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Intelligence Matters: A CBS News original national security podcast


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"Intelligence Matters" is a weekly podcast about national security and policy hosted by former CIA acting director and CBS News national security contributor Michael Morell. Each week, users can listen to conversations between Morell and some of the world's leading intelligence and national security officials and experts. The podcast|, which launched in 2017, was previously produced in partnership with The Cipher Brief, a website dedicated to national security topics.

CIA Clinical Psychologist Ursula Wilder on Profiling World Leaders

In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with Ursula Wilder, a clinical psychologist at the Central Intelligence Agency, about why intelligence agencies conduct psychological profiles of world leaders, and how past policymakers have used what they have learned to make strategic decisions. Wilder, who also worked in CIA's counterterrorism center and Medical and Psychological Assessments unit, explains the "dark tetrad" of personality -- narcissism, paranoia, Machiavellianism and sadism -- and how those traits can influence how leaders make decisions and engage in negotiations. She and Morell also discuss how policymakers respond to psychological profiles compiled by government agencies.

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Mar 29 | CIA clinical psychologist Ursula Wilder on profiling world leaders

Mar 22 | Former Middle East Envoy Dennis Ross on regional instability

Mar 15 | Michael Morell: The U.S. Invasion of Iraq: A Look at Intelligence, 20 Years Later

Mar 8 | Kristin Wood on the intelligence value of open source data

Mar 1 | Assessing Top Global Security Threats with Expert Frederick Kagan

Feb 22 | Marking One Year of War in Ukraine: State Department Counselor Derek Chollet

Feb 15 | Military expert John Culver on Chinese spy balloon fallout

Feb 8 | Inside global diplomacy with Baroness Catherine Ashton, former European Commission vice president

Feb 1 | China Expert Dennis Wilder on U.S. Policy Towards Beijing

Jan 25 | Understanding Electronic Surveillance with NSA's Former Top Lawyer Glenn Gerstell

Jan 18 | Analysis: Former CIA officer Rolf Mowatt on Russia-Ukraine war 

Jan 11 | Michael Morell on strategic challenges ahead in 2023

Jan 4 | Inside China's Surveillance State: Liza Lin and Josh Chin


Dec 28 | BEST OF: Hal Brands on Potential of Future Conflict with China

Dec 21 | Best Of: Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development Elbridge Colby

Dec 14 | Former CIA operations chief Andrew Makridis reflects on CIA career

Dec 7 | Lies and Vladimir Putin's political culture

Nov 30 | What Hollywood gets right — and wrong — about the CIA

Nov 23 | Working at CIA: In Conversation with CIA Director of Operations and Director of Analysis

Nov 16 | The Evolution of U.S.-China Relations: National Security Analyst Graham Allison

Nov 09 | The Threat of North Korea's Nuclear Weapons: Markus Garlauskas

Nov 2 | The Aims and Impact of Chinese Foreign Development: Brad Parks

Oct 26 | Implications of Xi Jinping's Hold on Power: Former Senior CIA China Analyst Chris Johnson

Oct 19 | Robert Pape on rising political violence in America

Oct 12 | Ethics and impact of drone strikes: Mitt Regan

Oct 5 | Putin's Threat of Nuclear War: Former CIA Moscow Chief of Station Rolf Mowatt-Larssen

Sep 28 | 75th Anniversary of the CIA with Deputy Director of the CIA David Cohen

Sep 21 | The Status of a U.S.-Iran Deal: Middle East Expert Karim Sadjadpour

Sep 14 | Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development Elbridge Colby

Sep 7 | Journalist and former Marine Elliot Ackerman on U.S. military in Afghanistan

Aug 31 | Global energy expert Daniel Yergin

Aug 24 | Terrorism analyst Bill Roggio on state of counterterrorism fight in Afghanistan 

Aug 17 | Former Senior CIA Analysts on China: Chris Johnson and John Culver

Aug 10 | The Potential of Future Conflict with China: Professor Hal Brands

Aug 3 | Battlefield Lessons for Ukraine, Taiwan: Former Diplomat Eric Edelman

July 27 | Best Of: Stanford Professor and Author Amy Zegart

July 20 | Best Of: Psychiatrist Kenneth Dekleva on Profiling World Leaders

July 13 | Making Fun of Spies: Former CIA Officer and Satirist Alex Finley

July 5 | Expert Heather Conley on Russia's "Strategic Conservatism"

June 29 | Former Ambassador Peter Wittig on Foreign Perceptions of the U.S.

