Rational Security 2.0: The 'Wahoowa' Edition
This week, Alan, Quinta, and Scott were joined by beloved Lawfare contributor and UVA Law professor Ashley Deeks, fresh from her latest stint at the White House. They hashed through some of the week's big national security news, including:
- “The Bridge and Pummel Crowd.” Ukraine’s destruction of a symbolic bridge linking Russia to Crimea has observers worried about a new round of escalation, as Russia responded with missile strikes on a range of civilian targets across the country, including a German consulate in Kyiv, with promises of more to come. Are we entering a new, brutal phase of the conflict? What can be done to stop its civilian toll—or to keep the escalatory spiral from spinning out of control?
- “Finally, Some Decency and Moderation on the Supreme Court.” Last week, the Supreme Court took up not one but two—albeit, two closely related—cases that center on how to apply Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a law that provides internet companies with immunity for liability arising from user-generated content they host and protects their ability to moderate content. What might this judicial scrutiny mean for the future of content moderation on the internet?
- “1,001 Arabian Slights.” Saudi Arabia’s decision to cut oil production—a move expected to drive up oil prices and slow the global economy, to the benefit of Russia and other producers—has some members of Congress up in arms. This is especially true as it came on the end of a summer visit by President Biden that controversially seemed to signal a willingness to thaw relations with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, which have grown icy since his involvement in the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. What do these steps mean for the future of the U.S.-Saudi relationship?
For object lessons, Alan shared his wife's love for ch-ch-ch-chia pets. Quinta shared a story of voter fraud and corruption in one of America's greatest institutions: NPS's Fat Bear Week competition. Scott shared his joyfully music-filled week and urged listeners to check out his favorite album of all time, celebrating its 20th anniversary. And Ashley passed along a revealing story about the fake Vermeer discovered at the National Gallery of Art.