The Just Security Podcast

Just Security

Just Security is an online forum for the rigorous analysis of national security, foreign policy, and rights. We aim to promote principled solutions to problems confronting decision-makers in the United States and abroad. Our expert authors are individuals with significant government experience, academics, civil society practitioners, individuals directly affected by national security policies, and other leading voices. read less

Two Years After the Myanmar Coup
Feb 1 2023
Two Years After the Myanmar Coup
Two years ago, Myanmar’s military seized power in a coup. It was a major setback for the country, which had begun to slowly move toward democracy and free elections after decades of military rule. For other countries and organizations like the United Nations – the coup raised some big, and still open, questions about whether and how to interact with the military junta, particularly amid efforts to hold Myanmar’s leaders accountable for grave crimes, including acts of genocide, against the Rohingya and other ethnic groups.The junta has announced that it plans to hold “elections” in August, but most experts believe that free and fair elections are impossible under current conditions, and that the elections are merely an effort by the military to deepen its control over the country. On the two-year anniversary of the coup, we speak with Akila Radhakrishnan and Angela Mudukuti from the Global Justice Center, a nonprofit organization that advances gender equity and human rights. Global Justice Center has worked closely with organizations in Myanmar since 2005. Akila is Global Justice Center’s President and an expert on the role that gender plays in genocide. Angela Mudukuti, is a Zimbabwean lawyer and the Senior Legal Adviser at the Global Justice Center. She has worked for a number of organizations including the International Criminal Court (ICC) and her experience includes working on universal jurisdiction and precedent-setting cases before South African courts including seeking the arrest of the former president of Sudan during his visit to South Africa.Show Notes Akila Radhakrishnan (@akilaGJC)Angela Mudukuti (@AngelaMudukuti)14:25 Global Justice Center and BROUK’s recommendations to the Argentinian judiciary in a case brought against Myanmar military leaders for the genocide of the Rohingya21:15 NYU’s American Journalism Online Program21:45 Just Security’s Beyond the Myanmar Coup seriesMusic: “The Parade” by “Hey Pluto!” from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/hey-pluto/the-parade (License code: 36B6ODD7Y6ODZ3BX)
How Should the Press Cover Democracy?
Jan 27 2023
How Should the Press Cover Democracy?
The democracy beat is all the rage in news coverage. But the press needs to do more than follow current events. As the “fourth estate,” independent news works in a system of checks and balances. At its best, the press can hold government accountable to the people. And so, the way it covers democracy and dictatorships matters. That reporting informs the way we vote and how all of us, as people, understand the world.To discuss how the press can better report on diverse communities and cooperate globally we have Erin Carroll and Rebecca Hamilton. Erin and Rebecca are both journalists turned law professors. Erin teaches classes on technology and the press, as well as legal research and writing at Georgetown Law. Rebecca teaches criminal law, national security, and international law at American University. She’s also a member of Just Security’s Editorial Board.Show Notes: Erin Carroll (@erinccarroll13) Rebecca Hamilton (@bechamilton) 4:45 Caitlin Dickerson’s Atlantic article, “An American Catastrophe” 8:00 Rebecca’s Just Security articles on seeing ourselves from the outside and Facebook’s removing news in Australia9:04 Erin’s Just Security article on democracy beats12:20 Committee to Project Journalists report on media workers killed in 2022  22:15 NYU’s American Journalism Online ProgramMusic: “The Parade” by “Hey Pluto!” from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/hey-pluto/the-parade (License code: 36B6ODD7Y6ODZ3BX)
Unfinished Business of Jan 6th Committee
Jan 6 2023
Unfinished Business of Jan 6th Committee
It’s been two years since the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. Since then, we’ve come to understand a lot about the groups and individuals who planned and carried out the attack, with much of that information coming from the House January 6th Committee, which issued its final report last month. But even after the Committee’s report, there is unfinished business that remains, like how to continue holding those responsible for the attack accountable, and how to address the threat from paramilitary groups like those that attacked the Capitol that day. To discuss the paths forward we have Mary McCord and Andrew Weissmann.Mary is Executive Director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection and a Visiting Professor at Georgetown University Law Center. She previously held senior national security roles at the Justice Department and is a member of Just Security’s Editorial Board. Andrew is also a former federal prosecutor with decades of Justice Department and FBI experience, including a senior role on the team for Special Counsel Robert Mueller.  Show Notes: Mary B. McCordAndrew Weissmann (@AWeissmann_)January 6th Committee final reportMary and Jacob Glick’s Just Security article on anti-democracy schemes and paramilitary violenceJust Security’s January 6 Clearinghouse19:56 NYU’s American Journalism Online ProgramMusic: “The Parade” by “Hey Pluto!” from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/hey-pluto/the-parade (License code: 36B6ODD7Y6ODZ3BX)
The Conclusion of the January 6th Committee
Dec 21 2022
The Conclusion of the January 6th Committee
After nearly a year and a half of hearings and interviews the January 6th Committee is wrapping up its work. It held its final hearing on Monday, will issue its final report on Thursday, and it referred former President Donald Trump to the Justice Department for potentially violating four federal criminal laws, including inciting an insurrection. To unpack the Committee’s final hearing, and the criminal referrals, we have Ryan Goodman, Barbara McQuade, and Asha Rangappa. Ryan is Just Security’s Co-Editor-in-Chief, Barbara is a Professor at the University of Michigan Law School, and she previously served as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. Asha is a Senior Lecturer at Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and she’s also a former FBI Special Agent. Barbara and Asha are both members of Just Security’s Editorial Board. Show Notes: Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) Barbara McQuade (@BarbMcQuade)Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_)January 6th Committee websiteJanuary 6th Committee final report executive summaryRyan’s Just Security article on how interference in the Committee’s investigation can enable the Special Counsel Just Security’s January 6 Clearinghouse10:02 Ryan Reilly and Ken Dilanian NBC News article on the January 6th Committee avoiding criticism in the report’s executive summary 18:37 NYU’s American Journalism Online ProgramMusic: “The Parade” by “Hey Pluto!” from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/hey-pluto/the-parade (License code: 36B6ODD7Y6ODZ3BX)
