346 episodes

A weekly discussion of national security and foreign policy matters featuring Lawfare senior editors Scott R. Anderson, Quinta Jurecic, and Alan Rozenshtein.
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Rational Security The Lawfare Institute

    • News
    • 4.8 • 1.8K Ratings

A weekly discussion of national security and foreign policy matters featuring Lawfare senior editors Scott R. Anderson, Quinta Jurecic, and Alan Rozenshtein.
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    The "C'mon Neil" Edition

    The "C'mon Neil" Edition

    This week, Alan, Quinta and Scott were joined by Lawfare's new director of digital media, Claudia Swain! They talked through some of the week's biggest national security news, including:
    “It’s Not the Motion in the OSHA, It’s the Size of Your Popular Mandate.” The Supreme Court has invalidated the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s vaccination-or-test mandate for major employers. What will the Court’s decision mean for the Biden administration efforts to combat COVID?“We Met On OKstupid.” The Justice Department has indicted leaders of the Oath Keepers movement for seditious conspiracy, based in part on social media communications in which they actively recruited and planned for the violence of Jan. 6. What does the indictment tell us about the risk of domestic violent extremism?“Law & Order: DVE.” The Justice Department’s National Security Division just created a new unit committed to prosecuting domestic terrorism. What kind of lasting impact might this move have in preventing another Jan. 6?For object lessons, Alan drew our attention to a story of rampant abuse of power being investigated by the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency's inspector general: allegations that an employee printed off over 100 copies of their wedding program on a government computer. Quinta made the minor suggestion that the FBI should not Tweet about MLK Day, which commemorates the life of a man it unlawfully surveilled and tried to push toward suicide. Scott strongly celebrated the new show "We Are Lady Parts" about a female Muslim punk band in East London, as well as the album of original music its creators have released. And Claudia drew our attention to a story of international significance: the deregulation of French dressing, after a decades-long regulatory fight. 
    Be sure to visit our show page at www.lawfareblog.com and to follow us on Twitter at @RatlSecurity. 
    And Rational Security listeners can get a committed ad-free feed by becoming a Lawfare material supporter at www.patreon.com/lawfare!

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 1 hr 11 min
    The "Almaty Too Hotty" Edition

    The "Almaty Too Hotty" Edition

    This week, Alan, Quinta and Scott were joined by three-peat guest Lawfare executive editor Natalie Orpett! They talked through some of the week's biggest national security news, including:
    “What’s Almaty You, Eh?” Russia recently deployed forces to nearby Kazakhstan to aid an allied government in putting down a popular uprising. Will this have ramifications for the possible conflict over Ukraine? And what does it say about Russia’s regional strategy?“He’s Talking About Voldemort, Right?” Last week, President Biden commemorated the anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection with some strong words for his predecessor, without ever actually naming him. Does this signal a strategic shift in how Democrats are taking on threats to American democracy—and is it a good one? “Faceboo(galoo).” The sister of a police officer killed by a member of the far-right “boogaloo boys” is suing Meta, the newly renamed parent company of Facebook, for promoting the group’s content and connecting potential members through its content algorithms. Could this represent a way around Section 230 protections? And what would the ramifications be for other social media platforms?For object lessons, Quinta called out Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch for recently declining to wear a mask at oral arguments. Alan drew the listeners' attention to a recent story of imperfect revenge: a shop owner who is now facing charges of retaliation for dumping 91,500 pennies covered in oil on the driveway of a former employee who claimed not to have received his final paycheck. Scott celebrated the fact that his prayers for a caffeinated cocktail had been answered but pointed towards what he finds to be an even better solution: coffee and Averna. And finally, Natalie noted the new metaphors for climate change that she'd discovered on recently re-reading the children's classic, "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs." 
    Be sure to visit our show page at www.lawfareblog.com and to follow us on Twitter at @RatlSecurity. 
    And Rational Security listeners can get a committed ad-free feed by becoming a Lawfare material supporter at www.patreon.com/lawfare!

