In 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.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with former senior CIA operations officer Marc Polymeropoulos, who retired from the agency in June after nearly three decades of service in a number of overseas posts. Polymeropoulos discusses the training he received at CIA, the art of recruiting and running assets, and the value of human spies. He discusses some of his assignments while overseas and addresses questions about politics and morale at the agency. Morell and Polymeropoulos also discuss the intelligence implications of the Trump administration’s decision to pull U.S. forces out of Syria.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Kurt Campbell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Asia Group, and Jake Sullivan, former national security advisor to Vice President Joe Biden and director of policy planning at the U.S. State Department, about U.S.-China relations and the long-term strategic threat posed by Beijing. Morell, Campbell and Sullivan discuss the variety of foreign policy challenges facing the Trump administration and the evolving strategies to confront China being discussed.
In this bonus episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell appears alongside former CIA Acting Director John McLaughlin and former CIA Senior Paramilitary Officer Phil Reilly at a panel discussion at the 9/11 Memorial Museum, held in partnership with the CIA. Morell, McLaughlin and Reilly each discuss their recollections from both the September 11, 2011 attacks and their immediate aftermath, as well as how the work of intelligence collection and analysis was immediately and irrevocably changed.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with retired U.S. Navy Admiral William “Bill” McRaven, who served as commander of U.S. Special Operations Command from 2011 and 2014. The former Navy SEAL and four-star admiral discusses his family’s military history and his own experiences during some of the most well-known missions of his nearly 40-year career – including the Osama bin Laden Raid and the capture of Saddam Hussein. Morell and McRaven also discuss leadership, service and McRaven’s latest book, “Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations.”
In this bonus episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell shares his views on and analysis of the recently released whistleblower complaint centered on a call between President Trump and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine. Morell reviews the facts that have emerged to date and offers context on the complaint itself. He also addresses allegations surrounding former Vice President Joe Biden.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Richard Haass, former Director of Policy Planning for the State Department and current president of the Council on Foreign Relations. Morell and Haass discuss the arc of American foreign policy and its ideological evolution during the Trump administration. Haass offers his views on policy approaches to China, North Korea, Iran and Russia. He also shares his concerns about the security and stability of the U.S. and its institutions.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell has the tables turned on him – and gets asked the questions in a live taping at the Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy & Government. Morell talks with CBS News intelligence reporter Olivia Gazis about his three-decade career at the CIA and top foreign policy issues involving Iran, Afghanistan, North Korea and China. He also discusses technological and other challenges currently facing the U.S. intelligence community.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Todd Owen, Executive Assistant Commissioner for Field Operations at U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Owen and Morell discuss the agency's main operational components and the state of U.S. border security. Owen explains the focus and range of the agency's efforts on counterterrorism and narcotics interdiction, addresses migration and asylum trends exacerbating security and humanitarian concerns on the U.S. southern border, and evaluates the U.S.-Mexico operational relationship.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with journalist and author Garrett Graff about his new book, "The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11." Graff and Morell discuss a number of the little-known details contained in the book, which were offered by hundreds of people who lived through the events of September 11, 2001. On the eighteenth anniversary of the attacks, as the day slips "from memory to history," Graff discusses the importance of collecting first-hand accounts that reveal more than just the day"s facts. Morell also offers details from his own experience as the CIA"s daily briefer to President Bush on the morning of the attacks.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with former CIA officer Kristin Wood, who served in three different directorates over a two-decade career at the agency. Wood and Morell discuss the process, substance and value of the agency's analytic work and describe how it is delivered to top policymakers. Wood also discusses the growing importance of open-source data to the intelligence community and explains how an Internet-facilitated "firehose of information" has fundamentally changed the work of the country's intelligence analysts.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with former Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers about recent developments in Afghanistan, the site of America's longest war. Morell and Vickers review the evolution of security challenges in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks and discuss the current status of U.S.-Taliban peace talks. Vickers reviews the main pillars of the talks and offers perspective on the potential risks associated with a total U.S. withdrawal. He also offers thoughts on crafting a successful long-term strategy in Afghanistan.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with CNN Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto about his new book, "The Shadow Wars," about how Russia and China are leveraging different tools, strategies and battlefields to counter the United States below the threshold of armed conflict. Sciutto explains how emerging domains including cyber, submarine technology and space are increasingly contested by great powers in their pursuit of dominance. Morell and Sciutto also discuss the United States? awareness of and policy responses to measures taken by Russia and China to date.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Juan Cruz, former special assistant to the President and senior director for Western Hemisphere affairs at the National Security Council, about the ongoing humanitarian and security crisis in Venezuela. Cruz explains the origins of the instability, the U.S. government's response to date, and discusses possible "day after" scenarios that could follow the fall of Nicolas Maduro and the installation of a transitional government. He also tells Morell how Maduro has managed to cling to power and invited support from strategic challengers like Russia, China, Iran and Cuba.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Michael Allen, a former majority staff director for the House Intelligence Committee and senior director at the National Security Council under former president George W. Bush, about the provenance and purpose of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). Allen, who wrote a book documenting the office's post-9/11 stand-up, discusses how it came into being and the ways in which it coordinates activities and priorities across the 17-agency intelligence community. Allen also weighs in on the requisite qualities for a new DNI as the Trump administration continues its search for a replacement for Dan Coats.