Rational Security


Rational Security 2.0, The "Bloodless Coup" Edition

On this premiere episode of Rational Security 2.0, new hosts Alan Rozenshtein, Quinta Jurecic, and Scott R. Anderson are joined by special guest Benjamin Wittes to discuss: the Taliban's new government and the brutal way it seems to be governing (especially in relation to women); the Biden administration's border policies, and why they're facing trouble in the courts; and our summer from hell: are recent heat waves, wildfires, and floods now a permanent part of the American experience, and will this change the political calculus on climate change?

For object lessons, Alan testified to the charms of Duluth, Minnesota; Ben talked about his efforts to shrink his carbon footprint, including by building Lawfare a new conference table; Quinta discussed an exciting new line of action figures taking toy stores by storm (pictured below); and Scott explained why the end of the global pandemic may just taste like pumpkin beer. 

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More Episodes


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 originalThe 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, entitledThe Aftermath.Be sure to visit our show page atwww.lawfareblog.comand to follow us on Twitter at@RatlSecurity.And Rational Security listeners can get a committed ad-free feedby becoming a Lawfare material supporter atwww.patreon.com/lawfare!

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 January6 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 atwww.lawfareblog.comand 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 atwww.patreon.com/lawfare!

The "Party at Nakatomi Plaza" Edition

This week, Alan, Quinta and Scott were joined by militarylaw expertand 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 twonewdocumentarieson Leonardo DaVinci's lost painting, Salvator Mundi.Be sure to visit our show page atwww.lawfareblog.comand 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 atwww.patreon.com/lawfare!