June 22 | Strategic Opportunities and Challenges in Latin America: Pedro Burelli

June 15 | China's Path and Xi's Political Future: Expert Chris Johnson

June 8 | Big Tech, Regulation & National Security: Klon Kitchen & Jamil Jaffer

June 1 | The Sandy Hook Shooting and How Conspiracy Theories Affect National Security: Journalist Elizabeth Williamson

May 25 | CBS News' Holly Williams on reporting from Ukraine's front line 

May 18 | State of Play in Ukraine: Former Moscow Chief of Station Rolf Mowatt-Larssen

May 11 | Counterterrorism Chief Christy Abizaid on Top Terror Threats to the U.S.

May 4 | Israel's Security Challenges: Former Senior Mossad Officer Zohar Palti

Apr 27 | Former GOP Congressman and CIA Officer Will Hurd

Apr 20 | John McLaughlin on Russia's World-Changing War

Apr 13 | Top State Department Intelligence Official Brett Holmgren

Apr 6 | Global Effects of Russia's War in Ukraine: Oil and Energy Expert Mark Finley

Mar 30 | WMD Risks in Ukraine: Former Senior CIA Operations Officer Rolf Mowatt-Larssen

Mar 23 | Former intel officer and author Brian Morra discusses nuclear confrontation with Moscow

Mar 16 | Beijing's View of the Russia-Ukraine War: China Expert Chris Johnson

Mar 9 | How experts compile psychological profiles of world leaders

Mar 2 | Putin's Choices in Ukraine: Former Top Pentagon Official Mike Vickers

Feb 23 | China expert Bonnie Glaser on Taiwan-China tensions 

Feb 16 | The Russia-Ukraine Crisis: A Panel of Experts Discuss

Feb 9 | The Future of the Kim Regime: North Korea Expert Sue Mi Terry

Feb 2 | Author Amy Zegart on the future of American intelligence

Jan 26 | Former deputy CIA director for science and technology Dawn Meyerriecks

Jan 19 | State Dept Counselor Derek Chollet on top foreign policy challenges

Jan 12 | Applying Cold War lessons to great power rivalry

Jan 5 | "Intelligence Matters" host Michael Morell on the top global threats in 2022


Dec 15 | Former CIA Operations Officer Turned Novelist Jim Lawler

Dec 8 | China's ambitions in the world and what they mean to U.S. 

Dec 1 | Dealing with the Taliban: Former Afghanistan Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad

Nov 24 | National Cyber Director Chris Inglis on deterring cyber threats

Nov 17 | Defense Intelligence Agency Director Scott Berrier on evolving global threats from China, Russia and more 

Nov 10 | Former Defense Secretary and CIA Director Leon Panetta on top security threats

Nov 3 | Iran expert Norman Roule on escalating tensions with Tehran

Oct 27 | Putin's Russia today - Former Ambassador Michael McFaul 

Oct 20 | Former CIA analyst David McCloskey on Syria conflict

Oct 13 | CIA chief historian David Robarge on pivotal global events

Oct 6 | U.S. engagement in Afghanistan: Past, present and future

Sep 29 | The Insurrectionist Movement in the United States: Robert Pape

Sep 22 | Michael Morell on 9/11, the CIA and Afghanistan, Part 2

Sep 15 | Michael Morell on 9/11, the CIA and Afghanistan: Part 1

Sep 8 | Remembering 9/11 Part 5: Gina Bennett

Sep 1 | "Intelligence Matters" presents: Remembering 9/11 Part 4: Sandy Winnefeld