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and 'Stay Tuned' podcast host Preet Bharara about the findings and testimony of former special counsel Robert Mueller. Bharara and Morell review the implications of Volumes I and II of Mueller's report, discuss the health of the rule of law throughout the United States, and the effects of the potential erosion of trust in U.S. institutions. Bharara also recounts the story of his visit to Trump Tower to meet with the president-elect in 2016.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Ambassador Dennis Ross, former Middle East peace envoy and top negotiator, about the prospects for resolving the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ross, who served multiple presidents of both parties over the course of a career spanning over three decades, retraces his efforts to broker a peace agreement under presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and explained how early missteps during the Obama administration seemed to derail prospects for a deal. He also evaluates the Trump administration's approach to the impasse and offers thoughts on ongoing challenges in Iran and Afghanistan.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Sue Gordon, the country's number two U.S. intelligence official, about the proliferating and accelerating information threats facing the intelligence community. Gordon explains how agencies are preparing to confront a novel set of challenges related to the 2020 presidential elections - in part by boosting transparency - and how it is bolstering relationships with the private and tech sectors. Gordon also weighs in on the leadership of DNI Dan Coats and the wisdom of former senior intelligence officials speaking out publicly about political matters. This is the second installment of a continuing series on "Leadership of the IC," featuring currently-serving senior leadership within the U.S. intelligence community.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Ellen McCarthy, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR). As head of INR – the oldest all-source U.S. intelligence agency, and among the smallest, within the 17-member community – McCarthy leads a cadre of about 250 analysts at the State Department who provide assessments to the Secretary of State, relevant policymakers and the President. She explains how INR analysts arrive at their assessments of foreign leaders, including North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Russian president Vladimir Putin, and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and how their assessments can inform, but not influence, policymaking. This is the second installment of a continuing series on "Leadership of the IC," featuring currently-serving senior leadership within the U.S. intelligence community.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Russ Travers, deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Travers offers an overview of enduring and evolving terrorism threats facing the U.S. from extremist groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda as well as known state sponsors of terror Iran and Pakistan. He also outlines how technological shifts are compounding challenges of counterterrorism intelligence collection. This is the first installment of a continuing series on "Leadership of the IC," featuring currently-serving senior leadership within the U.S. intelligence community.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Chris Krebs, Director of the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Krebs details the department's efforts to defend U.S. systems, elections and infrastructure from foreign adversaries' cyber incursions and influence operations. He explains the nature of strategic threats from Russia, China and others and how CISA is working to boost the resilience of the country's critical infrastructure. He also describes the agency's efforts to protect the 2020 presidential election from outside interference.
In this bonus episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell holds a mock "situation room" dialogue with Ambassador Bill Burns, former deputy Secretary of State and President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Jim Miller, former Under Secretary is Defense for Policy and senior fellow at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, on U.S. diplomatic, policy and military options for responding to Iran amid escalating tensions.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Washington Post journalist and Beijing bureau chief Anna Fifield about her new book, "The Great Successor: The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong-Un." Morell and Fifield discuss her years of reporting from inside Pyongyang and her conversations with the North Korean leader's elusive inner circle. She describes how she obtained first-hand accounts of Kim's childhood and family relationships. Fifield also details some of Kim's early, formative experiences and the sometimes brutal ways he managed to consolidate and maintain power.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with former CIA analyst and targeting officer Nada Bakos about the post-9/11 hunt for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the low-level jihadist and eventual head of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, ISIS's predecessor organization. Morell and Bakos discuss the intense political pressure some analysts felt as they worked to identify links between Iraq and Al Qaeda in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. Bakos also describes how targeting officers employed tactical analysis in an effort to dismantle terror networks and the human intelligence that led to Zarqawi's demise.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell interviews Jonna Mendez, who spent nearly three decades at the CIA and was its Chief of Disguise until 1993. Mendez tells Morell about the fundamentals of disguise, deception and illusion, including what kinds of spies were the hardest to hide. Mendez also discusses her time with her husband, Tony Mendez, a celebrated CIA officer who was famously portrayed in the movie, "Argo." She explains why both of them have pushed for greater transparency into the lives and work of intelligence officers worldwide.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Russia and foreign policy expert Angela Stent, who is director of the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies and a professor of government and foreign service at Georgetown University. Stent and Morell discuss Russia's primary global objectives today, and the centuries of history that have shaped its trajectory. Stent also traces President Vladimir Putin's rise to power, and offers an assessment of the qualities and strategies that underlie his political success.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell interviews Tamir Pardo, who served as Director of the Mossad, Israel's intelligence service, from 2011 to 2016. They discuss the Mossad's relationship with the CIA and current regional dynamics involving Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the possibility of arriving at a two-state solution. In a rare and wide-ranging interview, Pardo tells Morell about his career trajectory and pivotal moments during his tenure as director.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with David Sanger, national security correspondent for the New York Times and author of “The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age.” Morell and Sanger discuss the technological and geopolitical challenges of the cyber domain, including forthcoming developments like 5G networks, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and expanding opportunities for offensive operations. Sanger also offers his perspective on covering the intelligence community and the Trump administration.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Col. Chris Costa, executive director of the International Spy Museum, about the museum's reimagined exhibitions and upcoming reopening in a new location in Washington, DC. Costa explains how the museum obtained over 7,000 artifacts and uses them to tell a newly dimensional story of global spycraft. He covers the tactics, products and gadgetry of espionage, and tells Morell how the museum provides new insight into different facets of intelligence work.
