May 16, 2012

You Can't Win Anything With Kids

As some of you may know, I am planning on taking a leave of absence at the end of the summer from CNAS in order to participate in the Council on Foreign Relations' International Affairs Fellowship program. When I do that, I will no longer be able to blog at Abu Muqawama. But if the truth be told, I have not found the time to blog as much as I used to over the past year, and the quality of the blog has already suffered as a result.

In the past, I have been helped out on the blog by some pretty fantastic co-authors. Amil Khan and Erin Simpson were my two longest-running partners in crime, but I was also helped out by some anonymous folks who have gone on to serve at high levels in the Dept. of Defense, the National Security Council, and the U.S. Army. These folks have to remain anonymous, but their contributions really added something great to the blog.

I realized earlier this spring, even before I knew I was going to have to take a leave of absence, that if the blog was to continue, I would need some help. So I began to scout around for some of the smartest younger folks out there writing about issues related to strategy, counterinsurgency and defense policy. As it turns out, there are some fantastically bright young analysts out there, and they deserve a bigger platform. So over the summer, I will begin to incorporate some of these younger voices into the blog.

The first two young turks to join me will be Adam Elkus and Dan Trombly. When I first approached these guys about blogging here, they informed me that it would be an honor because they had been reading this blog since high school. (I took a strong sip of whatever I was drinking at the time and continued my pitch.) Adam is a PhD student in International Relations at American University. He helps edit the Red Team Journal, contributes to, and blogs at his own site at Rethinking Security. Dan has not yet graduated from George Washington University, but his kung-fu is already strong. He blogs at Slouching Towards Columbia. You can follow both of these trouble-makers on Twitter at @aelkus and @stcolumbia, respectively.

I told both Adam and Dan that we'll take a look at things as the summer progresses and might consider adding some more voices -- likely folks who can either write on security issues related to the Middle East or people who have on-the-ground experience in either Iraq or Afghanistan they can share. But Adam and Dan will be running the show when I leave, so please welcome them to the team.