Rational Security: The “Fast and the Furry-us” Edition

This week on Rational Security, Alan, Quinta, and Scott got together to talk over the week’s big national security news, including:

  • “Is Revanchism a Dish Best Served Cold?” Russia boosters seem to be feeling bullish for the first time in a long time. This week, its forces captured the strategic town of Avdiivka from Ukrainian forces, who have been weakened by bickering among their Western allies. And imprisoned Russian dissident Alexei Navalny met with a tragic and highly suspicious end, just as Western governments came together at the Munich Security Conference. Is Russia right to be feeling its oats at this moment?
  • “Bibi Steps.” As Israel prepares to mount a controversial military operation against Rafah—the last refuge for many displaced civilians in Gaza—there are cracks between the government of Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and the Biden administration, who in recent weeks have shown an increased willingness to target settler violence in the West Bank with sanctions, impose some conditionality on U.S. security assistance, and turn to the U.N. Security Council for possible support for a “temporary ceasefire,” even over Israeli objections. Are these signs of a bigger divide to come? And what will the impact be on the trajectory of the Gaza conflict?
  • “Won’t Somebody PLEASE Think of the Children?!” The Kids Online Safety Act (or KOSA) is back in somewhat modified form, promising to introduce new regulations into how our children engage with online platforms—this time with broad bipartisan support, including from the Biden administration. But will it actually help protect children online? Or only put vulnerable communities more at risk?

For object lessons, Alan recommended the Oscar-nominated Jeffrey Wright vehicle, American Fiction. Quinta endorsed “The Book of Love,” a spooky fantasy mystery and the debut novel by celebrated short story author Kelly Link. And Scott urged mid-Atlantic listeners to take their toddlers to Baltimore’s National Aquarium and spring for the wonderful family sunrise tour. Or for nature lovers not on the East Coast, check out the new podcast one-off Birds Are Cool, featuring Goat Rodeo’s own Cara Shillenn.

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