Today is the second anniversary of me using this website to share my thoughts on how the United States applies the instruments of national power. (You can read my first-anniversary post here.) I am pleased that during the past year I successfully balanced family, work, graduate school, and writing. I am also happy to have begun appearing on podcasts. Additionally, I started a new category on my website called Quick Thoughts to capture any of my tweets that I think may be of value to my readers or to myself in the future.
On this anniversary I want to publicly thank John Little of Blogs of War, Mick Cook of The Dead Prussian Podcast, Chelsea Daymon of Loopcast, and Susan Hennessey and Quinta Jurecic of Lawfare for finding my content to be valuable enough to share on their platforms.
Similar to before, I want to share my top five favorite articles that I have written in the last year:
5. Behavior Change and the Instruments of Power — In this article, I analyze and discuss the intersection of psychological theory, foreign policy, and strategy.
4. Strategies, Plans, & Quotations — In this article I link quotes from well known national security authors with the notional phases of an operational plan depicted in the August 11, 2011, version of U.S. Department of Defense Joint Publication 5-0, “Joint Operational Planning.”
3. Defeating ISIL Will Strengthen IS — This article discusses how defeating the regional threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant within Syria and Iraq will strengthen the violent extremist ideology known as the Islamic State which knows no geographical limitations.
2. National Security Adaptations to Below Established Threshold Activities — This article examines how Competitors have adapted to U.S. nuclear and conventional deterrence by conducting activities below established thresholds such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Article 5 in order to meet their desired end state. The article further suggests what steps the U.S. national security community should take to address such below threshold activities.
1. Reading, Writing, and Refining National Security Principles — Inspired by J.C. Wylie’s general theory of power control this article distills my views of national security down to a succinct six principles.
As I type I have 1,518 followers on Twitter and 40 people who receive my articles via email. I continue to be amazed by this as I never anticipated that my thoughts would be valued by others. When I started this website I wondered if it would be me writing to myself. Little did I know it would become so much more. I want to say thank you to my 1,518 + 40 readers of today as you motivate me to keep doing what I do. Last but certainly not least I want to thank my friends in the Military Writer’s Guild. Together we have made a lot of progress in the last year and I have no doubt we will continue to do so.
What is next? I am not quite sure. I will continue to write and podcast as time allows and events inspire. I have an outline for a book that I am working on, but my motivation waxes and wanes as the subject tends to upset me the more I get into it. Beyond that, I will end with a quote I often use in e-mails at work, “More to follow as I know more.”