In this special edition of Intelligence Matters, which is marking its one-year anniversary since being relaunched by CBS News, host Michael Morell speaks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about the top foreign policy challenges facing the United States. Morell and Pompeo discuss the post-caliphate capabilities of ISIS, the way forward in Afghanistan and Syria, the Trump administration's policy priorities in Iran, and its strategy for countering immediate threats from North Korea and long-term threats from China. Secretary Pompeo also makes a case for America's continued global engagement.
In this week's episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell interviews Chris Darby, President and CEO of In-Q-Tel (IQT), the strategic investment arm of the C.I.A. and the broader intelligence and national security community. Darby explains the history of IQT, how it identifies and vets the companies it chooses to invest in, and how its priorities have evolved since 9/11. Morell and Darby discuss the top technology challenges facing the intelligence community as well as the intensifying strategic competition with China. Darby explains why imagination and creativity play a central role in keeping the intelligence community agile and the country safe.
In this bonus episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell leads a panel discussion with four top journalists and editors with decades of experience covering intelligence-related issues. Morell interviews NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell, Cipher Brief CEO and Publisher Suzanne Kelly, and the Washington Post’s National Security and Intelligence Columnist David Ignatius and National Security Editor Peter Finn about how the media balances accountability journalism with the need to protect national security. The event was sponsored by the Michael V. Hayden Center and the Schar School of Policy and Government.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Jamie Metzl, a geopolitics expert, technology futurist and author of a new book called Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity. Metzl and Morell discuss recent advances in reproductive technologies and genetic screening, as well as how their convergence with other technologies like artificial intelligence and big data processing could fundamentally change population health and growth. They also review the national security implications of certain advances in genetic engineering, including how societies worldwide may navigate the ethical questions raised by gene editing and embryo screening.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with former career CIA official Meroe Park, who served at the agency for nearly three decades in a variety of roles -- including analyst, executive assistant to former director George Tenet, chief of payroll and, most recently, chief operating officer. Park was also acting director when President Trump made his first visit to and speech at the CIA in January 2017. She recounts the last-minute preparations for his appearance and explains why the backlash to Trump's controversial speech missed part of the story of his visit. She also discusses the CIA's efforts to boost diversity and demonstrate effective internal leadership.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Glenn Gerstell, the National Security Agency's top legal officer. They discuss the looming legal, ethical and societal implications of the digital revolution underway across the globe, as well as the challenges posed by the rapid development and adoption of new technologies. Gerstell explains how changes in the information landscape have prompted an evolution in the NSA's own approach to transparency. He also details the NSA's internal protocols for identifying surveillance targets and unmasking individuals whose communications are captured by incidental collection.
In this bonus episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell leads a panel discussion with four former intelligence committee members in partnership with the Michael V. Hayden Center and the Schar School of Policy and Government. Former members of the congressional intelligence committees, including former Representatives Jane Harman (D-CA) and Mike Rogers (R-MI) and former Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Bill Nelson (D-FL), weigh in on the role and practice of oversight, challenges that can arise, and how politicization can be a complicating factor for essential accountability work.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks about a growing crisis in American foreign policy with Eliot Cohen, Executive Vice Dean of Johns Hopkins University?s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and Robert E. Osgood Professor of Strategic Studies. Cohen, who also served as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's senior adviser, tells Morell the United States risks becoming 'erratically internationalist' by making inconsistent or incoherent choices about where it is engaged abroad. He argues President Trump represents a broad American disenchantment with the country's post-World War II role, and suggests other state and non-state actors will move to assert more control in their respective regions.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, former CIA director General (ret.) David Petraeus speaks with host Michael Morell about strategic leadership and the need to conceive, communicate, implement and refine 'big ideas.' Petraeus, who commanded coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, weighs in on the 'big ideas' that should shape some of the biggest challenges in U.S. foreign policy, including vis-à-vis China, Russia and North Korea. He also offers a five-part framework for confronting Islamic extremism, and shares insights about his time at the helm of the CIA.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with William Burns, career diplomat, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State and current president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Burns shares concerns about a decades-long drift in American diplomacy, which he says began after the Cold War, intensified in the years following 9/11, and has been accelerated during the Trump administration. He tells Morell why American engagement abroad remains crucial and how it could make a meaningful difference in confronting geopolitical challenges from the likes of China, Russia, North Korea and Iran. Burns also shares anecdotes from his new book, The Back Channel, about engaging directly with Vladimir Putin during his time as U.S. Ambassador to Russia and about the backroom meetings that preceded the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
