Armed Conflict Courts & Litigation

Rational Security: The “Trump and Elon Both Love Lawfare” Edition

Alan Z. Rozenshtein, Quinta Jurecic, Benjamin Wittes
Thursday, April 18, 2024, 12:30 PM
This week, Alan Rozenshtein and Quinta Jurecic sat down with Benjamin Wittes to talk through the week’s big national security news:

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This week, Alan and Quinta sat down with Lawfare Editor-in-Chief Benjamin Wittes to talk through the week’s big national security news, including:
  • “Ayatollahs and Airstrikes.” In retaliation for an Israeli strike that killed several high-ranking Iranian military officers in Syria, over the weekend Iran launched a wave of drone and missile attacks against Israel. The vast majority of these were shot down by Israel and its allies, including notably Jordan, causing minimal injuries and damage in Israel. As Israel considers whether to respond, its American and European allies are putting pressure on it to deescalate. What’s Israel’s next move and can broader regional war be avoided?
  • “Beginning of the end or just the end of the beginning?” It has been six months since Hamas’s attack on October 7 and the start of Israel’s war in Gaza, which appears to be entering a new, potentially lower-intensity phase. Israel has withdrawn most of its troops from southern Gaza, although it still argues that it needs to invade Rafah, on the border with Egypt, to defeat Hamas. Meanwhile, violence between Jewish settlers and Palestinians in the West Bank continues to increase. What’s next in the ongoing conflict?
  • “What’s a little obstruction between friends?” Earlier this week, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Fischer v. United States, a case challenging the government’s use of a common statute used to prosecute participants in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. The six conservative Justices appeared skeptical of the government’s argument that a statute that makes it a crime to “obstruct any official proceeding” applies to physical disruptions. How is the Court likely to rule and how might such a ruling affect Donald Trump’s federal trial for trying to overthrow the 2020 election?
For object lessons, Quinta recommended a throwing-the-wife-under-the-bus update in New Jersey's Senator Bob Menendez's ongoing legal troubles, and Alan and Ben both recommended excellent, if anxiety-inducing, national security themed movies: the recently released Civil War and the upcoming War Game.

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.
Benjamin Wittes is editor in chief of Lawfare and a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of several books.

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