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.

Land of the Thunder Dragon

Oftentimes, we are hearing and learning about events in the news that really grab the headlines. An important area that you don’t normally hear much about in the news is the Land of the Thunder Dragon, which is the country of Bhutan. The country of Bhutan is currently at the center of a major dispute, and has involved the countries of China and India. With the conflict happening between these powerful countries, there is a great possibility that this could boil […]

Over 500 Days – the War in Ukraine

The war in Ukraine has now been going on for over 500 days, and it’s hard to believe that this protracted conflict has lasted this long in its current phase. We all remember February 24th, 2022, when Russian forces first advanced on Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. While it looked like Russian forces would inevitably take Kyiv and decapitate the Ukrainian government, logistical problems prevented this attack. President Volodymr Zelensky stood firm, and stayed in power. With this strong leadership and […]

Failures of Imagination

The intelligence we use for predictive purposes, policy purposes, moving military forces, and more is key for major historical events. However, failures of imagination can occur, and we sometimes don’t get it right. The State Department released its report on the Afghan withdrawal right before the 4th of July holiday, and one of the key things to know is how we failed to anticipate that the Taliban would actually take control of Afghanistan. When this happened back in August of 2021, […]

Russia’s History of Rebellions and the Wagner Group Mutiny

In this edition of Intel Insights, Cedric Leighton explores the history of rebellions and revolutions in Russia, highlighting their significance and impact on the country’s political landscape. He discusses notable events such as the Pugachev’s Rebellion in the 18th century, the Russian Revolution of 1905, and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Leighton also delves into the recent mutiny led by Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Wagner Group and its implications for Russia’s foreign policy and military operations. The history of Russia […]

Air Defense Systems – Then and Now

The sound of an air raid siren has become all too familiar in the Ukraine-Russia war, and it’s been a sound that people all over the country of Ukraine have heard in the last year and a half.  Air defense and the air raid sirens that go with them are not unique to Ukraine or this war. Air defense actually originated during the First World War, when it occurred between the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the country of Serbia. This episode dives […]

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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