The Lawfare Podcast: Sue Gordon and John McLaughlin on Intelligence and the Afghanistan Withdrawal

Jen Patja Howell, David Priess, John McLaughlin, Sue Gordon
Friday, September 3, 2021, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

Many questions involving intelligence and Afghanistan have come up in the past few weeks. Did intelligence prepare policymakers for the rapid collapse of the Afghan forces and the Taliban’s taking of the capital? How unusual is it for a CIA director to visit a de facto war zone—in this case, Bill Burns to travel to Kabul to meet with Taliban leaders? What's the context for intelligence sharing with the Taliban? To tackle these issues, David Priess sat down with Sue Gordon, who for two years during the Trump administration was the principal deputy director of national intelligence after decades of service at the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and John McLaughlin, who served as the acting director of Central Intelligence and the deputy director during the George W. Bush presidency, after a career as an analyst, manager and executive in the CIA.

Jen Patja Howell is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
David Priess is Director of Intelligence at Bedrock Learning, Inc. and a Senior Fellow at the Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security. He served during the Clinton and Bush 43 administrations as a CIA officer and has written two books: “The President’s Book of Secrets,” about the top-secret President’s Daily Brief, and "How To Get Rid of a President," describing the ways American presidents have left office.
John McLaughlin served as acting Director of Central Intelligence and Deputy Director of Central Intelligence during the George W. Bush presidency, after a career as an analyst, manager, and executive in the CIA. He is now the Distinguished Practitioner in Residence in the Merrill Center for Strategic Studies at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of Johns Hopkins University.
Susan Gordon served as Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence until August 15, 2019. Prior to assuming that role, she was the Deputy Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

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