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

By Jen Patja Howell
Friday, September 3, 2021, 5:01 AM

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.