Rational Security: The 'It Has a Kilt!' Edition

By Jen Patja Howell
Wednesday, December 14, 2022, 12:01 PM

This week, Alan, Quinta, and Scott were joined by serial guest Lawfare executive editor Natalie Orpett to talk through the week's big national security news, including:

  • “Surly Intervention.” Desperate circumstances in the island nation of Haiti have both Haitians and the international community thinking seriously about another international intervention. But no one seems excited about the prospect, or eager to lead it. How should the international community be approaching this situation?
  • “What’s the Penalty for Inequal Substitution?” The Biden administration finally negotiated the freedom of WNBA Star Brittany Griner this past week, but at a steep cost: the freedom of notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. And she leaves behind her another American, Paul Whelan, who has been in Russian prison since 2018. Was the trade worth making? How should the United States handle these difficult hostage-taking cases?
  • “Justice Delayed is Justice in Stride.” Nearly thirty-four years after the Pan Am 103 bombing, the Justice Department has secured custody over Abu Agila Masud, a former Libyan intelligence operative believed to have built the bomb for, and played a key role in, the operation. How big a victory is this capture? How is the Justice Department likely to approach his prosecution?

For object lessons, Alan embraced his inner Trekkie and endorsed the newest Star Trek series, "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds." Quinta endorsed Don Delillo's classic 1985 novel "White Noise," soon to be a feature film from Noah Baumbach. Scott encouraged listeners to incorporate folk guitarist John Fahey's 1968 album "The New Possibility" into their holiday music routine. And Natalie gave a few recommendations from her recent dive into short stories, including T. Coraghessan Boyle's short story "Princess" in a recent issue of the New Yorker and the late Hillary Mantel's collection of short stories, "The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher."

Also, Rational Security will be doing its listener-submitted end-of-year episode later this month! So be sure to send any topics you want us to discuss or object lessons you want to share to rationalsecurity@lawfareblog.com