Created with Sketch.
40 minutes | Jun 16, 2021
"Best of" Intelligence Matters: Putin's Russia
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, and ahead of the summit between U.S. President Biden and Russian President Putin in Geneva, host Michael Morell revisits three conversations focused on U.S.-Russia relations and Putin's personal trajectory. The episode features insights on U.S. foreign policy priorities vis a vis Moscow from Antony Blinken, now Secretary of State; an analysis of Putin's mindset from Angela Stent, Director of the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies at Georgetown University; and findings from writer Franklin Foer, who studied Russia's election interference tactics. Morell also offers personal reflections on the presidential summit and ongoing security threats from Russia.
44 minutes | Jun 9, 2021
National Intelligence Officer for North Korea Syd Seiler on Engaging with Pyongyang
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Syd Seiler, National Intelligence Officer for North Korea at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Seiler and Morell discuss the political priorities, preferences and fears of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and evaluate the prospects for diplomatic engagement during the Biden administration. Seiler, who has spent over four decades studying the country and its leadership, also shares insights from his travels to Pyongyang and his experience negotiating with North Korean counterparts.
43 minutes | Jun 2, 2021
Author and CNN Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward on Reporting from Conflict Zones
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks 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.
39 minutes | May 26, 2021
Former CIA Analyst and Weapons Expert Maja Lehnus on Thwarting Syria's Nuclear Program
In this episode of Intelligence Matters DECLASSIFIED: Spy Stories from the Officers Who Were There, former career CIA analyst and non-proliferation expert Maja Lehnus tells the story of one of the intelligence community’s most important discoveries of the last decade – a covert nuclear reactor in the Syrian desert, likely built with support from North Korea. Lehnus tells Morell how U.S. intelligence agencies first acquired intelligence indicating cooperation between North Korean nuclear entities and high-level Syrian officials, and ultimately presented intelligence to the President that the reactor was part of a Syrian nuclear weapons program. Lehnus explains the confidence levels attached to each of the IC’s judgments, as well as why the CIA took the rare step of sharing its findings with the public. Intelligence Matters DECLASSIFIED is a series dedicated to featuring first-hand accounts from former intelligence officers.
38 minutes | May 19, 2021
Military Affairs Reporter Wes Morgan on U.S. Military Involvement in Afghanistan's Pech Valley
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, Wes Morgan, military affairs reporter and author of The Hardest Place: The American Military Adrift in Afghanistan's Pech Valley joins Michael Morell to discuss his time as an embedded reporter with U.S. troops in Afghanistan’s Pech Valley. Morgan describes the Pech as a microcosm representing the overall war in Afghanistan, and explains why a lack of information-sharing led to repeated mistakes. Morgan details the tensions between the counterterrorism and counterinsurgency missions as well as the challenges posed by the Afghan terrain.
36 minutes | May 12, 2021
Top Counterintelligence Official Michael Orlando on Non-Traditional Collection and China Threats
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Mike Orlando, the acting director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, about the range of foreign espionage threats facing the United States from adversaries and challengers like Russia and China. Orlando and Morell discuss how "non-traditional collectors" within the academic and business sectors are increasingly tasked by foreign governments to steal intellectual property and other secrets. Orlando, a career FBI agent who has specialized in counterintelligence, explains how NCSC has sought to warn U.S. private sector entities against espionage threats that have evolved in range and sophistication.
40 minutes | May 5, 2021
9/11 Museum Executive Cliff Chanin on the 10th Anniversary of the Hunt for Bin Laden
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell interviews Cliff Chanin, Executive Vice President and Deputy Director for Museum Programs at the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York City about the exhibition, 'Revealed: The Hunt for bin Laden.' Chanin and Morell take an audio tour of the exhibition, reviewing key artifacts and the stories behind them. Chanin explains how the museum worked with U.S. intelligence agencies and the military to tell the story of the years-long hunt for the world's most wanted terrorist.
39 minutes | Apr 28, 2021
China Expert Chris Johnson on the Biden Administration's Approach to Beijing
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Chris Johnson, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a leading expert on China, about the Biden Administration's rhetoric about and actions toward China. Johnson outlines the leading challenges facing the new administration and the views from both Washington and Beijing. He explains how diplomacy has been complicated by some of the scorched earth policies of the Trump administration and domestic considerations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Johnson and Morell also discuss the overall trajectory of U.S.-China relations in the coming years and decades.
40 minutes | Apr 21, 2021
Tech Giant Eric Schmidt Warns China is Catching Up to the U.S. in A.I.
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence Chair and Former CEO of Google Eric Schmidt joins Michael Morell to discuss the importance of investing in artificial intelligence as a national security priority. Schmidt believes China is likely to catch up to the United States in a few years in its artificial intelligence capabilities. He outlines how intelligence and national defense can benefit from superiority in these technologies and the benefits of holding A.I. to American values.
37 minutes | Apr 14, 2021
International and Domestic Terrorist Threats: Deputy Homeland Security Advisor Russ Travers
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, President Biden's Deputy Homeland Security Advisor at the National Security Council Russ Travers speaks with host Michael Morell about the varied and diffuse array of terrorist threats to the United States. A career intelligence officer and former acting and deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Travers offers a history of Islamist terrorism and describes how splintered, geographically dispersed networks tied to ISIS and Al Qaeda continue to pose a threat to the U.S.. Travers and Morell also discuss the increase in racially and ethnically motivated attacks by domestic groups, and why preventing them poses a complex set of challenges for U.S. law enforcement and intelligence communities. Travers also shares thoughts on how to responsibly move resources away from counterterrorism toward Great Power competition.