Aug 25 | "Intelligence Matters" presents: Remembering 9/11 with Winston Wiley

Aug 18 | "Intelligence Matters" presents: Remembering 9/11 with Andy Card

Aug 11 | "Intelligence Matters" presents: Remembering 9/11 with Stephen Hadley

Aug 4 | Addressing the ransomware threat: Cyber expert Jonathan Levin on "Intelligence Matters"

July 28 | On Biden's foreign policy: Columnist and author Max Boot 

July 21 | The Link Between Energy and National Security: Expert Frank Verrastro

July 14 | China expert Matt Turpin on Beijing's strategic objectives

July 7 | Former U.S. Treasury Sanctions Chief Sigal Mandelker on Using Financial Tools to Protect National Security

June 30 | China expert John Culver on Beijing's military prowess - "Intelligence Matters"

June 23 | Former Ambassador Dennis Ross on Israel's Political Future

June 16 | "Best of" Intelligence Matters: Putin's Russia

June 9 | Syd Seiler on the political priorities, preferences and fears of Kim Jong Un

June 2 | Author and CNN Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward on Reporting from Conflict Zones

May 26 | Former CIA Analyst and Weapons Expert Maja Lehnus on Thwarting Syria's Nuclear Program

May 19 | Military affairs author Wes Morgan on U.S. military in Afghanistan's Pech Valley 

May 12 | Top Counterintelligence Official Michael Orlando on Non-Traditional Collection and China Threats

May 5 | 9/11 Museum Executive Cliff Chanin on the 10th Anniversary of the Hunt for Bin Laden

Apr 28 | China Expert Chris Johnson on the Biden administration's approach to Beijing

Apr 21 | Tech giant Eric Schmidt warns China is catching up to U.S. in A.I.

Apr 14 | Deputy homeland security adviser Russ Travers on terrorist threats

Apr 7 | Frances Townsend and Jim Stavridis on maintaining U.S. technological superiority

Mar 31 | Former envoy to global coalition against ISIS weighs in on future of Syrian conflict

Mar 25 |  What a Seminal Survey Tells Us About the Views of Arab Youth: Sunil John

Mar 17 | The Need for Transparency from China on COVID-19 Origins: Geopolitical Expert Jamie Metzl

Mar 10 | What to expect from the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol

Mar 3 | Adam Schiff wants to "reset" the House Intelligence Committee

Feb 24 | Nick Warner's life and career in the Australian Secret Intelligence Service

Feb 17 | Gayle Tzemach Lemmon: The women who fought against ISIS - an unusual experiment in women's equality

Feb 10 | Past U.S. failures in dealing with Iran and how to approach a new nuclear deal

Feb 3 | Nonproliferation expert Lynn Rusten warns leaders aren't focused on nuclear weapons threat

Jan 27 | Trump's national security failures and successes: John Hannah and David Adesnik

Jan 20 | West Point biochemist Ken Wickiser warns about threat of bioweapons

Jan 13 | Virginia Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger on being in Capitol during rioting

Jan 6 | Will Wechsler: Biggest factor in U.S.-Middle East relations is perception that U.S. is withdrawing


Dec 30 | DECLASSIFIED: Former CIA Officer Marc Polymeropoulos on the Triple Agent

Dec 23 | Director Bryan Fogel discusses his new film on Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's killing

Dec 16 | 

Dec 9 | Intelligence Committee member Jim Himes expresses confidence in Biden national security team

Dec 2 | Pulling troops from Afghanistan has undermined Afghan confidence, says former ambassador

Nov 25 | Former CIA officer talks about first U.S. casualty in Afghanistan on anniversary of Mike Spann's death

Nov 18 | Korea expert Sue Mi Terry discusses advancements in North Korea's nuclear missile program

Nov 11 | National security analyst Graham Allison on second "mutually assured destruction"- a U.S.-China climate conflict

Oct 28 | Former FBI special agent Clint Watts analyzes election threat posed by Russia, China and Iran

