Rational Security 2.0: The 'Ides of March' Edition

Jen Patja, Alan Z. Rozenshtein, Quinta Jurecic, Scott R. Anderson, Natalie K. Orpett
Wednesday, March 16, 2022, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

This week, Alan, Quinta, Scott and guest Lawfare executive editor Natalie Orpett sat down to discuss several of the week's big national security news stories, including:

  • “The Dragon-Bear Reliance.” Russia is turning to China for help in mitigating some of the more harmful consequences of the measures that the United States and its allies are imposing in response to its invasion of Ukraine. Will China play along? And what will its decision mean for the future of the relationship between the two major powers?
  • “The Secret Life of Feds.” In a pair of recent cases, the Supreme Court largely upheld the state secrets doctrine that allows the federal government to quash civil litigation that might compromise sensitive government information, even as it hinted at some potential ways it may come under pressure in the future. What does this mean for the doctrine moving forward?
  • “Garland’s Laurels.” Attorney General Merrick Garland just celebrated one year in office. How should we grade his efforts to restore and reinforce the Justice Department’s traditional norms of political independence and impartiality thus far? And what impact is it having on other parts of his legacy, like his investigation of the Jan. 6 insurrection?

For object lessons, Alan expressed his deep sympathy for the clinginess of the male Santa Maria harlequin toad, who often embraces his mate for months before she finally relents to reproduce. Quinta brought the listeners' attention to Russian news employee Marina Ovsyannikova's brave and heartfelt recent protest on a live newscast against Russia's war in Ukraine. Scott flagged the fact that the Biden administration still hasn't provided the public a copy of a war powers report that was due on March 1st, despite a law requiring that they do so. And Natalie both recommended the book "At Night All Blood is Black" by David Diop and flagged a late-breaking story about negotiations over a possible settlement in the military commissions trial of 9/11 perpetrator Khalid Shaikh Mohammed that would avoid the death penalty.

Jen Patja 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.
Natalie Orpett is the executive editor of Lawfare and deputy general counsel of the Lawfare Institute. She was previously an attorney at the law firm Jenner & Block, where she focused on investigations and government controversies, and also maintained an active pro bono practice. She served as civilian counsel to a defendant in the Guantanamo Military Commissions for more than eight years. She also served as counsel to the National Security and Foreign Policy Legal Team of the Biden-Harris Transition Team.

Subscribe to Lawfare