Rational Security 2.0: The ‘Walk of Shane’ Edition

Jen Patja, Alan Z. Rozenshtein, Quinta Jurecic, Scott R. Anderson, Shane Harris
Wednesday, May 25, 2022, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

This week, Alan, Quinta and Scott were joined by Rational Security co-host emeritus Shane Harris! Together they talked through the week's big national security news stories, including: 

  • “We Want to Believe.” The House recently held a rare public hearing on what the U.S. government knows about Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, or UAPs–also commonly called Unidentified Flying Objects, or UFOs. What did we learn about UAPs and how is U.S. policy towards them changing?
  • “Strategic Incongruity.” President Biden once again said the United States would defend Taiwan against Chinese aggression, only to have White House staff roll back his statement and confirm that there has been no change in the longstanding U.S. policy of “strategic ambiguity” on this issue. Can this policy survive the president’s repeated statements? And if so, what’s replacing it?
  • “Getting Thirsty in Hungary.” The premiere U.S. conservative organization CPAC is holding a part of its annual conference in Hungary, where far right leader Viktor Orban called for a transnational conservative movement. What will this budding relationship mean for the future of conservative movements at home and abroad?

For object lessons, Quinta encouraged folks to revisit Terry Pratchett's classic "Discworld" series, a formative reading experience in her childhood (which explains a great deal). Alan recommended the new Apple+ series on dysfunctional British spies, "Slow Horses." Scott endorsed Andy Weir's latest book "Project Hail Mary" for its amazing worldbuilding, if not necessarily its prose. And Shane gave his wholehearted endorsement to Jamie Kirchick's forthcoming new book "Secret City," which details the often hidden role gay people have played in D.C.-based policy and politics, including in national security. 

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.
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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