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The Lawfare Podcast


The Lawfare Podcast features discussions with experts, policymakers, and opinion leaders at the nexus of national security, law, and policy. On issues from foreign policy, homeland security, intelligence, and cybersecurity to governance and law, we have doubled down on seriousness at a time when others are running away from it. Visit us at Support this show See for privacy and opt-out information.

The Lawfare Podcast features discussions with experts, policymakers, and opinion leaders at the nexus of national security, law, and policy. On issues from foreign policy, homeland security, intelligence, and cybersecurity to governance and law, we have doubled down on seriousness at a time when others are running away from it. Visit us at Support this show See for privacy and opt-out information.


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The Lawfare Podcast features discussions with experts, policymakers, and opinion leaders at the nexus of national security, law, and policy. On issues from foreign policy, homeland security, intelligence, and cybersecurity to governance and law, we have doubled down on seriousness at a time when others are running away from it. Visit us at Support this show See for privacy and opt-out information.






Social Media Platforms and the Buffalo Shooting

On May 14, a shooter attacked a supermarket in a historically Black neighborhood of Buffalo, New York, killing ten people and wounding three. The streaming platform Twitch quickly disabled the livestream the shooter had published of the attack—but video of the violence, and copies of the white supremacist manifesto released by the attacker online, continue to circulate on the internet. How should we evaluate the response of social media platforms to the tragedy in Buffalo? This week on...


Finnish and Swedish Perspectives on NATO Membership

Finland and Sweden have made the historic choice to apply to NATO, but there's a lot of misunderstanding out there about the context for these decisions. To talk through it all, David Priess sat down with Emanuel Örtengren, the acting director of the Stockholm Free World Forum, a Swedish foreign and security policy think tank; Minna Ålander from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, where she focuses on northern Europe and Nordic security; and Henri Vanhanen a foreign...


Kristen Eichensehr on the Cyberwar that Wasn't in Ukraine

For years, Russia has both officially and unofficially used cyber tools to ruthlessly advance its international agenda. For this reason, many expected Russia's recent invasion of Ukraine to also kick off a new and brutal era of international cyberwar. Instead, cyber measures have only played a small part in the overall conflict compared to more conventional capabilities, leading many to ask whether Russian cyber capabilities and the role of cyber in the future of warfare more generally might...


The Collapse of the Afghan Security Forces

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, known by its initials as SIGAR, released an interim report last week on the reasons for the collapse of the Afghan army. To break down the report’s findings, Bryce Klehm spoke with Dr. Jonathan Schroden, the research program director at the Center for Naval Analysis. Dr. Schroden is a longtime analyst of the Afghan military and has deployed or traveled to Afghanistan 13 times since 2003. He is quoted and cited several times in the...


Rational Security: The “Shameless Self Promotion” Edition

Rational Security is Lawfare’s weekly roundtable podcast, featuring Quinta Jurecic, Scott R. Anderson and Alan Z. Rozenshtein. It's a lively and irreverent discussion of news, ideas, foreign policy and law—and there’s always a laugh. In this episode, Jurecic, Rozenshtein and Anderson were joined by Lawfare associate editor Bryce Klehm to hash through some of the week's big national security news, including the recent mass shooting in Buffalo, NY, and the House select committee investigating...


Lawfare Archive: Elizabeth Neumann and Kathleen Belew on White Power Violence

From September 21, 2020: Elizabeth Neumann served as the assistant secretary for threat prevention and security policy at the Department of Homeland Security. She has recently been speaking out about President Trump and, among other things, his failure of leadership with respect to the threat of white supremacist violence. In the course of doing so, she made reference to a book by Kathleen Belew, a historian at the University of Chicago: "Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and...



Congress this week held its first public hearing on unidentified flying objects in more than 50 years, as the House Intelligence Committee’s Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence and Counterproliferation hosted two Department of Defense officials to discuss military encounters with unexplained objects. David Priess sat down with the Washington Post’s Shane Harris—who has been watching this issue for quite some time and who watched the hearings quite closely—to talk about the...


The Platforms versus Texas in the Supreme Court

On May 12, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit allowed an aggressive new Texas law regulating social media to go into effect. The law, known as HB20, seeks to restrict large social media platforms from taking down content on the basis of viewpoint—effectively restricting companies from engaging in a great deal of the content moderation that they currently perform. It also imposes a range of transparency and due process requirements on platforms with respect to their content...


Catching Up with the Steve Bannon Contempt Prosecution

In October 2021, the House of Representatives voted to find Trump associate Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress after Bannon refused to comply with a subpoena from the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. In November 2021, the Justice Department indicted Bannon, and the trial is currently scheduled to begin this summer. So what’s been happening in the interim? To catch up, Quinta Jurecic spoke with Lawfare senior editors Roger Parloff and Jonathan David Shaub....