Oct 21 | Former top CIA analyst Kristin Wood on al Qaeda, Iraq and 9/11

Oct 14 | "Blood and Oil" coauthors on Mohammed bin Salman and the future of Saudi Arabia

Oct 7 | Former CIA Director John Brennan on ethics of intelligence, challenges to democracy

Sep 30 | Lawfare Institute's David Priess on the Presidential Daily Brief

Sep 23 | Biden foreign policy adviser Antony Blinken on top global challenges

Sep 16 | Retired Admiral Bill McRaven and Michael Morell on the Raid on Osama bin Laden's Compound

Sep 9 | Historian Hal Brands on COVID-19's effect on world order - transcript

Sep 2 | Former CIA analyst Rodney Faraon on transferring skills from CIA to Disney - transcript

Aug 26 | Former CIA senior Clandestine Services Officer Daniel Hoffman on pursuing the "Russian ten" - transcript

Aug 19 | NSA Cybersecurity Directorate's Anne Neuberger on protecting the elections - transcript

Aug 12 | Environmentalist Bill McKibben on national security implications of climate change - transcript

Aug 5 | Former FBI agent Bradley Garrett talks about global manhunt for Mir Aimal Kansi - Intelligence Matters DECLASSIFIED - transcript

July 29 | Author Robert Draper on what led the U.S. to war in Iraq - transcript

July 22 | Top epidemiologist Michael Osterholm on continuing challenges of COVID-19 - transcript

July 15 | The Tiananmen crisis and training CIA analysts - Martin Petersen transcript

July 8 | Russia, Afghanistan and prospects for peace: Ambassador James Cunningham - transcript

July 1 | 100 years of Russian electoral interference - David Shimer transcript

June 24 | Former CIA analyst talks about escaping war-torn Libya - transcript

June 17 | Former CIA museum curator highlights the agency's most important artifacts - transcript

June 10 | Transcript: Franklin Foer - Putin and the the 2020 presidential election

June 3 | Transcript: Chris Krebs - Securing businesses and the 2020 elections amid COVID threat

May 27 | Transcript: Laura Rosenberger speaks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"

May 20 | Transcript: Karim Sadjadpour speaks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"

May 13 | Transcript: Dr. Michael Osterholm speaks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"

May 8 | Bonus episode - Analysis: The national security implications of COVID-19

May 6 | Transcript: Chris Johnson speaks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"

Apr 29 | Transcript: Olivier Blanchard speaks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"

Apr 22 | Transcript: John McLaughlin speaks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"

Apr 15 | Transcript: Lisa Monaco speaks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"

Apr 8  | Transcript: Dr. David Agus speaks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"

Mar 18 | Transcript: Philip Breedlove, former NATO supreme allied commander, on "Intelligence Matters"

Mar 11 | Transcript: Former top defense official Robert Work on "Intelligence Matters"

Mar 2 | Transcript: David Ignatius talks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"

Feb 26 | Transcript: Africa expert Judd Devermont talks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"

Feb 21 | Transcript: Tech expert Ben Buchanan talks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"

Feb 14 | Former No. 2 U.S. intel official Sue Gordon says of departure, "I didn't want to be anyone's agenda" | Transcript

Feb 12 | Transcript: Robert Worth talks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"

Feb 5 | Transcript: Evelyn Farkas talks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"

Jan 29 | Transcript: Tom Donilon and Stephen Hadley talk with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"

Jan 22 | Shelby Pierson: Top election security official details past, current and future threats | Transcript

Jan 15 | Transcript: Robert Ashley talks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"

Jan 8 | Transcript: Samantha Power talks Iran with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"

Jan 1 | Transcript: Sean Roche talks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"


Dec 25 | Transcript: Barbara Slavin on Tehran's potential path forward

Dec 18 | Transcript: Susan Rice on her career, U.S. foreign policy and America's role in the world

