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.
An Arrest Warrant for Putin
16:21On Friday, March 17, 2023, the International Criminal Court announced that it had issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Commissioner for Children’s Rights. The Court said it had “reasonable grounds to believe” that Putin was responsible for unlawfully transferring and unlawfully deporting children from occupied Ukrainian territory into Russia. The arrest warrants are a major legal and diplomatic development in Russia’s illegal war against Ukraine. To discuss what the arrest warrants mean, we have Rebecca Hamilton, a law professor at American University and a member of Just Security’s Editorial Board. She has seen these issues firsthand as a former prosecutor at the Court. Show Notes: Rebecca Hamilton (@bechamilton) Rebecca’s Just Security article analyzing the Putin arrest warrantThe International Criminal Court’s press release announcing the arrest warrantsYale University Humanitarian Research Lab and U.S. State Department study on the deportation of Ukrainian children Music: “The Parade” by “Hey Pluto!” from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/hey-pluto/the-parade (License code: 36B6ODD7Y6ODZ3BX)Music: “Broken” by David Bullard from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/david-bullard/broken (License code: OSC7K3LCPSGXISVI)
What the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers Don't Want You to Know
30:52Two years after the January 6th attack, the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers – two of the groups that stormed the Capitol and tried to overturn an election – are on a mission. This time, their goal is more subtle but just as sinister. Although individual Proud Boys and Oath Keepers are on trial for conspiracy and a heap of other crimes, the federal government has been slow to call the groups extremists. In courtrooms, on Twitter, and in media reports the groups are trying to clean up their image, and people are buying it. Today we’re going to explore how the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers use propaganda – calling themselves a “drinking club,” “patriots,” and “constitutionalists” – to control their own narrative and hide their violent, extremist views. Calling out these lies, and understanding how they work, is key to holding the groups accountable for the January 6th attack and exposing their continued messages of hate. Joining us are Meghan Conroy and Jon Lewis. Meghan is a Fellow with the Digital Forensic Research Lab and a former Investigator with the January 6th Committee, where she focused on the role of social media in the Capitol attack. Jon is a Fellow at the Program on Extremism at George Washington University, where he studies domestic and homegrown extremism. They wrote a recent Just Security piece analyzing the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers propaganda efforts and why they’ve been successful so far. Show Notes: Meghan Conroy (@meghaneconroy)Jon Lewis (@Jon_Lewis27)Meghan and Jon’s Just Security article on the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers’ propaganda efforts 24:25 Mary McCord’s Q&A “What Everyone Needs to Know About Prosecuting Domestic Terrorism” 29:10 Brian Hughes and Cynthia Miller Idriss’ Lawfare article on the evolving landscape of domestic extremism and “mobilizing concepts”30:05 NYU’s American Journalism Online ProgramMusic: “The Parade” by “Hey Pluto!” from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/hey-pluto/the-parade (License code: 36B6ODD7Y6ODZ3BX)Music: “Desert Soul” by Tobias Voight from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/tobias-voigt/desert-soul (License code: RWJXGHZMZEKXIDGT)
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Spies, Balloons, and International Law
20:18Last month, a mysterious object appeared in the sky over Alaska, Idaho, and Montana. U.S. officials determined it was a “spy balloon” sent by China to gather intelligence. Chinese officials insisted the balloon was just gathering information on weather patterns. But the incident caused a diplomatic snafu. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Chinese actions violated U.S. sovereignty – the idea that a country’s land, air, and waters belong to it – and broke international law. That’s a big deal because international law tells countries how to behave, sort of like how traffic lights and speed signs tell drivers when to turn and how fast to go. But what does international law actually say about spying? To answer that question, we have Asaf Lubin. Asaf is a law professor at Indiana University and an expert on international law and espionage. Show Notes: Asaf Lubin (@AsafLubin) The “spy balloon’s path and timeline of the U.S. and Chinese responses 6:40 Asaf’s article “The Liberty to Spy” 19:35 NYU’s American Journalism Online ProgramMusic: “The Parade” by “Hey Pluto!” from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/hey-pluto/the-parade (License code: 36B6ODD7Y6ODZ3BX)Music: “Crafty Crime” by Jonny Boyle from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/jonny-boyle/crafty-crime (License code: VAPNGQCYJOSVCEG4)
A Year in Russia's War Against Ukraine: Forging a US Response
