Rational Security 2.0: The 'Ku Ku Kachoo' Edition

Jen Patja Howell, Alan Z. Rozenshtein, Quinta Jurecic, Scott R. Anderson, Julian Ku
Tuesday, October 26, 2021, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

This week, Alan, Quinta, and Scott were joined by China expert and law professor Julian Ku to talk through some of the week's big national security news, including:

  • “Xi Loves Me, Xi Loves Me Not.” At the Chinese Communist Party’s 20th National Congress this past weekend, Chinese President Xi Jinping was able to not only secure his leadership over the party and country for a third consecutive five-year term but successfully staff the party apparatus with his hand-picked loyalists. What does the Congress tell us about where China is headed under Xi’s rule?
  • “Huawei or the Highway.” Less than 24 hours after the close of the CCP Congress in Beijing, Attorney General Merrick Garland and his most senior deputies unveiled a series of indictments against Chinese nationals alleged to have engaged in covert campaigns to interfere with the investigation into Huawei, penetrate U.S. research institutions, and curb protests by Chinese nationals in the United States. Is the timing a message or just a coincidence? How should the Biden administration be responding?
  • “4th and Elon(g).” Despite his best efforts, Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter is set to go through this Friday. But in the last few days, there have been mutterings that the purchase might be subjected to a national security review by the federal government. Are these rumors just Elon’s Hail Mary attempt at killing the deal? Or might they have some merit? And what will either outcome mean for Twitter?

For object lessons, Alan recommended the new film "Argentina, 1985." Quinta endorsed the novel "Grey Bees" by Andrey Kurkov for those wanting to sample some modern Ukrainian literature. Scott urged listeners who share his space obsessions to check out "For All Mankind," one of the best shows he's seen on television. And Julian recommended the BBC documentary series "Rome: Empire Without Limit" by Mary Beard for those wanting to reflect a bit on the rise and decline of great powers.

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.
Julian Ku is the Maurice A. Deane Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law at Hofstra University School of Law. He is a co-founder of Opinio Juris, the leading blog on international law.

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