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The Lawfare Podcast

The Lawfare Institute

The Lawfare Podcast features discussions with experts, policymakers, and opinion leaders at the nexus of national security, law, and policy. On issues from foreign policy, homeland security, intelligence, and cybersecurity to governance and law, we have doubled down on seriousness at a time when others are running away from it. Visit us at www.lawfareblog.com.

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Episodes

Rational Security: The “Fast and the Furry-us” Edition
Today
Rational Security: The “Fast and the Furry-us” Edition
This week on Rational Security, Alan, Quinta, and Scott got together to talk over the week’s big national security news, including:“Is Revanchism a Dish Best Served Cold?” Russia boosters seem to be feeling bullish for the first time in a long time. This week, its forces captured the strategic town of Avdiivka from Ukrainian forces, who have been weakened by bickering among their Western allies. And imprisoned Russian dissident Alexei Navalny met with a tragic and highly suspicious end, just as Western governments came together at the Munich Security Conference. Is Russia right to be feeling its oats at this moment?“Bibi Steps.” As Israel prepares to mount a controversial military operation against Rafah—the last refuge for many displaced civilians in Gaza—there are cracks between the government of Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and the Biden administration, who in recent weeks have shown an increased willingness to target settler violence in the West Bank with sanctions, impose some conditionality on U.S. security assistance, and turn to the U.N. Security Council for possible support for a “temporary ceasefire,” even over Israeli objections. Are these signs of a bigger divide to come? And what will the impact be on the trajectory of the Gaza conflict?“Won’t Somebody PLEASE Think of the Children?!” The Kids Online Safety Act (or KOSA) is back in somewhat modified form, promising to introduce new regulations into how our children engage with online platforms—this time with broad bipartisan support, including from the Biden administration. But will it actually help protect children online? Or only put vulnerable communities more at risk?For object lessons, Alan recommended the Oscar-nominated Jeffrey Wright vehicle, American Fiction. Quinta endorsed “The Book of Love,” a spooky fantasy mystery and the debut novel by celebrated short story author Kelly Link. And Scott urged mid-Atlantic listeners to take their toddlers to Baltimore’s National Aquarium and spring for the wonderful family sunrise tour. Or for nature lovers not on the East Coast, check out the new podcast one-off Birds Are Cool, featuring Goat Rodeo’s own Cara Shillenn.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Chatter: President Biden’s Foreign Policy with Alex Ward
3d ago
Chatter: President Biden’s Foreign Policy with Alex Ward
Joe Biden took office with a big ambition: To repair America’s reputation abroad and set the country on a new path, where foreign policy would be crafted with the middle class in mind. So writes journalist Alexander Ward, whose new book, The Internationalists: The Fight to Restore American Foreign Policy After Trump, chronicles Biden’s first two years in the White House. The central players in Ward’s cast as the president’s senior advisers, chief among them National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, who, four years earlier, had expected to be serving in the Hillary Clinton administration. Ward joined Shane Harris to talk about the Biden team's early efforts to sketch out a new agenda, the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the triumphs of the early days of war in Ukraine. His book offers a detailed, behind-the-scenes look at what may be one of the most experienced teams of foreign policy experts in a generation. Ward is a national security reporter at Politico. He was part of the reporting team behind one of the biggest scoops in recent memory, the leak of a draft opinion by the Supreme Court that overturned Roe v. Wade. Ward was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting. Among the works mentioned in this episode:Ward’s book, The Internationalists: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/704738/the-internationalists-by-alexander-ward/ An excerpt from the book: https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2024/02/19/jake-sullivan-globalization-biden-00141697 Ward’s newsletter at Politico: https://www.politico.com/newsletters/national-security-daily  Ward’s scoop on the Supreme Court’s abortion ruling: https://www.politico.com/news/2022/05/02/supreme-court-abortion-draft-opinion-00029473 Ward on Twitter: https://twitter.com/alexbward?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Rational Security: The “Licking the Cow” Edition
1w ago
Rational Security: The “Licking the Cow” Edition
This week, Alan, Quinta, and Scott were once again joined by co-host emeritus Benjamin Wittes to talk through the week's big national security news, including:“Constitutional Annoyance.” Last week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Trump v. Anderson, the case weighing whether former President Trump’s involvement in Jan. 6 should disqualify him from being able to stand as a candidate in 2024 under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. And the justices, for once, seemed almost unified in their skepticism of the idea that he should be—though there was far less agreement as to why. Where is this case headed? And what will its ultimate impact be on the 2024 election and beyond?“Putting the Hur(t) On.” Special Counsel Robert Hur completed his investigation into President Biden’s alleged mishandling of classified documents last week and, while he opted not to bring any charges, his lengthy final report has caused a stir: not just for laying out Biden’s apparent mishandling of classified documents over an extended period of time but also for citing Biden’s advanced age and apparent memory issues as grounds for not prosecuting—observations that have reignited anxieties regarding Biden’s capacity to stand for reelection. Was Hur out of line or just doing his job in making these observations? And how will his conclusions impact events moving forward, including the prosecution of former President Trump for his own mishandling of classified documents?“‘I Can’t Pay the Rent,’ ‘But You Must Pay the Rent!’” Former President Trump has resumed his role as enforcer over the defense spending level of NATO members, suggesting most recently that he would encourage Russia to do whatever it wants with any members who fail to meet their commitments—comments that have triggered new anxiety over how NATO may fare in a second Trump presidency. How serious are these comments? What should folks be doing in response?For object lessons, Alan recommended the weirdness of Donald Glover's new spy remake, "Mr. & Mrs. Smith." Quinta urged listeners to check out a recent New York Times piece on "How Mark Meadows Became the Least Trusted Man in Washington." Scott mourned the end of football season by endorsing the sportsfan comedy of Annie Agar. And Ben announced that he had completed his quest to identify the worst rhetorical question headline ever.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Rational Security: The “Fecund Season” Edition
11-02-2024
Rational Security: The “Fecund Season” Edition
This week on Rational Security, Alan made his long-awaited return to the podcast for a (brief, so savor it) reunion with Quinta and Scott to talk over the week’s big national security news, including:“Losing the Immunity Challenge.” Earlier this week, the D.C. Circuit rejected former President Trump’s attempt to appeal the denial of his claims of presidential immunity to criminal charges arising from Jan. 6. That issue is now primed for the Supreme Court. Will it take it up? And what will it decide?“Ordeal or No Deal.” As Israel’s military offensive in Gaza continues, the United States is trying to facilitate a short-term hostage deal—and a longer term bargain that would incorporate Israel and Saudi Arabia into a security pact. How realistic are these proposals? And how might they impact the dynamics of the Gaza conflict?“The Shakedown Breakdown.” Congressional Republicans who once insisted on tying Ukraine assistance to a border deal have now turned against any effort to hash out a border deal—even as House Republicans have also failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas or to pass their own stand-alone assistance bill for Israel. Where does this all leave aid for Ukraine? And what ramifications will this congressional dysfunction have moving forward?For object lessons, Alan shared the thing he spent most of his time off on: his new substack, “The Rozy Outlook.” In light of this week’s oral arguments in Trump v. Anderson, Quinta recommended Mark Graber’s book on the 14th Amendment, "Punish Treason, Reward Loyalty." And Scott urged listeners to check out one of his favorite Twitter threads in recent memory, asking “who got that one Jeopardy clip”?Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.