In this week's episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with psychiatrist Dr. David Charney, who has spent decades personally evaluating intelligence professionals and has interviewed some of the most well-known spies in American history, including former FBI Agents Earl Pitts and Robert Hansenn. Charney explains the core psychology of espionage, including a theory of what leads people to spy and what kinds of traits and situations are most common among those who choose to do so. Charney also offers new ideas for preventing spying, and stopping it once it starts.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Laura Holgate, former U.S. Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency and Senior Director for Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism and Threat Reduction on President Obama's National Security Council. Holgate, now vice president for materials risk management at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, explains the threats posed by chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons and how the United States, along with international partners, works to contain them. Holgate and Morell assess the United States' approach to some of the most precarious proliferation challenges in the world, including from North Korea, Iran and, more recently, Saudi Arabia.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Center of Strategic and International Studies Senior Fellow and Korea Chair Sue Mi Terry about the state of the U.S.-North Korea relationship and the stakes facing both President Trump and leader Kim Jong Un ahead of their second summit in Vietnam. Terry offers an assessment of Pyongyang’s current capabilities, an overview of why Kim has come to the negotiating table, and outlines the questions that remain unanswered about Kim’s strategic intentions. Terry tells Morell what progress will have to be made in Hanoi for the U.S. to be able to declare it a success.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who ran the U.S. government’s third-largest department from 2013 to 2017 during the Obama administration. Johnson offers context on the security challenges at the U.S. southern border, addresses the government’s multi-agency handling of cyber threats, and evaluates the Obama administration’s response to Russia’s efforts to disrupt the 2016 presidential election. Johnson also reviews his career history as a top official at the Department of Defense.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with former diplomat Vicki Huddleston, who served as U.S. ambassador to Mali and Madagascar and was the country's top diplomat in Havana during the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. She details the rocky evolution of the U.S.-Cuba diplomatic relationship, including personal experiences dealing with former revolutionary and Cuban prime minister Fidel Castro. Huddleston and Morell evaluate the Obama administration's 2014 opening to Cuba and the possible trajectories for future of the relationship.
In a special bonus episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Pedro Burelli, a former member of the Executive Board of Petróleos de Venezuela who now lives in exile in the United States and speaks regularly with democratic leader Juan Guaidó. Burelli weighs in on the state of affairs in Venezuela and explains why the Trump administration’s efforts to build a multilateral alliance in the region may lead to a peaceful solution. He offers views on Guaidó’s political evolution and rapid rise to power, and discusses why the country – with the international community’s help in ousting malign influence from abroad and rebuilding institutions from within – may soon be poised to undergo permanent change.
In this week’s episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with retired Navy Admiral Mike Rogers, who until recently served as director of the National Security Agency, Commander of U.S. Cyber Command and Chief of the Central Security Service. They discuss Rogers’ three-decade military career, including how he went from serving as a Navy cryptologist to leading the country’s largest intelligence agency, how his dual-hatted role worked in practice, and whether changes to the agencies’ leadership structure are overdue. They also discuss current cyber threats, insider threats, and why global cyber norms remain elusive. Rogers also weighs in on the merits of public attribution for cyber attacks and the appropriateness of offensive cyber measures.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with David Cohen and Avril Haines, who both served as deputy directors of the CIA during the Obama administration. They discuss with Morell, who was also a deputy director, the demands of the role - including preparing for the Presidential Daily Brief and how it compared to their previous experiences in the U.S. government. They also assess the responsibility of CIA directors to appear and speak publicly, contrasting current director Gina Haspel's relatively low profile with former director John Brennan's choice to be outspoken.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Chicago University professor and Director of the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism Robert Pape, who explains how ISIS and other militant groups adopt Western narratives to effectively recruit in the United States. Pape reviews what inspires people about ISIS propaganda and how the group's recruits differ from those of Al Qaeda. He also tells Morell how he works with the FBI and U.S. prison system to better understand the psychologies of those who have become radicalized.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell interviews former deputy Secretary of State and deputy National Security advisor to President Barack Obama Antony Blinken, who weighs in on the Trump administration's foreign policy decisions in some of the world's top geopolitical hotspots. Blinken evaluates the opportunities seized, squandered and still ahead in countries including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, Russia, North Korea and China. A former national security advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, Blinken discusses the parameters of a potential Biden foreign policy.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Lisa Monaco, former U.S. Homeland Security Advisor to President Barack Obama. She reviews her career trajectory from federal prosecutor to Hill staffer to running the National Security Division at the Department of Justice to a series of high-profile roles at the White House. Monaco evaluates the existing threat from foreign-directed terror attacks, the importance of continuity in counterterrorism policy, and the evolution of cyber threats facing the United States.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, trade expert Gary Hufbauer, nonresident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, explains the national security implications of trade policy and why a given economy?s health is one of the most significant determinants of a nation?s stability. Hufbauer evaluates the effects of automation on the global economy, the enduring gap between wage and productivity growth, and how much trade balances really matter. He and Morell discuss the effect of populist trends on global economic policies and review several recent deals struck by the Trump administration.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, guest host Admiral Sandy Winnefeld (ret.) interviews Nadia Schadlow, Hudson Institute Senior Fellow and former Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy. They discuss the 2017 National Security Strategy, which articulates the administration's national security concerns and strategic priorities. Schadlow explains how the document was conceived and crafted to reflect President Trump's 'America First' governing philosophy. Schadlow and Winnefeld also discuss how the president's national security team considered the United States' posture vis a vis other great powers like Russia and China, and offers an assessment of the strategy's overall implementation to date.
