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Covert Contact: The Blogs of War

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English


Episodes

Australian Special Operations Forces | Episode 76

9/25/2017
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I’m joined by Colonel Ian Langford, DSC and Bar, who has served the Australian Army and Special Operations Command, with distinction, for over two decades. He has served in the Solomon Islands, East Timor, Bougainville, Israel, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Afghanistan where he was recognized with the Distinguished Service Cross for distinguished command and leadership […]

Duration: 00:32:39


Understanding and Developing Resilience To Information Warfare | Episode 75

9/18/2017
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Dr. Clint Arizmendi, an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow for the Australian Graduate School of Policing & Security’s Terrorism Studies program at Charles Sturt University, joins me to discuss information warfare in episode 75. Of course, we look at the subject primarily through the lens of current events. Russia is covered, as is the Trump administration, […]

Duration: 00:30:20


Deep State Conspiracies | Episode 74

9/11/2017
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Alex Finley, a former officer of the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, joined me to discuss the rise of deep state conspiracies that often feature a monolithic, highly partisan, intelligence community at their center. Much of Alex’s work (see the hilarious Victor in the Rubble and The Intelligence Community: Smart People Looking at Computers) demystifies the […]

Duration: 00:28:52


Data, AI, and Ethics | Episode 73

9/4/2017
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Entrepreneur Evanna Hu joins me to discuss our rapidly evolving relationship with data. The explosion of data streams and technologies that offload challenging analysis to machines are creating interesting national security challenges and opportunities at lightening speed. Evanna, and her company Omelas, seek to leverage these technologies to address hard national security problems (such as […]

Duration: 00:27:24


Beyond Russia: Overlooked Counterintelligence Threats | Episode 72

8/28/2017
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Russian intelligence presents a significant challenge for the United States but it is far from the only threat. There are dozens of nations and non-state actors actively collecting against us at any given time. There are countless companies engaging in corporate espionage. Every organization has a hostile insider – or will soon enough. Threats are […]

Duration: 00:28:50


System Failure: It Only Gets More Difficult from Here | Episode 71

8/21/2017
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What if Charlottesville and the dysfunction in Washington are not aberrations? What happens if the challenges facing society and governance only get more difficult for our current failing systems and leaders to tackle? Authoritarianism is on the rise. The threat of fascism is no longer mere hyperbole. There’s a growing sense that profound trouble lies […]

Duration: 00:25:14


Iran in the Age of Trump | Episode 70

6/18/2017
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Phillip Smyth is a researcher at the University of Maryland who focuses on Iran-backed Shiite proxy groups. He is also well-known for his Hizballah Cavalcade project on Jihadology. In episode 70 Phillip joins me for a quick look at how the change in U.S. leadership is impacting the balance of sectarian power and our policy toward Iran. Are […]

Duration: 00:27:50


Securing Data, Communications, and Identity with Keybase | Episode 69

6/8/2017
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Keybase is a small but ambitious company that aims to make cyrpto available and virtually seamless for everyone. Their approach to this problem, a massively challenging one that hasn’t really been cracked to date, has been creative. However, the flexibility and scope of potential applications hasn’t always been obvious as they’ve slowly scaled up from […]

Duration: 00:35:40


Egyptian, Muslim, American | Episode 68

6/5/2017
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My friend Angie Gad joins me for episode 68 of Covert Contact to discuss growing up as a first generation Egyptian-American Muslim. We cover a lot of ground in this episode including her family’s struggle to maintain and establish roots in two very different worlds, her own challenges doing the same, her efforts to find […]

Duration: 00:29:42


The Manchester Attack | Episode 67

5/29/2017
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Covert Contact returns from hiatus with William J. Tucker, a regular contributor on counterintelligence and security topics for Blogs of War and Covert Contact, joining me for a look at the Manchester attack. This episode was recorded shortly after a suicide bomber struck an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England on May 22nd and the […]

Duration: 00:28:13


Intelligence Analysis: Feedback, Bias, and Other Challenges | Episode 66

3/10/2017
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Dean Baratta, Chief of the Analysis Bureau at New Jersey’s Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, joins me to discuss how bias can impact both the production and consumption of intelligence products. NJOHSP also produces a significant amount of unclassified material so we discuss how that can be interpreted (or misinterpreted) and how his office […]

Duration: 00:23:49


Understanding the Pace and Scope of Technology Driven Change | Episode 63

2/6/2017
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Covert Contact is back after a bit of break! Andrew Trabulsi, entrepreneur, consultant, and co-editor of Warlords, Inc.: Black Markets, Broken States, and the Rise of the Warlord Entrepreneur, joins me again for a discussion about the inherent challenges in understanding and forecasting technology-driven change. This interview was originally recorded in October of 2016 so […]

Duration: 00:32:33


Russia, Trump, and Hillary | Episode 62

10/10/2016
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In episode 62 I look at what may have been the most bizarre presidential debate in U.S. history. Covert Contact regular William Tucker joins me later in the show to discuss the U.S. government’s formal acknowledgement that Russia is meddling in the U.S. election. Listener email makes its debut in this episode. If you’d like […]

Duration: 00:25:50


Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump – The First Debate | Episode 61

9/27/2016
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I’m a little under the weather but here is a short wrap-up of last night’s debate. I’m thinking about producing more frequent, but shorter, episodes between the usual 30-45 minute long weekly interviews but I’d like to hear your thoughts on that idea.

Duration: 00:03:53


Putin’s Struggle for Relevancy and Power | Episode 60

9/20/2016
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Covert Contact regular William Tucker joins me for a quick look at Putin’s outlook and the challenges he faces despite domestic political wins, successful rounds of international meddling, and attempts to reshape Russia’s domestic security, military, and intelligence services. Putin appears to be working from a position of strength but appearances can often be deceiving […]

Duration: 00:23:03


Citizen Soldiers: Service and Sacrifice with Wendy R. Anderson | Episode 59

9/11/2016
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Wendy R. Anderson, Managing Director of Military and National Security Initiatives at Strong Eagle Media, joins me to discuss her company’s amazing new documentary Citizen Soldier and her previous work inside senior levels of the Department of Defense and other components of the federal government. We discuss service, sacrifice, and leadership from both civilian and […]

Duration: 00:38:04


Inside the President’s Daily Brief with David Priess | Episode 58

8/19/2016
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Dr. David Priess delivered the Presidents Daily Brief during the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations and has produced the definitive history on the subject with The President’s Book of Secrets: The Untold Story of Intelligence Briefings to America’s Presidents from Kennedy to Obama. David joined me to discuss the monumental challenge of structuring, […]

Duration: 00:41:35


Fragmented Realities – AV and VR Update | Episode 57

8/12/2016
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Freelance writer and Zam.com columnist Robert Rath joins me in episode 57 to review the latest advances in virtual and augmented reality. Augmented reality, in the form of Pokemon Go, has captured much of the attention but the virtual reality market will continue to mature. Neither technology will remain a fad despite several false or […]

Duration: 00:33:12


Russia, Donald Trump, and the 2016 Election | Episode 56

7/31/2016
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Regular Blogs of War and Covert Contact contributor William Tucker joins me to look at allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, Trump’s roll in the insanity, and the impact that it is having on American power and our allies in places like Estonia and other Baltic states.

Duration: 00:25:43


Journalism and Conflict in East Africa | Episode 55

7/29/2016
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In episode 55 Amanda Sperber joins me to discuss her work as a journalist in East Africa. Amanda has covered the region for Foreign Policy, VICE News, Al Jazeera English, and others. We discuss the challenges inherent in covering a largely overlooked, and sometimes dangerous, part of the world.

Duration: 00:31:03

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