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Rational Security: The “Closing the Clubhouse” Edition

This week, Alan, Quinta, and Scott were joined by Lawfare Editor-in-Chief Benjamin Wittes, fresh from his New York rumspringa, to talk over the week’s big national security news, including:

  • “You Don’t Have to Go Home, But You Can’t Stay Here.” That’s the message that will soon be going out to those Lawfare team members that have been camping out at our temporary Manhattan studio, as, after weeks of proceedings, it is officially closing time for former President Donald Trump’s criminal prosecution in New York. How has the trial proceeded? And what have we learned up to this point, before the verdict comes in?
  • “Spinning the Wheels of Justice.” The prosecutor for the International Criminal Court has made a landmark request for arrest warrants targeting Hamas’s three most senior officials as well as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on the grounds that they have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. Is this a step towards justice? Or towards an end to the conflict?
  • “Take a Hayek.” The Biden administration has now followed in the Trump administration’s footsteps in imposing major tariffs on imports from China, and both parties seem comfortable with a level of trade protectionism that would have been inconceivable just a few decades ago. Is this the end of the neoliberal experiment? And what seems set to come about in its wake?

For object lessons, Alan recommended pianist Víkingur Ólafsson’s reworking of Bach's Organ Sonata No. 4. Quinta shouted out two cartoonists illustrating the Trump trial: Liza Donnelly for the New Yorker and Josh Cochran for the New York Times. Scott recommended the new book forthcoming from friend-of-the-pod Michel Paradis, a new portrait of Dwight Eisenhower in the lead-up to D-Day entitled “The Light of Battle.” And Ben gave an unlikely endorsement to one of Trump’s legal counsel, the somewhat vampiric but nonetheless effective Emil Bove.

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