Rational Security 2.0: The 'BOYZ NITE' Edition

By Jen Patja Howell
Wednesday, August 24, 2022, 12:00 PM

This week, a Quinta-less Alan and Scott were joined by host emeritus Benjamin Wittes to talk through the week's big national security stories, including:

  • “Sometimes the Best Defense is a New Offensive.” With apparent U.S. support, Ukraine is bringing the fight to Crimea and other Russian-held areas—and perhaps to the streets of Moscow itself, where a well-known Russian nationalist’s car and daughter were detonated this past week. What are the risks of this new strategy? And how far will (or should) the United States go in its support?
  • “The Enemy of my Frenemy is my…Enemenemy?” Former President Donald Trump’s endorsement appeared to hold significant (if not absolute) sway in several recent Republican primaries, where a number of election-denying candidates won—several with help from the DCCC, who supported them against more moderate opponents in hopes of having weaker competition in the general election. How might this strategy impact democratic norms and the rule of law?
  • “Special Masters and the Don/Sub(tweet) Relationship.” As more problematic facts regarding former President Donald Trump’s possession of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate come forward, his lawyers have put forward a novel argument seeking a special master to oversee what happens to the records recovered—one that hinges on Trump’s ability to assert executive privilege against the Executive Branch. What should we make of this argument and what does this case seem to mean for Trump's legacy moving forward?

For object lessons, Alan stuck it to the state of Iowa with his endorsement of the Minnesota State Fair and its rightly celebrated butter sculptor. Scott took over Quinta's traditional role and endorsed a New Yorker article, specifically Adam Entous' deep dive into President Biden's family history. And Ben urged listeners to check out the forthcoming nine-part series he, Matt Gluck, and Tia Sewell have forthcoming in Lawfare, documenting all of the evidence that the Jan. 6 committee put forward regarding former President Trump's conduct.