Dec 11 | Transcript: Adam Smith on the work of overseeing the U.S. military

Dec 4 | Transcript: James Stavridis on the value of alliances

Nov 27 | Transcript: Michael Bennet on foreign policy and national security priorities

Nov 20 | Transcript: Sue Mi Terry on North Korea update

Nov 13 | Transcript: Carl Ghattas on international and domestic terrorism

Nov 7 | Transcript: Chris Johnson talks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"

Oct 30 | Transcript: Bill Priestap talks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"

Oct 23 | Transcript: James Mattis on Syria, leadership and top national security threats

Oct 15 | Transcript: Former senior CIA operations officer Marc Polymeropoulos on recruiting and running spies

Oct 8 | Transcript: Deep Dive with Experts Kurt Campbell and Jake Sullivan on U.S.-China Relations

Oct 1 | Transcript: William McCraven on leadership, living history and life of service 

Sept 30 | Bonus pod: Michael Morell on the Whistleblower complaint and Ukraine call

Sept 25 | Transcript: Richard Haass on top U.S. foreign policy challenges

Sept 18 | Transcript: Todd Owen on CBP's main mission and state of U.S. border

Sept 11 | Transcript: Garrett Graff on new oral history of 9/11 book

Sept 4 | Transcript: Kristin Wood: The process, substance and value of the agency's analytic work

Aug 28 | Michael Vickers, on U.S. Afghanistan strategy | Transcript

Aug 21 | Jim Sciutto: "Shadow Wars" involving Russia and China: Transcript

Aug 14 | Juan Cruz: What's next for Venezuela? Transcript

Aug 7 | Michael Allen: Office of the DNI: What it does: Transcript

July 30 | Preet Bharara, former U.S. attorney on takeaways from Mueller | Transcript

July 24 | Dennis Ross on prospects for Middle East peace | Transcript

July 17 |Sue Gordon: #2 U.S. intel official talks about how U.S. is preparing for 2020 election threats | Transcript

July 10 | Kim Jong-un believes Trump is "different," State Dept's intelligence arm assesses | Transcript

July 3 | Top counterterrorism official: U.S. must avoid returning to "pre-9/11 state" | Transcript

June 29 | Top cybersecurity official Chris Krebs: U.S. should employ "range of tools" against active adversaries | Transcript

June 21 | Bonus episode: Transcript: Bill Burns and Jim Miller talk with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"

June 19 | Kim Jong-un's surprising rise to power: Author Anna Fifield | Transcript

June 12 | Nada Bakos: Former CIA targeting officer talks about post-9/11 hunt for terrorists | Transcript

June 5 | CIA's former chief of disguise Jonna Mendez on how to hide spies | Transcript

May 29 | Angela Stent: Here's how Russia is advancing a "post-West" order, says foreign policy expert | Transcript

May 22 | Tamir Pardo: Ex-Mossad director says cyber poses biggest threat to free world | Transcript

May 15 | Transcript: David Sanger talks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"

May 8 | Chris Costa: Spy Museum to offer newly dimensional look into world of espionage | Transcript

Apr 30 | Mike Pompeo: Nuclear talks with North Korea will be "bumpy" | Transcript

Apr 24 | Chris Darby:  On-Q-Tel (IQT), the strategic investment arm of the C.I.A. | Transcript

Apr 17 | Jamie Metzl: The "genetic revolution" could threaten national security | Transcript

Apr 10 | Meroe Park: Trump's first visit to the CIA | Transcript

Apr 3 | Glenn Gerstell: Surveillance and new challenges coming with 5G network | Transcript

Mar 27 | Eliot Cohen: A Building Crisis in American Foreign Policy | Transcript

Mar 20 | David Petraeus: Five "big ideas" to combat Islamic extremism | Transcript

Mar 13 | William Burns: Trump administration has "hollowed out" U.S. diplomacy" former top U.S. envoy says | Transcript

Mar 6 | David Charney: Insider threat expert on why people spy | Transcript

Feb 27 | Laura Holgate: The most precarious proliferation challenges faced by U.S. | Transcript

