Rational Security 2.0: The 'Very Model of a Modern Major General' Edition

By Jen Patja Howell
Wednesday, August 10, 2022, 12:01 PM

This week, Alan, Quinta, and Scott were joined by special guest Ravi Agrawal, editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy magazine, to hash through the week's big national security news, including:

  • “Canned Strategy.” The war in Ukraine and tensions over Taiwan have led the Biden administration to further revise its long overdue National Security Strategy, which it now intends to release in the fall. What do we already know about Biden’s grand strategy? And how should we evaluate it?
  • “Mar-a-Leggo My Federal Records.” Yesterday, the FBI executed a search of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, reportedly in search of classified documents that Trump had retained in violation of federal records laws. How serious a step is this and what does it mean for the broader universe of investigations surrounding Trump and his associates?
  • “Milley Not So Vanilli.” A shocking new report details former President Trump’s contentious relationship with his generals—including a particularly contentious relationship with his Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley that has some experts concerned about civ-mil relations. Were Milley and the other generals out of line? Is there reason to be concerned moving forward?

For object lessons, Alan gave a double-headed recommendation: for the late David McCullough, and specifically his eponymous biography of John Adams; and the lovely town of Asheville, NC. Quinta passed along Caitlin Dickerson's investigation of the Trump administration's child separation policies in The Atlantic, "The Secret History of the U.S. Government's Family-Separation Policy."  Scott celebrated the discovery of the greatest food hack in history, which he acquired via Dan Souza's YouTube series, "What's Eating Dan?": putting cream of tartar on fresh tomatoes (along with salt, pepper, and sugar) to make even mediocre ones delicious. And Ravi urged listeners to check out both Foreign Policy and his podcast there, Global Reboot.