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 1 hr 7 min
    The "Snowmicron" Edition

    The "Snowmicron" Edition

    This week, Quinta and Scott were joined by RatSec 1.0 co-host and Lawfare editor-in-chief Benjamin Wittes! They sat down to discuss the week's national security news, including:
    “Merrick’s Briefing.” This week, Attorney General Merrick Garland is expected to give a speech about the Justice Department’s efforts to hold the perpetrators of the January 6 insurrection accountable. What do we expect him to say—and what should he say?“The Company You Keep.” Former President Trump recently endorsed increasingly authoritarian Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban for re-election. What does this endorsement tell us about Trump—and what may it mean for Orban?“It’s a New Extradition, Hot and Fresh Out the Kitchen.” The Justice Department recently secured the extradition of Kremlin insider Vladislav Klyushin, who may have information on a range of Russian intelligence activities, including 2016 election interference. What does this move tell us about how Russian and U.S. law enforcement activities intersect with their intelligence capabilities? For object lessons, Quinta recommended Katie Kitamura's new book, “Intimacies.” Scott urged parents of sick children everywhere to try to turn to the back catalog of the original The Muppet Show, now available streaming online. And Ben gave a double-header endorsement of both Ben Macintyre's classic history of the Kim Philby spy saga, “A Spy Among Friends,” and Lawfare's own forthcoming podcast miniseries on accountability for the January 6 insurrection, entitled The Aftermath. 
    Be sure to visit our show page at www.lawfareblog.com and to follow us on Twitter at @RatlSecurity. 
    And Rational Security listeners can get a committed ad-free feed by becoming a Lawfare material supporter at www.patreon.com/lawfare!

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    The "Miracle on Massachusetts Avenue" Edition

    The "Miracle on Massachusetts Avenue" Edition

    This week, Alan, Quinta and Scott celebrated the impending New Year by answering some questions and sharing some object lessons submitted by Rational Security listeners. They discussed:
    If you could only have one paid news subscription, which would it be?How do you think the U.S. will respond if Israeli policies towards Palestinians continue to deteriorate?Why does former President Trump's direction to his former associates not to cooperate with the January 6 committee not constitute witness tampering?Why are Tweets not subject to prepublication review?What are the United States' greatest vulnerabilities?What are the odds of a major nuclear incident in the next 70 years?What is the January 6 committee investigating other than the actions of former President Trump and his associates?Do you think the courts or Congress will rein in the executive branch's control over classified information?How will Finland's purchase of U.S. F-35s change the regional security calculus?What do you do to sound good on podcasts?And most importantly: which holiday movie is most relevant to the current state of international relations?As for object lessons, listeners: recommended the "Fat Leonard" and "Orientalist Express" podcasts; endorsed the book "Shorting the Grid" by Meredith Angwin; noted the existence of the iPhone game "Free Assange" by none other than RT (i.e., Russia Today); corrected Scott's mistake regarding what's happening with the long lost musical sequence from "The Muppet Christmas Carol"; recommended adding bourbon to Quinta's easy pie dough recipe; seconded Alan's earlier endorsement of the spaetzle maker; and shouted out Purdue University for the civic education program they recently implemented for all incoming students. 
    Rational Security 2.0 will be back in 2022, but until then be sure to visit our show page at www.lawfareblog.com and to follow us on Twitter at @RatlSecurity. 
    And Rational Security listeners can now get a committed ad-free feed by becoming a Lawfare material supporter at www.patreon.com/lawfare!

