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Spy Talk: #5 – Has the CIA Lost Its Grip on the Middle East?


May 19, 2021

CIA clandestine services veteran and longtime Middle East hand Marc Polymeropoulos tells Jeff Stein that the CIA no longer prizes regional expertise, instead opting for spy corps “generalists” who can be shifted from region to region. In this Special Edition of the SpyTalk podcast, Polymeropoulos laments the passing of Charlie Seidel, who he calls the CIA’s “last great Arabist.”

About this series

SpyTalk lives at the intersection of intelligence operations, foreign policy, homeland security and military strategy. Co-hosted by veteran national security journalist Jeff Stein and former star CNN homeland security correspondent Jeanne Meserve, the podcast will feature exclusives by SpyTalk’s roster of longtime reporters, news and profiles of US and foreign spymasters and interviews with policymakers and expert authors. There’s nothing quite like it—a place for experts and lay persons alike, who enjoy national security scoops and insights by SpyTalk’s subject matter experts.

SpyTalk is a DSR Network Production.

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