Insanity Defense: Why Our Failure to Confront Hard National Security Problems Makes Us Less Safe
A discussion on Congresswoman Jane Harman's upcoming book, Insanity Defense: Why Our Failure to Confront Hard National Security Problems Makes Us Less Safe (St. Martin’s Press; May 18, 2021). She was joined by New York Times correspondent David Sanger.
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In the wake of unprecedented domestic terror and national security threats in the form of mass shootings and insurrection in the nation’s capital, former Congresswoman & Wilson Center Director, President, and CEO Jane Harman offers her new book Insanity Defense: Why Our Failure to Confront Hard National Security Problems Makes Us Less Safe (St. Martin’s Press; May 18, 2021), which chronicles how four consecutive administrations have failed to confront some of the toughest national security issues and suggests achievable fixes that can move us toward a safer future.
This conversation between Congresswoman Harman and New York Times national security correspondent and senior writer David Sanger covered her upcoming book and a discussion on better processes and more sound policy for the next generation of elected officials and the new administration.
"We overmilitarized our response to 9/11 and ignored the offer from many who could’ve become our allies—even Iran wanted to help us after 9/11, think about that—and we ignored the opportunities to use our soft power to build a safer, better world which might’ve been in hindsight the better strategy, and then the war on Iraq […] was the Neocon opportunity to roll out this strategy that they had which is ‘let’s democratize the world’."
"We are capable of having core values that everybody wants to at least respect—whether they want to live by them or not—and we are capable of enormous generosity and—it seems to me—leadership, both of which have atrophied over recent years."
"Saudi Arabia still provides most of the oil for the world and it would be destabilizing to a lot of countries who we care about if that were cut off […] and I also get the fact that if we completely close them off we’re opening a vacuum for Russia and China to fill."
"We’re in the widget protection system and […] it is handcuffing us from the modern defense approach we need."