In this episode of Intelligence Matters: Declassified, Michael Morell speaks with David Tyson, a retired CIA officer who served in Afghanistan after 9/11. Tyson joins Michael on the anniversary of the death of fellow CIA officer, Mike Spann, the first American casualty in Afghanistan. Tyson recounts the story of Spann’s death, the battle that lead to it, and how he honors Spann’s legacy today.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, Michael Morell interviews Senior Fellow and Korea Chair at CSIS Sue Mi Terry on the threats North Korea poses to U.S. National Security. They discuss the growing advancement of North Korea’s nuclear missile program as U.S. attempts for negotiating denuclearization halt. Terry expresses concern over a potential provocation from North Korea during the Biden administration transition and recommends that President Elect Biden “send a signal to North Korea to not conduct a provocation.”
In our series leading up to the inauguration, host Michael Morell evaluates the state of the field for top national security issues facing the U.S. in the next presidential term. In this episode of Intelligence Matters, Morell interviews Harvard Professor of Government Graham Allison about the enduring U.S.-China rivalry. Allison is a leading analyst of national security with special interests in nuclear weapons and China, and Former Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Clinton and Special Advisor to the Secretary of Defense under President Reagan. Allison describes a new climate change M.A.D. policy, China’s attempt to ascend to the centerpiece of the international order, and strategies to avoid a nuclear war with China.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell interviews Retired Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, a Senior Fellow at both Stanford University's Hoover Institution and its Graduate School of Business. A career U.S. Army officer and National Security Adviser to President Trump, he is also the author of a newly-released book titled Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World. General McMaster passes along advice on how the next president should handle relations with North Korea's Kim Jong Un, gives insight on the effectiveness of our handling of Russia, and shares his passion for helping those in Venezuela.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell interviews former FBI Special Agent Clint Watts, current Distinguished Research Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and Non-Resident Fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy and author of Messing With The Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians and Fake News. Watts offers his analysis of Russia, China, and Iran and their respective threats to election security. He discusses Russian disinformation on social media, concerns about China, and fears about the implications of the lack of unity inside the United States.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters: Declassified host Michael Morell interviews Kristin Wood, career analyst and manager of analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency. Wood looks back at the time she spent as Scooter Libby's briefer and Vice President Cheney's backup briefer. Both roles she played during the time of the 9/11 attacks. Post 9/11 there was a push by top officials to connect Iraq with al-Qaeda's role in the attacks, a push that led to the "Murkey Water Papers" being published. A report she says now, in hindsight, she would not do. "It was written in the context of some of the administration using questionable intelligence reports to justify their views that Iraq was somehow complicit in the 9/11 attacks."
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell interviews Bradley Hope and Justin Scheck, reporters for The Wall Street Journal and co-authors of Blood and Oil: Mohammed Bin Salman's Ruthless Quest for Global Power, about the leadership style and strategic decision-making of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS). Hope and Scheck offer their assessment of the "dichotomy" of MBS, explaining how he has behaved as both a great reformer and ruthless dictator. They also discuss MBS’s likely awareness of the murder of dissident Jamal Khashoggi, his views on political reform, and attempts to diversify the Saudi economy.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell interviews John Brennan, career intelligence officer and former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Brennan, who led the agency during the Obama administration from 2013 to 2017, offers new insights into the intelligence community's assessments of Russia's interference in the 2016 election, shares concerns about the potential politicization of the community's work, and discusses the merits of pursuing a career in national security. Brennan, now retired, also discusses details included in his new memoir, UNDAUNTED: My Fight Against America’s Enemies, at Home and Abroad.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell interviews David Priess, former daily intelligence briefer, CIA officer and now Chief Operating Officer of the Lawfare Institute, about the history, content and aim of the President's Daily Brief (PDB), one of the intelligence community's most valuable and highly classified products. Priess, whose book “The President’s Book of Secrets” delves into the history and recipients of the top-secret document, explains how it evolved, what goes into producing it, and how presidents have consumed it. Priess and Morell also discuss the process for briefing presidential candidates and concerns about the politicization of intelligence.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Antony "Tony" Blinken, former deputy Secretary of State and current Foreign Policy Advisor for the Joe Biden for President campaign. Morell and Blinken discuss a potential Biden administration's foreign policy priorities and its likely approach to top global security challenges, including climate change, armed conflicts, and strategic threats from China, Russia, Iran and North Korea. Blinken also details the Vice President's likely approach to the U.S. intelligence, diplomatic and military communities. A corresponding interview request has been extended to the Trump White House, and is pending.