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This Week’s Dead Drop: December 1

RUSSIAN ARMY RECRUITING PROBLEM BEGINS TO BITE:  As Vladmir Putin’s planned 3-day invasion of Ukraine approaches its two-year anniversary, (or if you count from the 2014 incursion – it’s tenth) Russia’s military recruiters are having big challenges sating the Kremlin’s hunger for fresh troops. Normal enlistments and draft notices have long failed to serve up enough fresh recruits for the meatgrinder of a conflict.  And some time ago, those charged with procuring war bodies for the front lines turned to the tactic of combing Russian prisons for convicts who are willing to trade incarceration for enlistment. But we had no idea things had gotten so bad until we read recently that a man named Denis Gorin, 44, who had been convicted of [...]

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The Fight: What’s Really Happening in Ukraine

Former Senior CIA Officer Paul Kolbe has spent the bulk of his professional life focused on Russia. He spent 25 years at the CIA, where a large part of his work was centered on the former Soviet Union and the Cold War. After leaving government, Kolbe led BP’s global intelligence division and later served as Director of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Intelligence Project. Kolbe is also a Cipher Brief Expert and was part of a delegation that traveled multiple times to Ukraine this year. ‘The Fight’ co-host Suzanne Kelly sat down with Kolbe in Kyiv to talk about his unique perspective on the war and about whether what we’re reading in the media matches what’s really happening there.

State Secrets: Israel, Hamas and the Path to War

In this episode Cipher Brief COO Brad Christian talks with former CIA officer and Cipher Brief Expert Marc Polymeropoulos. Marc served 26 years in the CIA before retiring from the Senior Intelligence Service in June 2019. His positions included field and headquarters operational assignments covering the Middle East, Europe, Eurasia and CounterTerrorism. Marc joined Brad to discuss what’s happening in the war between Israel and Hamas. What are the signs to watch for that the conflict could escalate? What are the regional implications for the war, and the real risks that the recent improvement in diplomatic ties between Israel and its middle east neighbors could be in jeopardy? What contributed to the intelligence failure, by many countries, to see the impending Hamas attack and finally, what is Russia’s role in the conflict and how might that impact both the future Russia/Israeli relationship, and the Israeli/Ukrainian relationship? Marc shares his very unique perspective on these and other issues.

Cover Stories: How to Write A Book That People Will Read

Serial best-selling author George Galdorisi has written a ton of books, mostly novels including including several of the rebooted Tom Clancy Op-Center series . But now he and co-author Kevin McDonald are out with a very useful work of non-fiction giving aspiring writers tips on how to write, publish and sell a book. Practical advice from someone who has been there, done that – and will help you do so too.

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