March 31, 2009

Nerds? Us? But my readership insists I'm a jock!

Wow, I just saw this post by Brian Katulis of the Center for American Progress at Marc Lynch's blog:

There are several must-read blogs out there - the COIN nerds have some interesting insights, but let's face it, their musings tend to be a bit blinkered by self-referential navel gazing with an overemphasis on the U.S. military and what U.S. boots on the ground do. That's a limited perspective and doesn't lend itself to a complete analysis of the political, social, and economic trends happening out in the real world. Juan Cole's Informed Comment is great, but sometimes doesn't provide the widespread coverage of the region that Abu Aardvark does. And as a progressive, of course I'd be remiss in not mentioning the POMED blog (because democracy and human rights should still matter in U.S. policy) and my own organization's family of Think Progress blogs for a view on all that is just and righteous.

I don't really know what to do with that. I think I agree with most everything Brian says, actually.

  1. We are nerds.
  2. The COIN community is too self-referential
  3. And because most of us have military backgrounds, we do tend to militarize our solutions.

What we are not, though, is a Middle East policy blog. I have a regional studies background, that is true, but this blog focuses more on security studies and defense policy. I thought that was clear. Aside from the occasional foray into Lebanese or Iraqi politics (and Scottish rugby and the Red Sox, etc.), we here at the blog like to keep things focused on contemporary insurgencies and counter-insurgency strategies.

This does not explain, though, the tenor of Brian's post. Did I pee on his rug or something? I mean, I know it held the room together, but seriously...