Rational Security 2.0: The 'Ku Ku Kachoo' Edition

By Jen Patja Howell
Wednesday, October 26, 2022, 12:01 PM

This week, Alan, Quinta, and Scott were joined by China expert and law professor Julian Ku to talk through some of the week's big national security news, including:

  • “Xi Loves Me, Xi Loves Me Not.” At the Chinese Communist Party’s 20th National Congress this past weekend, Chinese President Xi Jinping was able to not only secure his leadership over the party and country for a third consecutive five-year term but successfully staff the party apparatus with his hand-picked loyalists. What does the Congress tell us about where China is headed under Xi’s rule?
  • “Huawei or the Highway.” Less than 24 hours after the close of the CCP Congress in Beijing, Attorney General Merrick Garland and his most senior deputies unveiled a series of indictments against Chinese nationals alleged to have engaged in covert campaigns to interfere with the investigation into Huawei, penetrate U.S. research institutions, and curb protests by Chinese nationals in the United States. Is the timing a message or just a coincidence? How should the Biden administration be responding?
  • “4th and Elon(g).” Despite his best efforts, Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter is set to go through this Friday. But in the last few days, there have been mutterings that the purchase might be subjected to a national security review by the federal government. Are these rumors just Elon’s Hail Mary attempt at killing the deal? Or might they have some merit? And what will either outcome mean for Twitter?

For object lessons, Alan recommended the new film "Argentina, 1985." Quinta endorsed the novel "Grey Bees" by Andrey Kurkov for those wanting to sample some modern Ukrainian literature. Scott urged listeners who share his space obsessions to check out "For All Mankind," one of the best shows he's seen on television. And Julian recommended the BBC documentary series "Rome: Empire Without Limit" by Mary Beard for those wanting to reflect a bit on the rise and decline of great powers.