51:48Since Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine a year ago, we’ve seen some surprising military, diplomatic, and legal developments in the war. Ukrainian forces have proven remarkably strong, and the Ukrainian people have demonstrated utter determination against a Russian leadership and military that have drastically underperformed. Meanwhile, in Washington, the U.S. has developed its own response to Russia’s illegal invasion, which includes assembling an alliance to support Ukraine and providing billions in humanitarian aid and weapons, issuing massive sanctions against Russian banks and individuals, and passing new laws to prosecute those who commit grave crimes in Ukraine through U.S. courts. For an expert view of how the U.S. has responded to the conflict and what comes next, Just Security and the Reiss Center on Law and Security at NYU Law have re-assembled a stellar panel. These legal and diplomatic all-stars first put their heads together a year ago during an NYU panel that happened to fall on the day of the invasion. Dan Baer is the Acting Director of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Europe Program and the former U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Tess Bridgeman is Just Security’s Co-Editor-in-Chief, a Senior Fellow & Visiting Scholar at the Reiss Center on Law and Security, and a former Deputy Legal Advisor at the National Security Council. And Rose Gottemoeller is a Lecturer at Stanford University and the former Deputy Secretary General of NATO. Co-hosting this special episode are Just Security Fellow Paras Shah and Senior Washington Editor Viola Gienger. Show Notes: Dan Baer (@danbbaer)Tess Bridgeman (@bridgewriter) Viola Gienger (@ViolaGienger)Rose Gottemoeller (@Gottemoeller)Paras Shah (@pshah518)Reiss Center on Law and Security at NYU Law (@RCLS_NYU)Just Security's Russia-Ukraine War archiveReiss Center’s What You Need to Know: Unpacking the Law in Russia’s War Against Ukraine Reiss Center and Just Security's February 2022 event The Russia-Ukraine Crisis: Navigating Law, Diplomacy, and Force50:50 NYU’s American Journalism Online ProgramMusic: “The Parade” by “Hey Pluto!” from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/hey-pluto/the-parade (License code: 36B6ODD7Y6ODZ3BX)
Eliminating the Judicial “Blue Slip”
14:22One of a President’s most important jobs is appointing federal judges. And it’s not just Supreme Court Justices that matter. Across the country, hundreds of federal judges decide cases that impact everything from environmental regulations to gun control to reproductive rights. But an obscure process called the “blue slip,” allows a single Senator to stop a judicial nomination in its tracks. To explain the blue slip, we have Caroline Fredrickson and Alan Neff. They recently wrote an open letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) urging him to eliminate the blue slip for good. Caroline is a Visiting Professor at Georgetown Law and a Senior Fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice. Alan recently served as co-editor of Rule of Law This Week for the American Constitution Society and is a former Senior Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago. Show Notes Caroline Fredrickson (@crfredrickson) Alan Neff (@AlanNeff)Caroline and Alan’s open letter to Sen. Durbin New York Times Editorial Board op-ed advocating for removal of the blue slip process 4:15 Russell Wheeler’s analysis of President Biden’s judicial nominees 13:40 NYU’s American Journalism Online ProgramMusic: “The Parade” by “Hey Pluto!” from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/hey-pluto/the-parade (License code: 36B6ODD7Y6ODZ3BX)
Two Years After the Myanmar Coup
22:04Two 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?
22:58The 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)
Closing the War Crimes Impunity Gap
15:18As Russia’s war against Ukraine rages on and evidence of thousands of war crimes continues to mount, countries around the world have looked for ways to hold Russian generals and troops accountable. On January 5, 2023, President Biden signed the Justice for Victims of War Crimes Act, closing a major loophole that has prevented the U.S. from investigating and prosecuting alleged war criminals when they enter the country. To break down the new law, and how it could hold war criminals accountable, we have Elise Baker. Elise is a lawyer at the Atlantic Council, a think tank based in Washington, D.C. She is an expert on accountability for atrocity crimes and human rights violations. Show Notes: Elise Baker (@elise__baker) Elise’s Just Security article analyzing the Justice for Victims of War Crimes Act 14:37 NYU’s American Journalism Online ProgramMusic: “The Parade” by “Hey Pluto!” from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/hey-pluto/the-parade (License code: 36B6ODD7Y6ODZ3BX)
Promoting Diversity in the U.S. Military
23:00This year, the Supreme Court may decide Students for Fair Admissions v. The President and Fellows of Harvard College, a case that could prevent schools from considering a student’s race in the admissions process. It has major implications for diversity in the U.S. military and national security more generally. To discuss the military’s efforts to increase diversity and breakdown what the case might mean for U.S. national security we have Bishop Garrison and Heidi Urben. Bishop recently served as a Senior Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Defense with a focus on human capital and diversity, equity, and inclusion issues. He is a West Point graduate and U.S. Army veteran where he served in Iraq and earned several awards, including two Bronze Stars. Heidi is a Professor of the Practice at Georgetown University's Security Studies Program and a retired U.S. Army colonel. She teaches, researches, and writes about civil-military relations, military and defense policy, and national security.Show Notes: Bishop Garrison (@BishopGarrison) Heidi Urben (@HeidiAUrben) Students for Fair Admissions v. The President and Fellows of Harvard College oral argument22:18 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
20:41It’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)