A Life of Secrets: A Candid Conversation with Michael Vickers

Anti-riot police give signal to be ready. Government power concept. Spec ops police in action. Smoke on a dark background with lights. Blue red flashing sirens. Selective focus

By Michael Vickers

Dr. Michael Vickers served as the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence from 2011 to 2015, the Chief Executive Officer of the Defense Intelligence Enterprise, an $80 billion, 180,000-person, global operation that includes the National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Office, Defense Security Service, and the intelligence components of the Military Services and Combatant Commands.  He played a major policy and planning role in the operation that killed Usama bin Ladin.  From 2007 to 2011, he served as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations, Low-Intensity Conflict and Interdependent Capabilities. Earlier in his career, he served in the Special Forces and in the CIA's Clandestine Service, and had operational and combat experience in Central America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and Central Asia.

Subscriber+Exclusive Interview — In his new book, By All Means Available: Memoirs of a Life in Intelligence, Special Operations, and Strategy, former Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Cipher Brief Expert Dr. Michael G. Vickers shares a lot of the secrets he spent a career protecting.

As Ukraine pushes Russian forces from occupied territory, The Cipher Brief sat down with the former chief U.S. strategist who helped orchestrate something similar against Moscow, albeit far more secretive, some four decades ago.    

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