Armed Conflict Congress Democracy & Elections

Rational Security: The "Three Ring Circus" Edition

Scott R. Anderson, Quinta Jurecic, Molly E. Reynolds, Jen Patja
Thursday, January 18, 2024, 12:30 PM
This week, Quinta Jurecic and Scott Anderson were joined by their colleague Molly Reynolds to talk through some big stories at the intersection of politics and national security.

Published by The Lawfare Institute
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This week, Quinta and Scott were joined by Lawfare Senior Editor and Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Molly Reynolds to talk through some big stories at the intersection of politics and national security, including:

  • “Over the Hill.” Congress is back in town and up to its old tricks, kicking the can of government funding down the road and still debating a funding package for Ukraine and other Biden administration priorities. As President Biden prepares to meet with congressional leaders at the White House, what are the odds of any sort of functioning legislature in this heated election year?

  • “Rewarmed Deterrence?” After weeks of threats, the United States and its allies finally took military action against the Houthi movement that has been threatening maritime traffic through the Red Sea in purported response to the Israeli military operation in Gaza. But will this solve the problem or only invite another cycle of escalation?

  • “The Frozen Corn Primary.” The first step of the 2024 election is officially over and the race is down to three candidates, with former President Trump having won the Iowa caucuses handily over rivals Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley. What does this first race tell us about the trajectory of the 2024 race—and how it intersects with Trump’s legal travails?

For object lessons, Quinta recommended Paul Murray's book “The Beesting as a pleasantly sad-funny read. Scott gave his annual PSA about why it's worth watching the divisional round of the NFL playoffs and endorsed the amazing "Art But Make it Sports" account on Twitter and Substack. And Molly told the story of Bob, the man who found the Alaska Airlines door plug in his backyard

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.
Molly Reynolds is a senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. She studies Congress, with an emphasis on how congressional rules and procedure affect domestic policy outcomes.
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.

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