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 1 hr 8 min
    The "Party at Nakatomi Plaza" Edition

    The "Party at Nakatomi Plaza" Edition

    This week, Alan, Quinta and Scott were joined by military law expert and Lawfare contributor Michel Paradis! They sat down to discuss the week's national security news, including:
    “You Want the Boost? You Can’t HANDLE the Boost!” Several states’ governors are refusing to direct their national guards to comply with the Defense Department’s vaccination mandate. Can the federal government make them comply?“If Optimus Prime is Wrong, I Don’t Want to Be Right.” Last week, a U.N. body debated whether to pursue a treaty banning the development and use of automated war machines. Is there merit to this proposal or good reason to be skeptical?“I’m Rubber, You’re Sued.” Donald Trump and his associates are using the courts to strike back against both the January 6 committee and New York state officials seeking to investigate them. Are there merits to their arguments or is something else afoot?For object lessons, Alan endorsed his local distillery, Studio Distilling, and urged everyone to seek out their local distilleries everywhere. Quinta remarked upon finding the worst baby attire ever. Scott passed his new favorite eggnog recipe. And Michel recommended two new documentaries on Leonardo DaVinci's lost painting, Salvator Mundi.
    Be sure to visit our show page at www.lawfareblog.com and to follow us on Twitter at @RatlSecurity. 
    And Rational Security listeners can now get a committed ad-free feed (which is now back up and working! we promise!) by becoming a Lawfare material supporter at www.patreon.com/lawfare!

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    The "Whole Damn System is Out of Order" Edition

    The "Whole Damn System is Out of Order" Edition

    This week, Alan, Quinta and Scott were joined by their fellow Lawfare senior editor and Brookings Institution fellow Molly Reynolds! They sat down to discuss the week's national security news, including:
    “Winners Use Google Slides.” The January 6 committee has revealed some of the texts and emails handed over by former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, including a notorious powerpoint presentation laying out apparent plans for a coup. What do these revelations tell us about what happened on January 6—and what our expectations should be of the committee?
    “The Smog of War.” A top secret cell of elite U.S. soldiers is accused of manufacturing ambiguity on the battlefield in order to evade legal and policy limits on the targeting of civilians. What do these allegations mean for the way America fights its wars?
    “8 Simple Rules for Legislating in an Age of Disorder.” Progressive Democrats have urged their leadership to overrule the Senate parliamentarian’s determination that bills passed through the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation process can’t include certain types of immigration reforms. Do these demands threaten the operation of the Senate? Or is something entirely different at stake?
    For object lessons, Quinta passed along a fool-proof holiday cookie recipe. Alan noted a list of blockbusters he was looking forward to enjoying over Chinese food this Christmas. Molly recommended a somewhat unlikely legislative procedure-themed holiday movie, "Operation Christmas Drop." And Scott urged listeners to watch the holiday classic, "The Muppet Christmas Carol," which Disney+ has only recently restored to its full glory.
    Also, Rational Security is hoping to close out the year with a mailbag episode! So if you have any burning questions you want the RatSec crew to answer, wild hypotheticals you want them to suss out, or object lessons you want to share, no matter how serious or how frivolous, be sure to email them to rationalsecurity@lawfareblog.com before December 22.
    Be sure to visit our show page at www.lawfareblog.com and to follow us on Twitter at @RatlSecurity. 
    And Rational Security listeners can now get a committed ad-free feed (which is now back up and working! we promise!) by becoming a Lawfare material supporter at www.patreon.com/lawfare!

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 1 hr 6 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
1.8K Ratings

1.8K Ratings

E. Carroll ,

RatSec 2.0 is going strong

Losing one of my favorite podcasts was upsetting, but gaining a new favorite podcast made it a little easier. I’m still expecting Shane to greet me after the intro, but I’m getting used to the change. I’m looking forward to how the new crew makes this pod their own!

LieutenantLazybones ,

Good, but gaps in expertise

Enjoying 2.0 so far, but could not finish the “Almaty too Hotty” episode due to the glaring absence of expertise on Russia and Central Asia. I understand that not everyone is familiar with CSTO or where to find Kazakhstan on a map, but plenty of people are. Next time you discuss Russia, please bring in a SME. For all of our sakes.

pdthorn ,

Good Bones, Room to Improve

Enjoying the new panel and variety of guests. My biggest point is that Scott needs to learn economy of words. Between acting as a non-appointed ombudsman or shoehorning his perspective in (pick a lane) he will run on redundantly restating the same idea for several minutes at a block. Rational Security isn’t Left, Right, and Center—please spare me the grandstanding for last word.

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