43 minutes | Apr 7, 2021
Maintaining U.S. Technological Superiority: Frances Townsend and Jim Stavridis
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, guest host Sandy Winnefeld interviews Frances Townsend, former Homeland Security Advisor to President George W. Bush, and Adm. James Stavridis (ret.), former Supreme Allied Commander at NATO, about their work for the American Edge Project, a political advocacy group that promotes investment in U.S. innovation and technology. Townsend and Stavridis explain the links between technological advancement and national security, and explain why China's autocratic approach to technology in particular poses an increasingly serious threat. They outline several proposals to address known challenges, including the establishment of cyber norms to on-shoring certain critical industries. They also identify priority areas for the Biden administration to address.
37 minutes | Mar 31, 2021
Former Envoy to Global Coalition Against ISIS on the Future of the Syrian Conflict
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Ambassador William Roebuck, the former Deputy Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, former U.S. ambassador to Bahrain, and current executive vice president of the Arab Gulf States Institute. Roebuck provides an intricate history of the conflict in Syria and U.S.-led efforts to battle back the ISIS caliphate. He details his work with U.S. special forces and partners on the ground and discusses the involvement and sacrifices of Kurdish forces in the region. Roebuck also offers thoughts on the Biden administration’s possible approach to resolving the ongoing conflict in Syria.
41 minutes | Mar 24, 2021
What a Seminal Survey Tells Us About the Views of Arab Youth
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Sunil John, a leading public relations executive in the Middle East and the driving force behind the Arab Youth Survey, a seminal piece of public opinion research on the views of the largest demographic group in the region. John explains how the survey is administered – in person and across 17 countries – and how it has for years provided an incisive and nuanced look at the thinking of the more than two hundred million young Arabs living and working in the Middle East. John tells Morell how perceptions of the United States have evolved in recent years, explains the “Trump effect” on the views of young Arabs, and addresses what he says are important opportunities for the Biden administration to pursue.
39 minutes | Mar 17, 2021
The Need for Transparency from China on COVID-19 Origins: Geopolitical Expert Jamie Metzl
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, Michael Morell speaks with Jamie Metzl, geopolitical expert and technology futurist, who argues for transparency and access to resources from China in order to find the origins of COVID-19. Metzl believes the most likely origin of COVID-19 is a lab leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Metzl, a WHO supporter, emphasizes the need for a full, transparent investigation instead of the previous joint expert committee investigation with the Chinese government.
41 minutes | Mar 10, 2021
New Research on the Capitol Insurrection: Political Scientist Bob Pape
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell interviews Robert "Bob" Pape, a political science professor at the University of Chicago specializing in international security affairs. He is also the director of the Chicago Project on Security and Threats where he leads a team producing fascinating new research on the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, amongst other things. Pape puts into context how truly historic the storming of the Capitol was and warns of the movement further congealing.
40 minutes | Mar 3, 2021
Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) on the Future of the House Intelligence Committee
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, in partnership with the Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security, Michael Morell spoke with Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff about the politicization of intelligence and the need to “reset” the committee. Schiff details his support of an airline crash style review to investigate the Solar Winds hack and urges the intelligence community to address the challenge posed by the rise of China.
36 minutes | Feb 24, 2021
Australian Diplomat Nick Warner on His Career in Intelligence
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell interviews one of the world's top intelligence officials from down under, Nick Warner. Warner has held senior positions in Australia's diplomatic service, its defense ministry, and its intelligence services. He also served as the director of Australia's equivalent to the CIA, an agency known as ASIS or the Australian Secret Intelligence Service. Warner tells listeners the path he took to becoming a top intelligence official, the importance of the power of the trust, and how he managed to make it out of an Iranian desert stranded.
38 minutes | Feb 17, 2021
The Daughters of Kobani and the Fight Against ISIS: Author Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
In this episode of Intelligence Matters with Michael Morell, author and adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations Gayle Tzemach Lemmon talks about her new book The Daughters of Kobani. The new release tells the story of the Women’s Protection Unit (YPJ) and their fight against ISIS alongside American forces. Lemmon discusses what she describes as the most far reaching experiment in women's equality in the least likely place in the world.
39 minutes | Feb 10, 2021
DECLASSIFIED: Norman Roule on the Iranian Response to the U.S. Invasion of Iraq
In this episode of Intelligence Matters DECLASSIFIED: Spy Stories from the Agents Who Were There, host Michael Morell interviews Norman "Norm" Roule. Roule spent 34 years working in the CIA where he led as the Iran Mission Manager for the entire intelligence community. After leaving the CIA, Roule joined ODNI as the National Intelligence Manager for Iran from 2008-2017. Currently, he is serving as a Senior Adviser to the Counter Extremism Project and United Against Nuclear Iran. In this episode, you will hear Roule break down past administration failures dealing with Iran, the consequences of inaction, and what Iran hopes for in a future nuclear deal.
36 minutes | Feb 3, 2021
The Existential Threat Of Nuclear Weapons: NTI's Lynn Rusten
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, Michael Morell spoke last month with Lynn Rusten, Vice President of the Nuclear Threat Initiative and leader of the Global Nuclear Policy Program, about the state of nuclear proliferation in the world. Rusten warned that experts are not focused on the existential threat of nuclear weapons, examines current nuclear treaties, and recommends starting by repairing alliances.
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2021