Benjamin Wittes

Benjamin Wittes is editor in chief of Lawfare and a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of several books and is co-chair of the Hoover Institution's Working Group on National Security, Technology, and Law.

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Rational Security: The 'Downgraded' Edition

Jared Kushner is under scrutiny for his contacts with foreign officials. Democrats in Congress release their own memo about surveillance of a Trump campaign adviser. And ahead of a U.S. visit by Saudi Arabia’s future king, how are his reforms playing out on the ground? Plus, I recommend Max Boot’s new book. Shane discovers his roots—and is not surprised. And Tamara is back from Saudi Arabia with treasures.


The Lawfare Podcast: Stephen Williams on Vasily Maklakov

Vasily Maklakov was a political reformer in pre-revolution Russia who offered his country an alternative to radicalism that it chose to forego. This week, I speak to Judge Stephen Williams of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, who in his spare time is a historian of Russian reformers. His new book, “The Reformer: How One Liberal Fought to Preempt the Russian Revolution,” recounts the story Maklakov’s fight for political moderation. 


Rational Security: The "Mansplaining" Edition

Bob Mueller indicts a slew of Russians who interfered in the 2016 election. Can the president distinguish between the national interest and his own? And the school shooting in Florida brings students to the frontline of the gun control debate. Plus, the word "fucked" appears on Lawfare for the first time, and for good reason. And Shane wonders if Jared Kushner will lose his interim security clearance.


Rational Security: The ‘Do We Have Clearance, Clarence?’ Edition

Dozens of White House officials, including Jared Kushner, lack permanent security clearances. It’s been a really bad week for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And U.S. intelligence chiefs present their annual list of threats to national security. Plus, I am at it again with FOIA. And Tamara is ironing her abaya.