In this week's episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Glenn Gaffney, current Executive Vice President of strategic intelligence investor In-Q-Tel and former head of the CIA's Science and Technology Directorate. Morell and Gaffney discuss space as an area of strategic, scientific, intelligence and military competition with Russia and China, and assess the United States' current positioning. They also review existing and future cyber threats to the U.S., which Gaffney explains are expanding and evolving with alarming rapidity.
In this bonus episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell weighs in on the CIA's reported assessment regarding the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. He explains the agency's analytic process, the significance of confidence levels, and which stakeholders would be briefed, and how. He reviews the strategic and policy implications of holding Saudi Arabia to account and what steps the United States and the Kingdom should take to ensure long-term regional stability.
In this week's episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with John Miller, Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism at the New York Police Department. In a wide-ranging conversation, Miller reflects on his career spanning journalism, public affairs and operations roles at some of the country's top law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Miller discusses his 1998, in-person interview with Osama bin Laden and live reporting after the 2001 September 11th attacks. He also tells Morell about the NYPD's intelligence and analysis efforts and weighs in on the threats posed by extremist groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS today.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Phil Reilly, former Special Forces soldier and CIA Clandestine Service Senior Paramilitary Officer who was among the select team of ten officers first deployed to Afghanistan in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Reilly recounts how U.S. forces first partnered with the Northern Alliance in the Panjshir Valley against Taliban units and describes his team's harrowing first helicopter flight over Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan. Reilly explains why he believes maintaining a strong U.S. presence in Afghanistan is necessary to prevent the Taliban from regaining power and to keep the existing Afghan government afloat.
In this week’s episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Former Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and legendary former CIA operative Michael Vickers about about his work combating the Soviets in Afghanistan, his views of the Trump administration’s security strategy, and the biggest national security threats facing the United States today. Vickers explains why he believes the United States and China are not only battling for economic and political supremacy, but also for control of advanced technologies and the “industries of the future.”
In this week's episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Eric Edelman, former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey and Finland, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and current co-chair of the National Defense Strategy Commission. Edelman and Morell, who is also a member of the Commission, discuss the contents of its new report evaluating the nation's defenses in general and the National Defense Strategy in particular. They explain why, just as other world rivals have grown savvier, stronger and more aggressive, America's military edge is in many areas diminished and in some cases erased. The two evaluate what steps the President and the U.S. Congress can take to forestall a significant national security crisis.
In this week’s episode of Intelligence Matters, guest host Ret. Navy Admiral Sandy Winnefeld speaks with Derek Maltz, former Agent in Charge of the Special Operations Division at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Administration for an important conversation about the national security implications of the opioid crisis gripping communities across the United States. Maltz explains the connectivity between drug traffickers and terrorist networks, China’s growing export of fentanyl and precursor chemicals, and how the DEA partners with the CIA and other intelligence and law enforcement agencies in international counter-narcotics efforts.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with David Cohen, former Deputy Director of the CIA and Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence about whether, when, and how targeted financial sanctions work. Cohen explains why the U.S. sanctions snapping back on Iran's oil industry may not have the same bite they did years ago, and why the Trump's administration's once-effective North Korea sanctions may have been weakened by the Singapore summit. Cohen describes how secondary sanctions expand the reach and enhance the power of U.S. financial sanctions, and how intelligence helps determine whether a given sanctions regime is effective.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, guest host retired Navy Admiral Sandy Winnefeld interviews Norman Roule, who spent decades at the CIA and Office of the Director of National Intelligence managing significant programs related to the Middle East. Roule, who recently returned from a trip to Saudi Arabia, explains how developments in the Khashoggi matter are being received by Saudi citizens and what senior officials in the Kingdom may do in response to widespread calls for transparency and accountability. Roule also details the many other challenges facing the Kingdom - including its domestic modernization push, the Yemen and Syria conflicts on its borders, and its efforts to build a post-oil economy.
In this week's episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with top Iran expert Karim Sadjadpour, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, about the state of Iran's economy, its domestic politics, and its diplomatic posture vis a vis the West. Sadjadpour offers insight into the evolving dynamics within Tehran's leadership structure and growing discontent in Iranian society, including whether unrest or revolution may be on the horizon. He also assesses the impact of the U.S.'s withdrawal from the nuclear deal, and explains why Iran's medium-term strategy may be to "wait out" the Trump administration.