Bryce Klehm is an associate editor at Lawfare. Max Johnston is a creative producer at Goat Rodeo. Together, they are the creators of Lawfare and Goat Rodeo’s newest podcast series, Allies, which launched on Monday and covers the history of the Special Immigrant Visa Program in Afghanistan. It's an amazing story. It covers a lot of time, a lot of action and a lot of people, all through the lens of the efforts—legislative and administrative—to get visas for Afghan translators to come to the...


Oil Wars in Myth and Reality, with Emily Meierding

During the past couple of months, since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there have been several claims that Russia was invading its neighbor to seize its oil and gas resources. And even in the cases where pundits were claiming that Russia was not doing this, they would often phrase it as, “This is not yet another oil war.” But do oil wars happen at all? David Priess sat down with the woman who has literally written the book on this: Emily Meierding, assistant professor at the Naval...


The Aftermath, Episode 3: Congress Responds

For today's episode, the team at Lawfare decided to cross-post the latest episode of The Aftermath, a narrative podcast series from Lawfare and Goat Rodeo on picking up the pieces after the Jan. 6 insurrection. Episode 3 of The Aftermath looks at what Congress was doing in the days immediately after Jan. 6. In the episode, you'll hear from experts and from people who were actually on both sides of the proceedings, including Rep. Jamie Raskin, the lead impeachment manager, and David Schoen,...


Lawfare Archive: Biden Announces a Military Withdrawal from Afghanistan

From April 16, 2021: On Wednesday, President Biden announced a full withdrawal of all U.S. military personnel from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021, an announcement that comes as the U.S. and Afghan governments have been trying to reach a power sharing agreement with the Taliban. Prior to the withdrawal announcement, Bryce Klehm spoke with Thomas Gibbons-Neff, a New York Times correspondent based in the Kabul bureau and a former Marine infantryman, who walked us through the situation on the...


A Scandal at the UN

David Fahrenthold is a reporter who works for the New York Times. In his capacity as a reporter at the Washington Post, he reported on misdeeds within the Trump financial universe, and now he’s come out with a story in the Times about a peculiar financial scandal at the United Nations. It’s about a little known UN agency trusting tens of millions of dollars to a relatively unknown British businessman and the investment not quite working out. Jacob Schulz talked with David about his story and...


When Governments Turn Off the Internet

Internet blackouts are on the rise. Since 2016, governments around the world have fully or partially shut down access to the internet almost 1000 times, according to a tally by the human rights organization Access Now. As the power of the internet grows, this tactic has only become more common as a means of political repression. Why is this and how, exactly, does a government go about turning off the internet? This week on Arbiters of Truth, our series on the online information ecosystem,...


Dmytro Kuzubov on Doing Journalism in Kharkiv During the War

Dmytro Kuzubov is the editor-in-chief of Lyuk Media in Kharkiv, Ukraine. It is a publication that used to be devoted to the culture and people and underground life of the country's second largest city. Then came the war. Dmytro joined Benjamin Wittes from 10 kilometers outside of Kharkiv to talk about his work as a Ukrainian cultural journalist before the war, and about how everything has changed during the war in a Russian-speaking city that has become very Ukrainian. Some of this...


Lawfare’s Research on Trusting Technology

Modern life relies on digital technology, but with that reliance comes vulnerability. How can we trust our technology? How can we be sure that it does what we expect it to do? Earlier this month, Lawfare released the results of a long-term research project on those very questions. The report, prepared by the Lawfare Institute’s Trusted Hardware and Software Working Group, is titled, “Creating a Framework for Supply Chain Trust in Hardware and Software.” On a recent Lawfare Live, Alan...


Sejal Zota on ICE Tracking Technologies

Many individuals seeking asylum or other forms of immigration relief in the U.S. are subject to a program run by Immigration Customs Enforcement, or ICE, called the Intensive Supervision Appearance Program, which uses various kinds of tracking technologies as a way of keeping tabs on individuals who are not detained in ICE custody Stephanie Pell sat down with Sejal Zota, legal director of Just Futures Law, to talk about this program and the kinds of tracking technologies it employees. They...


Lawfare No Bull: Matt Olsen Talks Cyber Threats and the ODNI's Latest Report

Today on Lawfare No Bull: On April 29, at the 2022 Verify Conference hosted by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Aspen Institute, journalist Aruna Viswanatha hosted a fireside chat with Matt Olsen, the Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division at the Justice Department. They discussed the report published earlier that day from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that disclosed, for the first time, that the FBI had searched the section 702...


Lawfare Archive: Bruce Riedel on Al Qaeda's Many Faces

From August 5, 2012: Ritika Singh sat down with Bruce Riedel, one of the country’s leading experts on Al Qaeda. Riedel’s long and impressive career speaks for itself. A 30-year veteran of the CIA, a senior advisor on South Asia and the Middle East to the last four presidents of the United States in the staff of the National Security Council, and an expert advisor to the prosecution of underwear bomber Omar Farooq Abdulmutallab, he is also the author of Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America, and...