258 episodes

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.

Intelligence Matters CBS News Radio

    • Government
    • 4.7 • 122 Ratings

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.

    The Potential of Future Conflict with China: Professor Hal Brands

    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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    • 37 min
    Battlefield Lessons for Ukraine, Taiwan: Former Diplomat Eric Edelman

    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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    • 41 min
    Best Of: Stanford Professor and Author Amy Zegart

    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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    • 34 min
    Best Of: Psychiatrist Kenneth Dekleva on Profiling World Leaders

    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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    • 37 min
    Making Fun of Spies: Former CIA Officer and Satirist Alex Finley

    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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    • 35 min
    Expert Heather Conley on Russia's "Strategic Conservatism"

    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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    • 35 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
122 Ratings

122 Ratings

Jimson83 ,

Superb

The caliber of the guests is so high. Some of the most important people in defense, international relations and intelligence today are regularly interviewed. Sometimes listening in feels like being a fly on the wall in the situation room.

mattd pm01 ,

Big tech June- poor balance.

I love the show and enjoy the insights however a felt this episode lacked balance.

I feels a one sided monologue that makes you want to find the ‘other’ side of the story.

Sorry but the show usually does much better.

I.Milat ,

LOVE LOVE LOVE. Never stop releasing!

My absolute favourite podcast of all time. I have no connection to any security, spy or defence industries however I’m fascinated by the subject. No where else will you find such great conversations with people higher up than those on this podcasts. This is the pinnacle of podcasts if you are interested in these things. The declassified episodes are incredible and always extremely interesting. Thank you for all that you do and please never stop releasing episodes because everything else pales in comparison!

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