The Lawfare Podcast (general)

President Obama delivered a major address this morning---and released an accompanying policy directive---in response to the recommendations of his surveillance review group. He announced limited reforms to the NSA's surveillance activities, defended the larger role and activities of the intelligence community, and suggested that limited privacy protections extend to non-Americans. Lawfare convened a roundtable discussion by phone to discuss the president's highly-anticipated speech; the discussion featured Benjamin Wittes, Robert Chesney, and Carrie Cordero of Georgetown University Law School. Lawfare's managing editor, Wells Bennett, moderated the conversation.

Direct download: Episode_58--Roundtable_Reaction_to_President_Obamas_NSA_Speech.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:41pm EST

Are there parallels between insurgencies and illness? Or between healthy bodies and healthy nations? Innovative new thinking argues that indeed there are. As understanding in various related disciplines grows, targeted responses are often able to alleviate at least some of the problems.

On December 19, two Yale University professors, Stanley McChrystal (retired General, U.S. Army) and Kristina Talbert-Slagle, an associate research scientist at Yale Global Health Leadership Institute, presented their model of counterinsurgency warfare that likens that mission to the way in which the human body fights infectious disease. The presentation was not intended to produce specific recommendations for any particular ongoing or prospective operation abroad, but it did have interesting and potentially significant implications for the future of counterinsurgency warfare and for how the U.S. government prepares for such possible future missions.

Direct download: Episode_57--Lessons_on_Counterinsurgency_from_the_Human_Body.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am EST

In the final episode in our series, "Inside NSA: We Brought In a Recording Device So You Don't Have To," Benjamin Wittes interviews the agency's executive director--and now its acting deputy director--Fran Fleisch about openness and transparency in signals intelligence, the NSA's culture, and how the agency would respond to a major policy change from Congress.

Direct download: Inside_NSA_V--Fran_Fleisch.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30am EST

The U.S. technology sector is pretty upset with NSA these days. Anne Neuberger, who manages the agency's relations with the private sector, is on the front lines of this tense relationship. Bobby Chesney and Benjamin Wittes sat down with her to discuss encryption, industry calls to rein in spying, and the difficult place the Snowden disclosures have put industry in with respect to their many foreign customers. 

Direct download: Inside_NSA_IV--Anne_Neuberger.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30am EST

Bobby Chesney and Benjamin Wittes sit down with the head of IT at NSA and talk about how Edward Snowden did it, and what's being done to make sure the next Edward Snowden can't do it again. We talked about why NSA is different from other government agencies in technology development. And we talked about what would have happened had NSA built the health care web site. 

Direct download: Inside_NSA_III--Lonny_Anderson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30am EST

In the second episode of our series, "Inside NSA: We Brought In a Recording Device So You Don't Have To," Robert Chesney and Benjamin Wittes talk to John DeLong, the agency's chief of compliance. They discuss the history and development of NSA's compliance program and whether the agency's problem is compliance with the rules--or whether it's the rules themselves.

Direct download: Inside_NSA_II--John_Delong.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30am EST

The first episode in our series, "Inside NSA: We Brought in a Recording Device So You Don't Have To": An interview with NSA General Counsel Rajesh De.

Direct download: Inside_NSA_I--Rajesh_De.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30am EST

After more than four decades of conflict, Colombia has made substantial progress under the Uribe and Santos administrations in combating drug trafficking and insurgents and demobilizing paramilitary groups. In recent years, Colombians have seen prosperity increase and reductions in violence in many parts of their county. Today, the Santos administration is engaged in a peace process with the FARC insurgency that has recently shown promise, but now the administration faces the challenge of managing peace talks and an election at the same time. What lessons can Colombia offer for improving security and economic development within a democratic context, and for sharing the lessons it has learned with other states of the region?

On December 2, the Latin America Initiative (LAI) and the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence (21CSI) at Brookings hosted Colombian Minister of National Defense Juan Carlos Pinzón Bueno for a discussion of Colombia’s security accomplishments, current challenges, and future needs at this crucial juncture in the nation’s history. LAI Director and Senior Fellow Harold Trinkunas provided introductory remarks. Senior Fellow Michael O’Hanlon of 21CSI then interviewed Minister Pinzón.

Direct download: Episode_51--Columbias_Minister_of_Defense_Speaks_at_Brookings.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:34am EST

The exponential rate of change in the present global environment makes today’s security landscape particularly challenging, and projections promise that the challenges will only increase. In this complex and uncertain future, intelligence, cyber, Special Operations Forces and international partnerships will take on more prominent and critical roles in the nation’s defense and warfare for decades to come.

On November 20, the Intelligence Project at Brookings and the National Intelligence University co-hosted a discussion with Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), to examine this uncertain future, DIA’s role in this complex security environment and a new model for defense intelligence that ensures preparedness to address these challenges and the crises of tomorrow. Flynn has also served as the director of intelligence at the U.S. Central Command, director of intelligence for the Joint Staff and director of intelligence for International Security Assistance Force-Afghanistan and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan.

Brookings Senior Fellow Bruce Riedel, director of the Intelligence Project, and President of the National Intelligence University, David Ellison, provided introductory remarks, and Riedel moderated the discussion.

Direct download: Episode_50--DIA_Chief_General_Michael_Flynn_Speaks_at_Brookings.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:42pm EST

In an panel discussion at NYU, a former White House Counsel, a former chief of staff to the CIA director and Secretary of Defense, a former FBI general counsel, and a former head of NCTC discuss law and lawyering and national security strategy.

Direct download: Episode_49--A_Panel_at_NYU_on_Law_and_Strategy_in_the_Executive_Branch.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:24am EST