Civilian Protection and War Powers in the 2023 National Defense Bill
Dec 16 2022
Civilian Protection and War Powers in the 2023 National Defense Bill
This week, Congress passed the FY 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, the NDAA, which President Biden is expected to sign into law. It’s a massive bill, thousands of pages long, that provides the Defense Department with an $858 billion dollar budget for next year. Buried in the law are some key reforms (or lack of reforms) for how the United States goes to war and how it responds when civilians are injured or killed. To discuss what the NDAA says about war powers and civilian protection, and where the bill is silent, we have Brian Finucane, Heather Brandon-Smith, and Annie Shiel. Brian is a Senior Advisor at Crisis Group and a member of the Just Security editorial board. For a decade, he was a lawyer with the State Department where he advised the federal government on counterterrorism and use of force. Heather is a Legislative Director at the Friends Committee on National Legislation, a nonpartisan organization that lobbies to advance peace, justice, and protecting the environment. Annie is a Senior Advisor at the Center for Civilians in Conflict, CIVIC, which works to develop and implement solutions to prevent, mitigate, and respond to civilian harm. Show Notes: Brian Finucane (@BCFinucane)Heather Brandon-Smith (@HBrandonSmith)         Annie Shiel (@annieshiel)Brian and Heather’s Just Security article on the FY 2023 NDAA Just Security's series on the FY 2023 NDAA Just Security’s NDAA archive6:28 Statement by U.S. General Frank McKenzie on Aug. 29, 2021 Kabul drone strike that killed 10 civilians 6: 17 New York Times coverage of Aug. 29, 2021 Kabul drone strike that killed 10 civilians 6:50 New York Times coverage of March 18, 2019 Baghuz, Syria, drone strike that killed nearly 80 civilians 7:38 DOD’s Civilian Harm Mitigation and Response Action Plan (CHMRAP)Music: “The Parade” by “Hey Pluto!” from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/hey-pluto/the-parade (License code: 36B6ODD7Y6ODZ3BX)
United States v. Trump: A Model Prosecution Memo for Mar-a-Lago
Nov 16 2022
United States v. Trump: A Model Prosecution Memo for Mar-a-Lago
It’s been over three months since the FBI searched Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. We know that Trump kept classified documents after he left office. But since the search, we haven’t heard much information about what exactly the Justice Department plans to do about it. That’s pretty common. After all, investigations take time. Whatever the Justice Department’s timeline is, the investigation is likely to end in a document called a Prosecution Memorandum. It’s what prosecutors use when they evaluate whether to charge a person with a crime. And for Trump, that type of memo will be especially confidential and sensitive. It’s likely to present all the evidence, like what the FBI learned from searching Mar-a-Lago, consider what federal laws Trump might have broken, and analyze Trump’s best defenses.Just Security’s “Model Prosecution Memo” considers the publicly available information from court documents and news reports. It also compares Trump’s alleged conduct to the entire universe of cases that DOJ has prosecuted under the same criminal laws. The memo concludes that Trump’s conduct exceeds the gravity of other former officials who the Justice Department has charged for the mishandling of classified documents. To discuss the Model Prosecution Memo we have Andrew Weissmann, Joyce Vance, and Ryan Goodman, who were among the memo’s authors. Andrew has served in many senior Justice Department roles, including on the core team for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Joyce served as the former United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, and Ryan is Just Security’s Co-Editor-in-Chief. Show Notes:  Andrew Weissmann (@AWeissmann_)  Joyce Vance (@JoyceWhiteVance) Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) Just Security Model Prosecution MemoJust Security tracker Evidence of Trump’s Knowledge and Involvement in Retaining Mar-a-Lago DocumentsNYU’s American Journalism Online Program (@nyu_ajo)Music: “The Parade” by “Hey Pluto!” from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/hey-pluto/the-parade (License code: 36B6ODD7Y6ODZ3BX)
The Biden Administration’s Secret Drone Policy (Pilot Episode)
Oct 29 2022
The Biden Administration’s Secret Drone Policy (Pilot Episode)
New York Times national security correspondent Charlie Savage reported that the Biden administration has issued a still-classified policy on some types of counterterrorism operations, such as drone strikes and commando raids. That policy, the Presidential Policy Memorandum (PPM), follows earlier guidance from the Obama and Trump administrations. For reactions to the PPM, Just Security has a written mini-series from our lineup of expert authors. On this week’s episode, Yale Law School professor Oona Hathaway and New America International Security Program Fellow Luke Hartig discuss the Biden plan and what it all means for U.S. counterterrorism efforts and forever war. Show Notes:Oona A. Hathaway (@oonahathaway)  Luke Hartig (@LukeHartig)Just Security mini-series on President Biden’s Presidential Policy Memo (PPM)0:23 Charlie Savage’s NYT article on the PPM2:20 President Obama’s Presidential Policy Guidance (PPG)3:12 President Trump’s Principles, Standards, and Procedures (PSP) 16:33  New York Times coverage of Aug. 29, 2021 Kabul drone strike that killed 10 civilians 17:40 New York Times coverage of March 18, 2019 Baghuz drone strike that killed about 70 civilians 18:20 Azmat Khan’s Pulitzer-winning reporting on U.S. drone strikes in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan Music: “The Parade” by “Hey Pluto!” from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/hey-pluto/the-parade (License code: 36B6ODD7Y6ODZ3BX)