Rational Security: The 'Q Agone' Edition

By Jen Patja Howell
Thursday, May 4, 2023, 12:01 PM

This week, a Quinta-less Alan and Scott were joined by Lawfare legal fellow Saraphin Dhanani to talk through the week's big national security news, including:

  • “Seoul Authority.” South Korea and the United States recommitted themselves to their close security relationship this past week, including through a state dinner and a new Washington Declaration that confirms that the United States will respond to any nuclear attack on South Korea with overwhelming force. What drove this public showing? And what impact will it have on the nuclear threat posed by North Korea?
  • “The Uncanny X-Date.” The debate over raising the debt ceiling took on new urgency this week, when Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced that the United States might meet the ‘X-Date’ at which it defaults on its obligations as soon as June 1. Yet there are few signs of a compromise, as House Republicans have dug in on a proposal that demands deep spending cuts while the Biden administration continues to push for a clean raise. Where will this debate lead?
  • “Washington Contentious.” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan gave remarks at our own Brookings Institution this past week, laying out a new approach to international economic policy. What should we make of this new ‘Washington Consensus’?

For object lessons, Alan recommended Matthew Continetti's (audio)book on American conservatism, "The Right." Scott decided to shil for his favorite (washable!) shoe brand (for men!), Rothy's. And Saraphin overcame her natural aversion to musicals to endorse the current Broadway run of Stephen Sondheim's classic, "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street."