "The Able Archers," a novel based on the true story of a narrowly avoided nuclear confrontation between the U.S. and the Soviet Union in 1983. Morra details the key players and events that brought the two global superpowers to the brink of conflict - and what high-risk interventions were required to avert cataclysm. Morra explains how his book - and experience in 1983 - might have meaning for the Russia-led war in Ukraine today. 

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2022-03-23
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Beijing's View of the Russia-Ukraine War: China Expert Chris Johnson

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Chris Johnson, Senior Fellow at CSIS, about the Chinese perspective on the Russia-Ukraine War. Morell and Johnson discuss how the crisis in Ukraine affects China's view on Taiwan and how China would like the conflict to end. Johnson discusses how chemical weapons "would probably be a dividing line for the Chinese, although it wasn't in Syria."

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2022-03-16
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Profiling Putin and Other World Leaders: Psychiatrist Kenneth Dekleva

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Kenneth Dekleva, a psychiatrist, former U.S. Department of State Regional Medical Officer, and Senior Fellow at the George H.W. Bush Foundation for US-China Relations, about how experts compile psychological profiles of world leaders. Morell and Dekleva discuss the formative experiences and core characteristics of Russian president Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Khamanei. They also discuss the character of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, as well as how other countries might approach similar profiles of U.S. leaders

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2022-03-09
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Putin's Choices in Ukraine: Former Top Pentagon Official Mike Vickers

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Mike Vickers, former Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, Special Forces officer and CIA operations officer. Vickers and Morell discuss whether and how Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine may have been a gross strategic miscalculation, how and when the West might have deterred his moves, and what future scenarios for the conflict exist. They discuss Putin's options and decision-making and how his pariah status will affect developments domestically and globally. 

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2022-03-02
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Taiwan-China Tensions: Expert Bonnie Glaser

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Bonnie Glaser, director of the Asia Program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, about the history of Taiwan, current political perceptions of it within China and the Communist Party, and whether Chinese president Xi Jinping has a timeline for achieving reunification. Morell and Glaser also discuss Xi?s likely perceptions of the Russia-Ukraine crisis and of the effect of the United States? longstanding policy of strategic ambiguity.

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2022-02-23
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The Russia-Ukraine Crisis: A Panel of Experts Discuss

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell moderates a conversation among a panel of experts including former Deputy Secretary General of NATO Rose Gottemoeller, former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Russia and Eurasia Andrea Kendall-Taylor, and former senior CIA operations officer John Sipher about the state of the Russia-Ukraine crisis and whether diplomatic options remain viable. The panel evaluates Russian President Vladimir Putin's immediate and long-term objectives and discusses how deterrent measures might be enhanced. They also discuss possible post-conflict scenarios in the European security landscape. This episode was produced in partnership with the Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security at George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government.

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2022-02-16
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The Future of the Kim Regime: North Korea Expert Sue Mi Terry

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Sue Mi Terry, former senior CIA analyst and current Director of the Hyundai Motor-Korea Foundation Center for Korean History and Public Policy at the Wilson Center, about North Korea's record-breaking spate of missile tests in 2022 and its overall approach to the Biden administration. Terry and Morell discuss the stances struck by Russia and China to Pyongyang's newly aggressive behavior, as well as the prospects for changes in the Kim regime's behavior. Terry also identifies some burgeoning fissures in North Korean society and discusses growing concerns about leader Kim Jong Un's health. 

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2022-02-09
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Stanford Professor and Author Amy Zegart

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Amy Zegart, the Morris Arnold and Nona Jean Cox Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Professor of Political Science at Stanford University about her new book, "Spies, Lies and Algorithms: The History and Future of American Intelligence." Morell and Zegart discuss the impact of emerging technologies on intelligence collection and analysis, both of which, Zegart says, have been fundamentally changed by developments like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and commercial satellite imagery. Zegart also outlines the five "mores" - more threats, more speed, more data, more customers and more competitors - that she says have made the work of intelligence newly challenging. 

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2022-02-02
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CIA's Former Deputy Director for Science and Technology Dawn Meyerriecks

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Dawn Meyerriecks, former Deputy Director for Science and Technology at the CIA, about the role of technology in intelligence collection and analysis and how technological developments can enhance, threaten or fundamentally change the work of national security. Meyerriecks discusses how the CIA has historically approached the incorporation of new technologies into its tradecraft and how the agency is adapting to fast-moving changes today. She also discusses how the CIA is contending with the phenomenon of ubiquitous technical surveillance, which has threatened its human intelligence collection mission. 

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2022-01-26
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State Department Counselor Derek Chollet on Top Foreign Policy Challenges

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with State Department Counselor Derek Chollet about the top foreign policy challenges facing the United States, and how the State Department sees the way forward with regard to Russia, Iran, Afghanistan and China. Chollet outlines the U.S. strategy for deescalating tensions with Moscow amid its continued military buildup at Ukraine's border, discusses the prospects for brokering a nuclear deal with Iran, and offers thoughts on how the U.S. will approach challenges stemming from China's rise. He also describes ongoing efforts to bolster U.S. alliances and reinvigorate U.S. diplomacy. 

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2022-01-19
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Applying Cold War Lessons to Great Power Competition: Historian Hal Brands

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Hal Brands, the Henry Kissinger Distinguished Professor of Global Affairs at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and the author of the new book, "The Twilight Struggle: What the Cold War Teaches Us About Great Power Rivalry Today." Morell and Brands discuss the ways in which applied history can help policymakers make better-informed strategic decisions today. They move through a selection of Cold War-era lessons outlined by Brands in his book to inform the United States' approach to competition with Russia and China. They also discuss why some efforts - including the forging global partnerships and successfully projecting democratic values - may pose more of a challenge for the United States today than it did in decades past.

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2022-01-12
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Michael Morell on the Top Global Threats in 2022

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell offers a personal, in-depth analysis of two top global threats in 2022: Russia?s military aggression toward Ukraine and Iran?s nuclear ambitions. Morell offers historic and contemporary context on Moscow?s objectives and President Putin?s tactics; he also offers unique perspective on the political and national security calculus being made by Tehran?s leadership as nuclear talks continue. He describes alternative scenarios and lays out the most likely outcomes for each foreign policy challenge.  

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2022-01-05
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"Best Of" Intelligence Matters: Clarissa Ward

In this 'Best Of' episode of Intelligence Matters, we revisit Michael Morell's June 2021 conversation with CNN Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward, who shares anecdotes and personal reflections related to her memoir, "On All Fronts: The Education of a Journalist." Ward explains how the attacks on September 11, 2001, prompted her to pursue a career in broadcast journalism, and how she rose through the ranks to become an on-air correspondent. She details her experiences reporting from conflict zones in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria, and what drove her to tell the stories of people living in war-torn areas. Ward also tells Morell about her friendship with American journalist Austin Tice, as well as her efforts to search for Tice after his abduction in Syria in 2012.

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2021-12-29
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