Rational Security

Janet Lindenmuth (background)

Rational Security is a weekly roundtable podcast featuring Shane Harris of the Wall Street Journal, Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes of Lawfare and the Brookings Institution, and Tamara Cofman Wittes, who directs the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings. It's a lively and irreverent discussion of news, ideas, foreign policy, and law. There's always a laugh. Often, there are guests. Sometimes there's even Scotch. A production of Spaghetti on the Wall Productions. You can subscribe here or on iTunes

Latest in Rational Security


Rational Security: The "When You’re President They Let You Do It" Edition

Mike Flynn is cooperating with Bob Mueller’s Russia investigation, and President Trump raises questions about whether he sought to obstruct justice. Deutsche Bank has been told to hand over information about Trump-related finances. And the national security adviser tries to make Trump into a modern-day Ronald Reagan. Plus, Susan highlights a thoughtful discussion on women in national security. And Shane is taking Kim Jung Un . . . rationally.


Rational Security: The "Power of Delusional Thinking" Edition

Mike Flynn signals that he may be cooperating with Robert Mueller’s investigation. President Trump thinks the investigation may be nearing its end. And the U.S. plans to stay in Syria even after ISIS is defeated. Plus, Shane does not welcome our new robot overlords. And Tamara shares an open letter on #MeTooNatSec.


Rational Security: The "Mother May I Launch a Missile" Edition

Should the president have the sole authority to launch nuclear missiles? President Trump designates North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism. And the “grownups” in charge of national security are exhausted. Plus I am thankful that the Baby Cannon has a new uncle. Susan is thankful for the men and women of the intelligence community—and for her fellow podcasters. Tamara is thankful for our student listeners. And Shane is thankful for his mom.


Rational Security: The "DMs on the DL" Edition

The FBI is investigating an alleged kidnapping scheme involving ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Donald Trump Jr. was in direct contact with Wikileaks during the 2016 campaign. And author and scholar Yascha Mounk, our special guest this week while both Tamara and Susan are away, breaks down the breakdown in democracy. Plus, I've got your holiday gift wrapping needs covered. And Yascha joins the #BabyCannonSociety.


Rational Security: The "Mr. Page Goes to Washington" Edition

Trump campaign adviser Carter Page says officials knew about his conversations with Russians. The Saudi government launches an alleged anti-corruption push, but is it really a power grab? And CIA Director Mike Pompeo is entertaining an alternate theory about the Russia hacks. Plus, Tamara shares some depressing statistics about the Foreign Service. And I am unmasking—and drinking.


Rational Security: The "Million Dollars in Rugs" Edition

Special Counsel Robert Mueller unveils the first indictments in his sprawling investigation—and a surprise plea agreement. We talk about the significance of his moves and where the investigation might be heading next. And New York experiences the deadliest act of terrorism since the 9/11 attacks. Plus, Shane has hired new security guards. Is Susan wearing a wire? And I add some new cannons to the family.


Rational Security: The “How Many Elephants Make a Stampede?” Edition

We have a live studio audience this week at the Brookings Institution, where the gang discusses leading GOP lawmakers who say there’s nothing normal about the Trump administration. The deaths of four Americans in Niger raise new questions about the legal footing of the U.S. fight against terrorism. And Attorney General Jeff Sessions seems to have no plan for future Russian election meddling. Plus, Tamara is celebrating the new journal launched by the folks at War on the Rocks this week.


Rational Security: The "Decertified" Edition

President Trump says Iran is not living up to the “spirit” of the deal to curtail its nuclear program. Russian trolls and propagandists speak out. And an American woman and her family are freed after five years in captivity in Afghanistan. Plus, Julia recommends a new documentary on Russian doping. Tamara hearts Guam. And Shane recommends a new TV series on the FBI profilers.

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