Intel Insights is a podcast for anyone interested in national security issues. National security professionals, students, and the general public. Created because not everyone has access to informed discussions on national security issues - especially the military and intelligence aspects.

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Latest Episodes

Cedric discusses national security issues, especially those related to military and intelligence developments. The podcast is designed to have an extended conversation about these issues so we can go beyond the headlines.

Israel, Hamas, and the Middle East at War

The attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7th was a product of many years of difficulties and problems that have existed in the Middle East for a long time. Hamas, founded in 1987 as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, has been actively using Gaza as a base for their terror activities since taking over the Gaza government in 2007. Israel, on the other hand, has faced the challenge of Gaza since its independence in 1948. The territory, located southwest […]

Russia After Prigohzin

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the flamboyant head of the Wagner Group, was presumably killed in a plane crash on August 23rd, 2023. Not only was he killed, but two of the top leaders and other members of the leadership cadre of the Wagner Group apparently met their demise while aboard an Embraer 600 series business jet. The aircraft went down in the Tver region, northwest of Moscow, and while we don’t have all of the information yet, many believe that sabotage was at […]

Scrambling for Niger

The West African country of Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world, and is a very desert-rich environment. Niger experienced a recent coup d’etat in July 2023 – the democratic president, Mohamed Bazoum, was overthrown in order to stop the inevitable decline of the country. This country, which is about two times the size of Texas, is gaining a great deal of interest from many people around the world. One of the biggest reasons why is due to […]

The Great Hack

“China hacks Japan’s defense networks”-this headline in the Washington Post definitely caught my attention earlier this month. This incident involved a special unit from China hacking into Japan’s classified defense networks. While it remains unknown exactly how long they were doing this, it was long enough. They were able to hack into Japanese shortcomings, like military contingency plans and capabilities – this breach was shockingly bad. Unfortunately, the Japanese have a history of massive intelligence hacks – they were even called […]

The Suwalki Gap

In the last episode of Intel Insights, we talked about India’s Siliguri Corridor, a 14 mile wide strip of land connecting central India with northeast India, and how China’s moves in Bhutan could impact India’s control of the Siliguri Corridor. Another important corridor (this time found in Europe) is the Suwalki Gap, or the Suwalki Corridor. This gap connects Russia’s enclave of Kaliningrad with Belarus, which is a big ally of Russia. The Suwalki Gap is sometimes called the most dangerous […]

Cedric Leighton

Colonel, USAF (Ret) and CNN Military Analyst

Colonel Cedric Leighton is a CNN Military Analyst, providing on-air commentary on military and international security issues to CNN’s US and international audiences.  His analysis of the ongoing war in Ukraine has been an integral part of CNN’s coverage since the start of that conflict.  He is a founding partner of CYFORIX, a cyber risk and security solutions consultancy and the Chairman of Cedric Leighton Associates, LLC a global strategic risk consultancy.

Prior to his work with CNN, Colonel Leighton appeared on numerous global television and radio networks.  These include the BBC, CCTV (China), Al Jazeera, ARD (German TV), Bloomberg, CNBC, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, MSNBC, Sky News and TRT (Turkish TV).  Recently, he also appeared on Australia’s Seven Network providing commentary on the US military’s role in quelling domestic disturbances.  He has been quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, France’s Le Figaro, Correo Brasiliense, and Spain’s La Razon as well as in several specialty publications like C4ISR Magazine and ADS Advance.  Colonel Leighton has also written for several publications, including The Hill and Leadership Excellence Magazine.

Prior to founding his strategic risk consultancy, Colonel Leighton served for 26 years as an Intelligence Officer in the US Air Force.  During this period, he deployed five times to the Middle East, served at US Special Operations Command, directed specialized intelligence efforts during combat operations, witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall, was a Squadron Commander and served twice at the Pentagon.  During his first tour at the Pentagon, Colonel Leighton served on the Air Staff, where he was the Executive Officer to the US Air Force’s Director of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance as well as the Intelligence Directorate’s Liaison to the US Congress.  During his second tour at the Pentagon, Colonel Leighton served on the Joint Staff, where he became the Deputy Director for Warfighter Support and Integration within the Intelligence Directorate.  His last military assignment was as the Deputy Training Director for the National Security Agency, where he championed training initiatives for the nation’s cyber warriors.

His awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Bronze Star, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, seven Meritorious Service Medals and the Humanitarian Service Medal.  He was a Distinguished Graduate of the US Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps.

Colonel Leighton graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University and holds a Master’s Degree in International Studies from Angelo State University.

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