Armed Conflict Courts & Litigation

Rational Security: The “Alan and the Owl” Edition

Scott R. Anderson, Quinta Jurecic, Alan Z. Rozenshtein, Tyler McBrien
Thursday, March 7, 2024, 12:30 PM
This week, Tyler McBrien joined Alan Rozenshtein, Quinta Jurecic, and Scott Anderson to discuss the week's big national security news, including:

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This week, Lawfare Managing Editor Tyler McBrien joined Alan, Quinta, and Scott to discuss the week's big national security news, including:
  • “Operation Humbled Drop.” After months of unsuccessfully pushing the Israeli government to allow more aid into besieged Gaza, the Biden administration has taken matters into its own hands and begun airlifting it in itself. But are its efforts just for show, or a sign that it is abandoning its “bear hug” approach to Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu? And what will it mean for the flow of U.S. assistance to Israel, especially given legal restrictions Israel’s actions arguably violate?
  • “Sound (Legal Reasoning) and Fury(ous Agreement).” This week, the Supreme Court surprised no one by unanimously reversing the Colorado Supreme Court and holding that former President Trump cannot be kept off the 2024 ballot there for having committed insurrection through his involvement in Jan. 6—a move the justices had strongly telegraphed in oral arguments in February. But for a unanimous outcome, the matter did prove surprisingly divisive, with the liberal minority accusing the conservative majority of overreaching to save Trump from possible future disqualification through other avenues. What should we make of the divided opinions in this case? And where does it leave Trump?
  • “Smog of War.” Even as the New York Times finds itself in the midst of an internal (and external) controversy around its coverage of Hamas’s alleged use of sexual assault during the Oct. 7 massacre, the United Nations has released a report lending credibility to the conclusion that sexual assault occurred. How should we parse the competing accounts around this heated and incredibly difficult topic?


For object lessons, Alan—much to his surprise— recommended the Formula 1 documentary Formula 1: Drive to Survive. Quinta flagged another Sen. Menendez superseding indictment to add to New Jersey’s state flag. Scott hit both sides of the RatSec listenership with recommendations: one for “Bucking the Buck,” Daniel McDowell’s excellent deep dive into de-dollarization; and another for his parasocial friends on The Ringer NFL Show in its various iterations, who he hopes will give D.C. the regional sports podcast it deserves. And Tyler celebrated the spectacle that is Medieval Times as well as the fact that the serfs there have recently unionized.

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.
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.
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.
Tyler McBrien is the managing editor of Lawfare. He previously worked as an editor with the Council on Foreign Relations and a Princeton in Africa Fellow with Equal Education in South Africa, and holds an MA in international relations from the University of Chicago.

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