Rational Security: The “We’re Moving to Microsoft” Edition

This week on Rational Security, a contentedly full post-Thanksgiving Scott and Quinta sat down with two Lawfare colleagues—Senior Editor and Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Molly Reynolds and Cyber Fellow Eugenia Lostri—to talk through the week’s big national security news stories, including:

  • “Showdown with an Only O.K. Rationale.” The House and Senate are preparing for a showdown over national security priorities, with assistance for Ukraine (and Israel and border security) hanging in the balance. Where does the debate seem likely to go from here—and what will the global ramifications be?
  • “Bringing Down the @SamA.” OpenAI, the non-profit(?) behind ChatGPT, has had a chaotic few weeks, with its board ousting CEO Sam Altman on the apparent grounds that he was not taking AI safety concerns seriously enough, only for the vast majority of organization’s employees to threaten to resign unless he was brought back—a step the board took, just before most of its members resigned. What do these events tell us about the state of the AI industry?
  • “Carpe Ceasefire.” A fragile pause in hostilities has emerged centered on the exchange of Israeli hostages held by Hamas for imprisoned Palestinians—momentum the Biden administration is reportedly hoping to build on. Yet calls for a permanent ceasefire continue amidst mounting civilian casualties and humanitarian needs, and there remains no clear plan for a post-war Gaza. How long will the pause last? What happens when hostilities resume?

For object lessons, Quinta recommended the 1990s classic “Distant Starby Robert Bolaño. Scott gave his Thanksgiving gold star to Eric Kim’s creamy mac and cheese recipe. Molly leaned into her love for local NPR affiliates and recommended WGBH’s podcast “The Big Dig,” focusing on Boston’s legendary highway project. And secret gamer nerd Eugenia recommended a compelling video game that even parents of toddlers have time to tackle, What Remains of Edith Finch.

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