In this bonus episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with the former Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers about the case of Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who disappeared in early October after walking into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Amid reports that Turkish officials have audio and video tapes showing Saudi agents are responsible for the murder of Khasshoggi -- a U.S. resident who had written critically of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman -- Morell and Vickers discuss the current knowns and unknowns of the case, the implications of Saudi Arabia's alleged involvement, and the necessary course of action for U.S. policymakers.
In this week's episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Senator James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, who serves on the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Morell and Lankford discuss the state of the nation's election security, the gamut of ongoing foreign misinformation efforts, and whether social media platforms need regulating. Lankford discusses the need for auditable ballots and his work to move a recently-stalled bipartisan election security bill through the Senate. He also provides an update on the committee's ongoing investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 elections.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Christopher Johnson, Senior Adviser and Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, about the current status of and the future possibilities for the U.S.-China relationship. They discuss the implications of a newly competitive economic relationship, the compatibility of domestic, regional and global objectives, and whether compromise is possible - or conflict is inevitable. Johnson explains why he believes America's withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership may be "the biggest strategic mistake the United States has ever made."
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, about the national security threats posed by global pandemic, epidemics, superbugs, man-made pathogens and bioterrorism. Fauci provides his assessment of the United States' and the world's level of preparedness for all of them.
In this week's episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with former National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush, Stephen Hadley. They discuss the need for continued American engagement on the global scene and the merits of a rules-based international system based on democracy, respect for human rights, and free markets. Hadley and Morell also review the major obstacles impeding a functional US-Russia relationship, as well as opportunities to interface strategically with Iran, North Korea and China.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell has a wide-ranging conversation with Jake Sullivan, former senior policy adviser on Secretary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign and national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden. They discuss key lessons learned from Russia's 2016 election interference, the Obama administration's response, and how future political leaders should be thinking about the presidency. Sullivan, who was deeply involved in brokering the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, discusses the Trump administration's opportunities for dialogue with Tehran, and shares his views on North Korea, Russia and other foreign policy challenges facing the United States.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with William Evanina, Director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, about the top counterintelligence threats facing the United States. Evanina shares his experience tracking the operational activities of Russian agents in the so-called "illegals" network that culminated in a U.S.-Russia prisoner exchange in 2010. He explains how Russia's ongoing tactical efforts today target critical infrastructure and elections systems, and details the risks posed by non-traditional collection efforts by China. He also tells Morell what other countries are on his "worry list" of increasingly sophisticated espionage challenges.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia), vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, speaks with host Michael Morell about top national security issues facing the intelligence community, the policymakers who oversee it, and the administration within which it operates. Warner shares his views on the responsibilities of currently-serving intelligence officials and the importance of adhering to the rule of law, and explains why the Senate Intelligence Committee’s ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election might be among the most important efforts of his public life. He tells Morell why his concerns about the strategic threat posed China have multiplied in recent years, and what he believes Silicon Valley – and the U.S. government – need to do to protect themselves against foreign influence campaigns from Russia, China, Iran and others.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Barbara Leaf speaks with host Michael Morell about the importance of diplomacy, the state of governance in the Middle East, and the path forward for Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Palestine. Leaf, who spent over three decades at the Department of State overseeing some of the most challenging diplomatic missions in the Middle East, explains why the United States has a "binding interest" in the region and why successful partnerships are critical to national security. She also tells Morell why she believes former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's tenure marked a period of "extraordinary destructiveness" at the State Department, and what she hopes his successor, Mike Pompeo, will do to help it recover.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Stacey Dixon, newly named director of Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), the so-called "DARPA-for-spies." Dixon explains how IARPA's work helps the intelligence community forecast global events like cyberattacks, civil unrest and bio-threats, and advance capabilities that use artificial intelligence and machine learning. She also addresses China's outsize investments in high-tech industries, which she warns risks luring away U.S. and other talent.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks to Juan Carlos Pinzon Bueno, Colombia's former minister of defense and its ambassador to the United States from 2015 to 2017. They discuss the status of the historic peace deal with FARC rebels, the growing political turbulence in Venezuela, and why trust remains at the crux of democracy. Pinzon and Morell also discuss the potential for a resurgence in drug trafficking, its implications for the United States, and other evolving security concerns in the region.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Laura Rosenberger and Jamie Fly of the German Marshall Fund's Alliance for Securing Democracy. The bipartisan duo discuss their latest project on disinformation campaigns being conducted worldwide, explain how European nations served as a training ground for operations in the United States and describe how other authoritarian regimes are taking examples from Russia's toolkit. They also detail how Russia's effort to sow social and political discord have reached beyond social media platforms and lasted long beyond the 2016 election.
