Rational Security 2.0: The 'Anniversary Hot Take Takedown' Edition

Jen Patja Howell, Alan Z. Rozenshtein, Quinta Jurecic, Scott R. Anderson, Benjamin Wittes, Shane Harris
Wednesday, September 7, 2022, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

This week, Alan, Quinta, and Scott were joined by co-host emeriti Ben Wittes and Shane Harris for a very special anniversary edition of Rational Security that pits their national security hot takes up against each other.

Which of the following takes will the team find to be "too hot," which "undercooked," and which "just right"?

  • Americans (and especially progressives) will regret reviving the prospect of disqualifying people under section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
  • Over the next year, there will be a windfall of information regarding unidentified aerial phenomena, including some pointing to possible extraterrestrial origin.
  • A President Ron Desantis won't be as dangerous as President Donald Trump.
  • Russia's terminal decline presents one of the greatest threats to global security.
  • American democracy will be saved by social conservative minorities voting for the Republican Party. 

For object lessons, Alan endorsed his favorite children's book about affectionate penguins (of many), "I Like it When" by Mary Murphy. Quinta recommended Garret Graff's new eponymous book on Watergate, "Watergate." Scott urged D.C. area residents to visit Wheatland Spring Farm and Brewery on their next trip out to Purcellville, VA, and try their "Land + Waters" farmhouse ale for a true taste of Virginia. Ben thanked Scott for supporting him through his crippling dog shirt addiction, even though that support has now reached its limits. And Shane recommended a non-spy book by "the American LeCarre" Charles McCarry, entitled "The Bride of the Wilderness," as well as the famous used bookstore where he bought it: "The Bookstore" in Lenox, MA.

Jen Patja Howell is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
Alan Z. Rozenshtein is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School, a senior editor at Lawfare, and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Previously, he served as an Attorney Advisor with the Office of Law and Policy in the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland.
Quinta Jurecic is a fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and a senior editor at Lawfare. She previously served as Lawfare's managing editor and as an editorial writer for the Washington Post.
Scott R. Anderson is a fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and a Senior Fellow in the National Security Law Program at Columbia Law School. He previously served as an Attorney-Adviser in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State and as the legal advisor for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.
Benjamin Wittes is editor in chief of Lawfare and a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of several books.
Shane Harris has written about intelligence, security and foreign policy for more than two decades. He is a staff writer with The Washington Post, covering U.S. intelligence agencies and national security. He was part of the team that won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, for stories about the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and efforts to overturn the presidential election. In 2019, he was part of the team that was a finalist for the Public Service award for coverage of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Shane has previously been a staff writer for the Wall Street Journal, the Daily Beast, and National Journal. He is the author of two books, "The Watchers: The Rise of America's Surveillance State" (Penguin Press, 2010) and "@War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex" (Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014). He frequently appears on national and international television and radio. He is also a co-host of the weekly podcast "Chatter." Shane graduated from Wake Forest University in 1998. He lives in Washington.

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