This week, Alan, Quinta, and Scott were joined by Lawfare senior editor and congressional expert Molly Reynolds to hash through the week's big national security news stories, including:
- “Disquiet on the Eastern Front.” While Russia has been beaten back in most of the rest of the country, its efforts to hold secessionist eastern Ukraine are proving more resilient and producing what some are calling a war of attrition. What does this tell us about what the next phase of the conflict is likely to look like? And what does it mean for U.S. policy?
- “It's Time to Play the Music, It's Time to Light the Lights, It's Time to Meet the Suspects on Primetime Thursday Night.” At long last, the Jan. 6 committee is set to hold its first public hearing later this week, during evening prime-time. What are we expecting from the hearings? And what should we be on the lookout for?
- “An Exercise of Prosecutorial Concession.” Last week, the Justice Department opted to move forward with the prosecution of one former Trump administration official for refusing to cooperate with the Jan. 6 committee’s investigation, but declined to prosecute two other former officials who had also been referred by the committee for contempt. Why did the Justice Department take a different tack in these cases? And what does it mean for congressional investigations moving forward?
For object lessons, Alan recommended both the library book and audiobook accessing app Libby and Bruce Levine's portrait of the last days of the antebellum South, "The Fall of the House of Dixie." Quinta provided a reminder that U.S. politics has always been vitriolic. Scott was surprised to find himself strongly recommending the new documentary "Val," documenting the life of actor Val Kilmer. And Molly celebrated the return of the premiere show about Scandinavian parliamentary intrigue, "Borgen"!
Here are a few other articles they mentioned in the course of the episode:
- Michael Kofman's recent op-ed in The Economist on perceptions of Russian military capabilities
- President Biden's recent statement on U.S. strategy towards Ukraine in The New York Times
- Scott's recent Lawfare article on legal issues relating to the seizure of Russian assets to benefit Ukraine
- Scott's less recent article in Lawfare on what the United States is doing with Afghanistan's assets