cover art for Chatter: Libertarianism and National Security with Katherine Mangu-Ward

The Lawfare Podcast

Chatter: Libertarianism and National Security with Katherine Mangu-Ward

Libertarianism doesn’t fit easily on the traditional left-right spectrum of American politics. The philosophy upholds personal liberty as a core value. What does it have to say about matters of foreign policy and national security, which encompass ideas about self-defense but also protection of the state? 

Katherine Mangu-Ward sat down with Shane Harris to discuss the libertarian view on war and diplomacy, how it approaches the question of nation-state conflicts, and the differences between libertarianism and the Libertarian Party. Mangu-Ward is the editor-in-chief of Reason magazine, the leading publication on libertarian thought and ideas. She started her journalism career in 2000 as an intern at Reason and later worked at The Weekly Standard and The New York Times. Her writing has also appeared in The Wall Street JournalThe New York Times, and many other publications.  

Political philosophers, publications, and novel state concepts discussed in this episode include: 

Ayn Rand 


Friedrich Hayek 

The Yale Free Press 

Students for a Democratic Society 


Read and listen to more of Mangu-Ward’s work: 

Chatter is a production of Lawfare and Goat Rodeo. This episode was produced and edited by Noam Osband of Goat Rodeo. Podcast theme by David Priess, featuring music created using Groovepad.

More episodes

View all episodes

  • Lawfare Daily: Alissa Starzak on Keeping the Internet Running in the Age of AI

    Alissa Starzak, head of public policy at Cloudflare, joins Kevin Frazier, Assistant Professor at St. Thomas University College of Law and a Tarbell Fellow at Lawfare, to discuss the promises and perils of AI in the cybersecurity context. Frazier, who interned with Cloudflare while in law school, and Starzak cover the novel threats posed by AI to the integrity of the Internet. The two also discuss privacy laws, AI governance, and recent Supreme Court decisions.To receive ad-free podcasts, become a Lawfare Material Supporter at You can also support Lawfare by making a one-time donation at
  • Chatter: Rocky Mountain High with Courtney Kube and Gordon Lubold

    This week, we’re at the Aspen Security Forum, the annual gathering of national security and foreign policy heavyweights. The conference regularly draws senior government and military officials from the United States and around the world to chew over the big issues of the day, and this time we had a full plate. It’s not exactly hardship duty escaping to a glamorous mountain paradise. But the real world hardly felt far away. Questions linger about the November elections and the security failure that led to the assassination attempt on Donald Trump while two wars grind on with no clear sign of stopping. Shane Harris sat down with his colleagues Courtney Kube of NBC News and Gordon Lubold of The Wall Street Journal to talk about the highlights of the conference and what people discussed on the sidelines, where the real action often happens.Watch recordings of the security forum panels. Read more from our guests. Courtney Kube: Gordon Lubold: Chatter is a production of Lawfare and Goat Rodeo. This episode was produced and edited by Noam Osband of Goat Rodeo. Podcast theme by David Priess, featuring music created using Groovepad.
  • Lawfare Daily: AI Policy Under Technological Uncertainty, with Alex “amac” Macgillivray

    Alan Rozenshtein, Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota Law School and Senior Editor at Lawfare, and Matt Perault, the Director of the Center on Technology Policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, sat down with Alexander Macgillivray, known to all as "amac," who was the former Principle Deputy Chief Technology Officer of the United States in the Biden Administration and General Counsel at Twitter.amac recently wrote a piece for Lawfare about making AI policy in a world of technological uncertainty, and Matt and Alan talked to him about how to do just that.To receive ad-free podcasts, become a Lawfare Material Supporter at You can also support Lawfare by making a one-time donation at
  • Lawfare Daily: A Busy Few Weeks in Ukraine

    Over the last two weeks, the Russians have bombed a children’s hospital in Kyiv, Hungarian leader Viktor Orbán has been on an international peace mission, the NATO summit has taken place in Washington, and Ukrainian forces have continued to struggle to hold territory. To go over a busy few weeks, Lawfare Editor-in-Chief Benjamin Wittes sat down with Anastasiia Lapatina, Lawfare’s Kyiv fellow, and Eric Ciaramella of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.To receive ad-free podcasts, become a Lawfare Material Supporter at You can also support Lawfare by making a one-time donation at
  • Lawfare Archive: Viktor Orbán Switches Democracy Off

