The Lawfare Podcast

At this week's Hoover Book Soiree, Rosa Brooks joined Benjamin Wittes to talk about her new book, How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon. The book covers an extraordinary range of territory, from Brooks' personal experiences working as a civilian advisor at the Pentagon, to the history of the laws of war, to an analysis of the U.S. military's expanded role in a world in which the lines between war and peace are increasingly uncertain. 

How should we think about the military’s responsibilities outside the realm of traditional warfare? And is it desirable, or even possible, to rethink the way we approach the distinctions between wartime and peacetime?

 

Direct download: Episode_190.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:31pm EDT

Last week, the National Security Division of the Justice Department celebrated its 10th anniversary by holding a major conference at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Judge Laurence Silberman, the intellectual and policy force behind the division's creation, spoke about the birth of NSD with Lawfare’s Benjamin Wittes. As co-chair of the so-called Robb-Silberman commission that examined the intelligence failures leading up to the Iraq War, Judge Silberman recommended the creation of the new division. And as a judge on the FISA Court of Review, he also wrote a key opinion breaking down the “wall” between intelligence and law enforcement functions at the Justice Department.

Direct download: Episode_189.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:35pm EDT

It's been an unusual election season so far—to put it mildly. Among the many other unexpected or unprecedented occurrences that have taken place over the course of the 2016 campaign season, we've seen many people working in the usually quiet and apolitical national security space take a step into the political limelight. 

This is especially true of Evan McMullin, a former CIA officer and former Chief Policy Director for the House Republican Conference who is now running for president as an independent. Lawfare's Carrie Cordero came on the podcast to interview McMullin on how his experience in national security operations and policy influenced his decision to make a late independent bid for the presidency, and how his career would shape his approach to the important national security issues facing the country.

 

Direct download: Episode_188.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:39pm EDT

On September 7, the Brookings Institution convened a discussion on a pilot program to disrupt online ISIS recruitment spearheaded by Jigsaw, a technology think tank run by Alphabet. Yasmin Green, Jigsaw's Head of Research and Development, presented the organization's new "Redirect Method," which uses online advertisements to reach out to those who might be susceptible to ISIS propaganda. Will McCants of Brookings spoke about the initiative with Green, Ross Frenett of Moonshot CVE, and Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel. 

Direct download: Episode_187.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:49pm EDT

Michel Paradis, a senior attorney in the Department of Defense’s Office of the Chief Defense Counsel and counsel for Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, came on the podcast with Bob Loeb, a partner at Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe and the former Acting Deputy Director of the Civil Division Appellate Staff at the Department of Justice. Along with Benjamin Wittes, Michel and Bob discussed the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent ruling in the Al-Nashiri case. The court denied Al-Nashiri's petition for a writ of mandamus to dissolve the military commission convened to try him and affirmed the ruling of the district court, which denied Al-Nashiri's motion for a preliminary injunction of his trial. In doing so, the D.C. Circuit abstained from ruling on Al-Nashiri’s claim that the military commission lacks jurisdiction to try him, because his alleged war crimes were committed prior to 9/11 and thus took place before the beginning of active hostilities.

Direct download: Episode_186.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:40pm EDT

Dave Aitel and Matt Tait come on the podcast to discuss their recent Lawfare essay critiquing the current status of the Vulnerability Equities Process. They argue that the process by which the US government decides whether or not to disclose software vulnerabilities is fundamentally broken, and that now is the time to discuss how to fix it.

Direct download: Episode_185.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:40pm EDT

It's the dog days of summer, and Lawfare is bringing you the special August AMA edition. All week, we've been taking your questions on Twitter under the hashtag #LawfareAMA, on topics ranging from Trump to the War Powers Resolution. Now, Lawfare Editor in Chief Benjamin Wittes and Managing Editor Susan Hennessey are weighing in with the answers. 

Direct download: Episode_184.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:10pm EDT

Walter Pincus, the Washington Post’s recently-retired national security reporter, sat down with Benjamin Wittes at the Hoover Book Soiree to discuss Walter's recent essay, "Reflections on Secrecy and the Press from a Life in Journalism." Walter and Ben chat about Walter’s work in journalism and how his unusual career has shaped his views on the unique responsibilities and difficulties of national security reporting. 

Direct download: Episode_183.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:57pm EDT

Director of the Central Intelligence Agency John Brennan came to the Brookings Institution on July 13th for a conversation with Brookings Senior Fellow Bruce Riedel on “CIA’s strategy in the face of emerging challenges.” The two discussed a range of topics, from the Arab Spring, to the drone program, to the importance of integration across intelligence agencies.

Direct download: Episode_182.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:10pm EDT

Shadi Hamid is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Project on US Relations with the Islamic World and the author of the new book Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam Is Reshaping the World. Shadi sat down with Benjamin Wittes to discuss his book, which examines Islam’s unique relationship with democratic politics and the modern world. It's a thoughtful discussion of liberalism’s complex interaction with Islamic history and politics from the Enlightenment through to the present day.

Direct download: Episode_181.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:32pm EDT