Former Deputy CIA Director Mike Morell - The Role of Intelligence in War and Diplomacy

Diplomatic Immunity

Nov 2 2023 • 33 mins

Season 6, Episode 1. For this season’s theme, we’ll be covering the litany of unintended consequences and strategic surprises emanating from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. From energy to technology to intelligence to geopolitical alignment, Russia’s invasion marks a sea change in numerous areas of diplomacy and foreign policy. We’ll be getting together with the best professionals in these fields to take stock and analyze where these trends may be headed.

In our first episode, we speak to former Deputy and Acting CIA Director Michael Morell on the impact of intelligence as a tool of diplomacy and foreign policy. President Biden and his national security team were warning us about Putin’s intentions all the way up to the day of the invasion of Ukraine, using selective intelligence releases to showcase Putin’s malign intentions and lay bare the falsehoods he used to justify his attack. Host Kelly McFarland discusses this phenomenon and its impact on foreign policy with Morell, who hosts his own podcast, Intelligence Matters - The Relaunch.

Morell is the chairman of the risk analysis firm Beacon Global Strategies and a professor at George Mason University. He previously served for 33 years in the CIA, including as George W. Bush’s daily intelligence briefer on September 11. He went on to become deputy CIA director in the Obama administration and served twice as acting director in 2011 and from 2012 to 2013. He now also hosts his own podcast – Intelligence Matters – which we encourage listeners to check out.

The opinions expressed in this conversation are strictly those of the participants and do not represent the views of Georgetown University or any government entity.

Episode recorded: October 24, 2023.

Produced by Jarrett Dang and Freddie Mallinson.

Diplomatic Immunity, a podcast from the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University, brings you frank and candid conversations with experts on the issues facing diplomats and national security decision-makers around the world.

Funding support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

For more, visit our website, and follow us on Twitter @GUDiplomacy. Send any feedback to diplomacy@georgetown.edu.

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