In this bonus episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell addresses the Trump administration’s threat to revoke the security clearances of number of former senior government officials. Morell speaks personally about the value that former officials can offer to current administrations, whether and how clearances can be monetized, and how continuity among agency leaders can help serve the public interest. The episode features previous commentary from DNI James Clapper, NSA and CIA Director Michael Hayden, and CIA director John Brennan.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Pakistan's former Ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, who takes stock of Pakistan's prevailing domestic ideologies, its fraught regional relationships, and explains how it deals with Washington today. Just ahead of the elections in Pakistan, Haqqani describes the entrenched challenges facing the country and explains what political leaders can do to confront them. He also shares themes from his latest book, Reimagining Pakistan: Transforming a Dysfunctional Nuclear State.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Admiral Sandy Winnefeld, former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about the evolving military threats facing the United States and how potential adversaries are developing non-military means to counter U.S. capabilities. They also discuss the fracturing of the liberal world order and whether threats to it are coming from internal sources - like the United States itself. Winnefeld tells Morell how the U.S. military needs to change its approach in order to maintain its position in the current security environment.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell leads a rare interview with CIA's Chief of Talent Acquisition, Sheronda Dorsey, who describes how the agency finds, trains and retains its global network of employees. Dorsey, an agency veteran of nearly three decades, describes her own experience climbing the CIA's ranks as a young black female, and tells Morell how the CIA is working to boost diversity within its ranks and leadership today. She also shares the top qualifying and disqualifying factors for candidates who apply.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, Congressman Mike Quigley (D-IL), who serves on the House Intelligence Committee, speaks with host Michael Morell about the state of America's election security, and why, as midterms get underway, he believes there is much more to be done. Quigley and Morell discuss the vulnerabilities that Russia's 2016 election interference laid bare and how, in the aftermath of the Intelligence Committee's contentious investigation, it can work to restore trust with the agencies it oversees.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, Ben Rhodes, deputy national security advisor to President Barack Obama, speaks with host Michael Morell about some of the administration's pivotal policy decisions - including potential missteps - in Syria, Iran, Cuba and Russia. Rhodes explains Obama's calculus in confronting Russia during its 2016 election interference, assesses the administration's response to the conflict in Syria and tells Morell what part of Obama's legacy is most likely to endure. He also shares new anecdotes from his recent memoir, "The World As It Is."
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell has a wide-ranging conversation with former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. They discuss Clapper's five-decade career in the intelligence community, his views on the U.S. approach to nuclear adversaries like Iran and North Korea, and how to best address ongoing threats to American democratic institutions. Clapper shares details about his tough conversations with President Obama and President-elect Trump, and explains why he personally believes Russia, in its meddling efforts, was successful in tipping the balance in Trump's favor.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Dr. Paul Heer, former National Intelligence Officer for East Asia in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, about the outcome of the historic U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore - as well as its winners, losers and necessary next steps. They also discuss the strategic, military and economic challenges posed by China, and how the United States should position itself and seek to craft its policy in the region.
NOTE: This episode was recorded just hours after the conclusion of the summit.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell talks to former CIA analyst and Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Sue Mi Terry about the upcoming U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore. Terry shares what advice she would give President Trump when preparing for talks with Kim Jong Un, and what the outcome of the meeting holds for U.S. and North Korean relations as well as for the region.
For a special Memorial Day episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with former deputy director of Central Intelligence John McLaughlin about the CIA Officers Memorial Foundation, which was founded in the aftermath of 9/11 to help the families of fallen officers. McLaughlin explains the foundation's unique mission and shares some of the inspiring stories of children it has helped. The two also discuss the intelligence challenges facing the CIA and its new director, Gina Haspel.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell interviews former CIA clandestine officer and current member of Congress Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX), who also serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Hurd tells Morell how he went from conducting operations in Kabul to running for office in San Antonio, and how he sees the strategic challenges presented by China, Iran, North Korea and Russia. He also reflects on his experience serving on the House Intelligence Committee, including some of the latest efforts of its chairman, Devin Nunes.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell interviews former Ambassador and Iran expert James Jeffrey, who also served as deputy National Security Adviser to President George W. Bush. Jeffrey explains what implications the United States' withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal may have - in the region, among European allies, and in the world. Morell and Jeffrey also discuss what President Trump's subsequent strategy for negotiating with Iran might be and how the Iranians may choose to counter it. They look ahead to nuclear talks with North Korea and assess the potential consequences had by the United States' decision to withdraw from a third multilateral agreement.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell interviews former Ambassador Joseph DeTrani, who served as Special Envoy for Six Party Talks with North Korea. Their conversation covers the escalating strikes and varied regional interests behind the upcoming U.S.-North Korea summit, what Kim Jong Un may be thinking - and willing to concede - and what President Trump must achieve in the leaders' historic and highly-anticipated meeting. Morell and DeTrani also discuss what the United States' withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement means for forthcoming negotiations with North Korea.
In the premiere episode of CBS News’ newly-relaunched Intelligence Matters podcast, former CIA Acting Director Michael Morell sits down with former NSA and CIA Director General Mike Hayden to discuss Hayden’s new book on post-truth, tribalism’s effect on American traditions and institutions and the challenges facing CIA nominee Gina Haspel. They offer new details about Haspel’s clandestine career and arguments for why she’s a timely choice to lead the agency.
The U.S. is in the grips of spy-mania in the aftermath of Russia's interference in the 2016 election that has made President Trump's 2016 election campaign the focus of a federal investigation. But Russia's active measures to infiltrate and influence the U.S. consciousness didn't begin, nor end with the 2016 election. For years, John Sipher, a 28-year veteran of the CIA's National Clandestine Service, recruited Russian spies and led counter-intelligence operations against Moscow and he's here to talk about what's behind Russia's aggressive stance.