    From April 14, 2020: Nobody has been more aggressive about using the coronavirus crisis to seize power than Hungarian strong man Viktor Orbán. Orbán declared a state of emergency and has been ruling by decree. He has also instigated criminal penalties for spreading false information about the coronavirus, and his Fidesz party has effectively dissolved Parliament. Joining Benjamin Wittes to discuss the decline of Hungarian democracy is András Pap, a Hungarian scholar of constitutional law and a professor at Central European University's nationalist studies program in Budapest, and Anne Applebaum, essayist, author, and scholar of Eastern Europe, nationalism and the former Soviet Union. They talked about whether Orbán's seizure of power is as big a deal as it initially appears, about where Orbán stands in the pantheon of right wing populists worldwide, and about what, if anything, the European Union is likely to do about it.
  • Lawfare Daily: Trump Trials and Tribulations Weekly Round-up (July 18, 2024)

    This episode of “Trump's Trials and Tribulations,” was recorded on July 18 in front of a live audience on YouTube and Zoom.Lawfare Editor-in-Chief Benjamin Wittes spoke to Lawfare Legal Correspondent and Legal Fellow Anna Bower and Lawfare Senior Editor Roger Parloff about Judge Cannon’s order dismissing the classified documents case against Trump, Trump’s motion to vacate the New York conviction, and took audience questions from Lawfare material supporters.
  • Lawfare Daily: Rebecca Crootof on AI, DARPA, and the ELSI Framework

    Rebecca Crootof, Professor of Law at the University of Richmond School of Law and the inaugural ELSI Visiting Scholar at DARPA, joins Kevin Frazier, a Tarbell Fellow at Lawfare, to discuss the weaponization of emerging technologies and her role as the inaugural ELSI Visiting Scholar at DARPA. This conversation explores the possibility of an AI arms race, the value of multidisciplinarity within research institutions, and means to establish guardrails around novel uses of technology.To receive ad-free podcasts, become a Lawfare Material Supporter at You can also support Lawfare by making a one-time donation at
  • Rational Security: The “Million Dollar Babydog” Edition

    This week Alan, Quinta, and Scott were joined by Lawfare Executive Editor Natalie Orpett to talk through one of the most eventful weeks in national security news in recent history, including:“Too Close for Comfort.” Former President Trump narrowly avoided an assassination attempt this past weekend that ultimately left one rally-goer dead and two others critically wounded. While Trump and President Biden both made calls for national unity, several of Trump’s close allies were quick to blame the Biden administration’s rhetoric painting Trump as a threat to democracy. What will this historic event mean for the 2024 election—and for the rise in political violence and related rhetoric that’s preceded it?“Cannon Fodder.” After months of glacial judicial proceedings, federal District Court Judge Aileen Cannon finally did what many of her critics had long expected and dismissed the special counsel’s criminal case against former President Trump, based in large part on an aggressive reading of the Appointments Clause and narrow reading of the legislation allowing for the special counsel’s appointment. How credible is her holding? And what will it mean for the future of the trial?“Hillbilly Pedigree.” Former President Trump opened the Republican Party’s national convention this week by announcing his new pick for Vice President: J.D. Vance, the first-term senator from Ohio, author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” and a one-time critic of Trump who has since become one of his most aggressive ideological allies, going even further than Trump on issues ranging from economic populism to opposition to U.S. support for Ukraine. What does his nomination mean for the race, for the Republican Party, and for the future of national security policy? For object lessons, Alan shared how he rediscovered his love of video games. Quinta brought us another update from the Garden State, regarding the conviction of its senior senator. Scott shared a great story from political history, about the origins of the weird relationship between Richard Nixon and NBA star Wilt Chamberlain. And Natalie endorsed her latest TV indulgence: the HBO show Hacks.Promotion: Use code RATIONALSECURITY at the link here to get an exclusive 60% off an annual Incogni plan:
  • Lawfare Daily: Michael Beckley and Arne Westad on the U.S.-China Relationship

    On today’s episode, Matt Gluck, Research Fellow at Lawfare, spoke with Michael Beckley, Associate Professor of Political Science at Tufts, and Arne Westad, the Elihu Professor of History at Yale.They discussed Beckley’s and Westad’s articles in Foreign Affairs on the best path forward for the U.S.-China strategic relationship—in the economic and military contexts. Beckley argues that in the short term, the U.S. should focus on winning its security competition with China, rather than significant engagement, to prevent conflict. Westad compares the current moment to the period preceding World War I. He cautions that the U.S. and China should maintain strategic communication and avoid an overly narrow focus on competition to stave off large-scale conflict.They broke down the authors’ arguments and where they agree and disagree. Does U.S. engagement lower the temperature in the relationship? Will entrenched economic interests move the countries closer to conflict? How can the U.S. credibly deter China from invading Taiwan without provoking Beijing?To receive ad-free podcasts, become a Lawfare Material Supporter at You can also support Lawfare by making a one-time donation at