Feb 20 | Sue Mi Terry: Trump's rushed diplomacy with North Korea could trigger regional arms race | Transcript

Feb 13 | Jeh Johnson: There's no security crisis near the southern border | Transcript

Feb 6 | Vicki Huddleston: The view from Havana | Transcript

Jan 30 | Michael Rogers: Advice on deterring cyber attacks | Transcript

Jan 23 | David Cohen and Avril Haines - weigh merits of speaking out for past, present CIA leaders | Transcript

Jan 16 | Robert Pape: For recruiting, ISIS steals Western ideas | Transcript

Jan 9 |  Antony Blinken: Grading Trump's foreign policy | Transcript

Jan 2 | Lisa Monaco: Terror threat is "getting worse" says former homeland security adviser | Transcript


Dec 26 | Gary Hufbauer: Trade policy and national security - an expert view

Dec 19 | Nadia Schadlow: The national security strategy's lead author on its origins and impact | Transcript

Dec 12 | Glenn Gaffney: U.S. falling behind in new space race | Transcript

Dec 5 | John Miller: NYPD counterterrorism chief on today's threats | Transcript

Nov 28 | Phil Reilly: Leaving Afghanistan would cause a greater problem | Transcript

Nov 21 | Michael Vickers: U.S. and China battle to control "industries of the future"  | Transcript

Nov 15 | Derek Maltz: Opioids and international crime

Nov 8 | Eric Edelman: U.S. might struggle to win or lose war with China | Transcript

Nov 1 |  David Cohen: Singapore Summit was "serious misstep"  | Transcript

Oct 24 | Norman Roule: Khashoggi case - former top U.S. intel official suggests it was a case of attempted rendition  | Transcript

Oct 17 | Karim Sadjadpour: Tehran may seek to wait out Trump administration

Oct 10 | James Lankford: Other countries will "test out" Russia's interference tactics | Transcript

Oct 3 | Chris Johnson on the future of the U.S.-China relationship

Sep 24 | Anthony Fauci on threats from epidemics

Sep 17 | Stephen Hadley: President Bush's former national security adviser on rebuilding U.S.-Russia ties

Sep 10 | Jake Sullivan: Former top Clinton, Biden adviser on challenges facing America | Transcript

Sep 3 | William Evanina: Country's top spy-catcher on espionage threats | Transcript

Aug 29 | Mark Warner on securing elections, combating disinformation: "We're not there yet" | Transcript

Aug 22 | Tillerson ushered in period of "extraordinary destructiveness" says former U.S. ambassador to UAE, Barbara Leaf

Aug 15 | New head of "DARPA for spies" warns that China is attracting top research talent: Stacey Dixon

Aug 8 | Former Colombian defense minister warns of security "backslide": Juan Carlos Pinzon

Aug 1 | Combating disinformation campaigns: Laura Rosenberger and Jamie Fly

Bonus: Michael Morell on why security clearances matter 

Jul 24 | Pakistan's former ambassador says his country must get out of the business of jihad: Husain Haqqani

Jul 17 | Adm. Winnefeld (Ret.) on top military threats the U.S. faces

Jul 10 | CIA's top recruiter on how the agency finds its spies

Jul 3 | Rep. Mike Quigley on U.S. election security

Jun 26 | Ben Rhodes on the Obama administration's wins, losses and legacy

Jun 19 | James Clapper on internal and external threats to the U.S.

Jun 12 | East Asia expert weighs in on Trump-Kim Jong Un summit outcome: Paul Heer

Jun 5 | Korea expert's advice to Trump: Listen to your advisers: Sue Mi Terry

May 29 | John McLaughlin on helping families of the fallen

May 22 | Undercover spy to public official: Rep. Will Hurd on global threats and domestic challenges

May 15 | The Iran nuclear deal: What in the world happens next?  James Jeffrey

May 8 | Negotiating with North Korea: The players, the stakes and the surprises: Joseph DeTrani

May 1 | The relaunch - with Gen. Michael Hayden 

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