Republican U.S. Senator and Army veteran Tom Cotton is often described as a hawkish conservative for taking a hardline stance on issues like immigration and the Iran nuclear deal. In this interview, Michael Morell steps away from policy and gets a sense of the Arkansas senator's character, political philosophy and driving influences. Cotton talks about working as his father's farm hand and learning about his dad's service in Vietnam. He also discusses his time studying political science and political philosophy at Harvard, and how 9/11 "changed everything," setting him on the course towards military service and then, the U.S. Senate.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, Michael Morell talks to constitutional scholar Geoff Stone on constitutional interpretation and its relevance in today's society. Stone, who authored "Sex and the Constitution" explores oversight of government surveillance on communications and safeguarding a citizen's personal freedoms. Stone also addresses originalism and affirmative action, what he calls the "most cynical form of judicial review we have today."
In this special episode of Intelligence Matters, Michael Morell speaks with retired U.S. Navy Admiral James "Sandy" Winnefeld about a non-traditional national security threat that has affected him personally: America's opioid crisis. Winnefeld recently lost his own son Jonathan to opioid addiction, and he is dedicating his life to reversing a crisis he calls a national emergency. The statistics are staggering: the CDC reports that more than 64,000 Americans died in 2016 from a drug overdose more than 20 times the number of Americans killed on 9/11. Winnefeld, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says if America is going to reverse this epidemic, "We need a call to arms" to remove the long-standing stigmas around drug use. He has founded SAFEproject.us (Stop the Addiction Fatality Epidemic) to support action that will prevent fatal opioid overdoses, and counter opioid addiction's impact on our society.
The U.S. intelligence community's second-in-command, Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Sue Gordon talks to Michael Morell about being a career CIA officer, starting as a young analyst and working her way to up to leading all four of the CIA's Directorates. Her vast experience and innovative approach to bridging gaps is what prepared her for the PDDNI role, where she focuses on integrating each of the nation's intelligence agencies and innovating so that the United States retains its advantage in an ever-growing interconnected world. PDDNI Gordon also talks about leading in a time of political polarization, and reflects on the personal impact of losing officers serving their nation in the field.
The U.S. relationship with China is arguably one of the most strategically important, as highlighted by the Trump administration calling China a "strategic competitor" in its new national security strategy. In this episode, Michael spends time with Chris Johnson, one of his most trusted former China analysts while the two worked at the CIA, to examine how China has evolved to challenge the U.S. on the global stage: its economic growth; its geopolitical influence; Chinese political power plays and the key factors that drive the U.S.-China relationship.
Cybercrime is one the fastest-growing and most lucrative areas of crime. Former Deputy Director of U.S. Naval Intelligence Terry Roberts, is a global cyber intelligence expert with more than 30 years in the intelligence community. This week she joins Intelligence Matters and talks to Michael about how nation-states, groups and individual actors leverage the global cyber domain, how it affects our economy and what we need to do to safeguard ourselves against an ever-evolving threat.
The House Intelligence Committee's top Democratic member, Congressman Adam Schiff talks to Michael about the investigation of Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election. He talks about the one thing Russian President Vladimir Putin fears most, why Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is critical to protecting the homeland and why intelligence is not a perfect science.
Leading international relations expert Philip Gordon, helps decipher the complexities in the Middle East: the actions and motives of major players and why the big national security challenges and risks that we face as Americans all emanate one way or another from the region.
Former CIA Counterintelligence Chief Mark Kelton talks to Michael Morell about his years working in Cold War outposts, how the U.S.-Russia adversarial relationship has evolved and what double agents Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen have in common with Edward Snowden.
In this week's episode of Intelligence Matter's Michael speaks with Robert Cardillo, the Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). Cardillo explains the agency's mission and how advanced imagery was used in the NGA's creation of a replica of Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad in preparation for the May 2, 2011 raid. Cardillo also talks about what differentiated President Barack Obama's leadership style and looks back on the many tough meetings and long hours spent in the Situation Room.
On this episode of Intelligence Matters, Michael Morell talks with Pedro Burelli, a former member of the Executive Board of Petroleos de Venezuela about is behind the crisis in Venezuela, what fueled firebrand leader Hugo Chavez's paranoia, how the nation evolved to a narco-state, the current humanitarian crisis, and whether the country can recover without an outside intervention. Intelligence Matters is the new, wildly popular podcast from The Cipher Brief in partnership with CBS News, where former Acting Director of the CIA Michael Morell speaks with top leaders about the key national security issues of our time.
In this special episode of Intelligence Matters, Michael Morell speaks with former U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Michele Flournoy about the future of the U.S. military, the Iran nuclear deal, the North Korea crisis, Russian election interference and the U.S. falling into the shadow of China's economic dominance. However, Flournoy does not only weigh in on the headlines, but offers advice to young women interested in a national security career field. When her nomination was confirmed by the Senate in 2009, Flournoy became the highest-ranking woman at the Pentagon in the department's history.