Listen ad-free

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.

Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare.


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

read less

Our Editor's Take

The Lawfare Podcast, a production of The Lawfare Institute, examines national security and law. Host Benjamin Wittes serves as Lawfare's editor-in-chief.Wittes is a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and a national security and legal expert. The podcast's hosts and guests include scholars of international law. They are policy makers, opinion leaders, professors, and journalists. Their depth of knowledge differentiates this podcast from more casual ones. They discuss various legal topics, including cybersecurity, foreign relations, and intelligence.

The Lawfare Podcast is a specialized law and policy show. The podcast often sticks to a discussion-based format. Panelists answer listener's questions on some episodes. The "Ask Us Anything" episode is an annual tradition. Some themes, like "Trump's Trials and Tribulations," appear throughout multi-part series.

Podcast episodes deconstruct many topics. One episode features lawyer Michael Gottlieb. He questions former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's judgment. In another, Lawfare cofounder Jack Goldsmith talks with Harvard's Graham Allison. Allison reviews his relationship with his mentor Henry Kissinger. Panelists analyze the actions of Israel and Hamas under humanitarian law. The conflict in Yemen, cyber security, and UK secret intelligence all come up. Guests discuss Washington's response to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. They also analyze the complicated politics of Ukraine aid.

The podcast also talks about related books that deal with politics and the law. In one memorable episode, Dan Klaidman and Michael Isikoff guested. They wrote the book Find Me the Votes: A Hard-Charging Georgia Prosecutor, a Rogue President, and the Plot to Steal an American Election. The title of the book comes from Donald Trump's efforts to try to swing the Georgia presidential election in his favor. He demanded this of Georgia Republican politicians.

The podcast features some lighter moments and informal conversations. However, these are relatively rare. The Lawfare Podcast is serious. It boasts an academic approach to the subject matter. Its tone reflects the nature of the show. Listeners seeking an immersive experience in national security and policy find it here. New episodes come out several times a week. Most episodes last about an hour.

read less
GovernmentGovernment

Episodes

Rational Security: The “Sir, This is a Wendy’s” Edition
Today
Rational Security: The “Sir, This is a Wendy’s” Edition
This week on Rational Security, Quinta and Scott were joined by Molly Reynolds and (a prerecorded) Anna Bower to talk through some of the week’s big national security news, including:“The Shutdown Rut.” Congress once again has the government on the verge of a shutdown. And while Speaker of the House Mike Johnson has reportedly committed to avoiding one, demands from within his caucus may make that hard—just as they continue to obstruct a path forward for the national security supplemental that contains essential assistance for Ukraine. Is there a way forward? Or are we shutdown-bound?“Sex, Lies, and Geolocation.” The criminal case against former President Trump and more than a dozen codefendants in Fulton County, Georgia, remains on hold as defense attorneys continue to dig into the details of Fani Willis’s romantic relationship with subordinate Nathan Wade. Over the last week, we’ve seen filings on geolocation data and the examination of Wade’s former attorney. But does any of this add up to a potentially disqualifying conflict of interest?“If This Segment Were a Newspaper, How Much Would It Weigh?” The Supreme Court heard extended oral arguments over the constitutionality of controversial Florida and Texas laws seeking to regulate content moderation on social media platforms this week. But amid some very interesting lines of questioning—including one inquiring the weight of YouTube if it were a newspaper—it wasn’t clear the Court was really ready and interested in delving into the technical details. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? And where might the Court come out?For object lessons, Quinta answered Justice Alito’s recent inquiry, “If YouTube were a newspaper, how much would it weigh?” Scott sang the praises of Bianco DiNapoli’s fire-roasted tomatoes. And Molly recommended the podcast Short Walk, about one of the stranger state-level political controversies in recent memory.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/lawfare. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Rational Security: The “Fast and the Furry-us” Edition
1w ago
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
22-02-2024
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
18-02-2024
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.