The False Promise of a Crystal Ball

The False Promise of a Crystal Ball
If there’s one theme that could define President Obama’s foreign policy the last six years, it is his tumultuous relationship with the US intelligence community. The IC is Obama’s favorite target when Things Go Wrong: usually because they did not use their crystal ball to correctly predict the future. It is that misperception — that ...

How the DC Game Is Rigged

[View the story "How They Rig the Game" on Storify]

The Azerbaijan Lobbying Game

[View the story "How Azerbaijan Attacks Free Media" on Storify]

The ISIS Hysteria

The ISIS problem in Iraq and Syria is getting worse. The most recent reports suggest there is a steady stream of recruits not just locally, but from Turkey, traveling into the country to fight. The threat ISIS represents (a growing, financially self-sustaining terror state that is destroying countries, imprisoning thousands, and brutally murdering thousands more) ...

The Action Bias of National Security Punditry

The Action Bias of National Security Punditry
As unspeakable horrors continue to emerge from the areas controlled by ISIS, so too are the demands for the American government to “do something.” Though understandable, these demands actually represent a self-destructive impulse in punditry, and often lead to poor decision-making that results in disastrous consequences afterward. The action bias is a phenomenon were people ...

Violence and Threat

Violence and Threat
The filmed execution of American journalist James Foley continues to reverberate in the United States. For many, it is their first relatable example of the brutality employed by the militant ISIS group — their first sense that the men who rampage through Syria and northern Iraq are, in a very basic way, fundamentally evil. But, ...

Why Ferguson, MO, Matters

[View the story "Why Ferguson Matters So Much" on Storify]

The Decline of Journalism

There is a fascinating Pew study about the growing pay gap between PR flacks and reporters. As a current flack of some sort (though I work for a non-profit), and as a former journalist, I have some thoughts on the matter. But first, the meat: The salary gap between public relations specialists and news reporters ...

“Charikar,” in 34th Parallel Magazine

I’m pretty excited about this. My first short story, about a guy experiencing the war in Afghanistan for the first time, has been published by 34th Parallel magazine. I’m not really sure how to excerpt it but I would suggest picking up a copy of the magazine because, I mean, duh right?

Monumentalism is the Worst

There’s another io9 post, again, about the Central Asian dictators’ penchant for massive buildings that also happen to distract attention away from their deteriorating human rights situation. This time, with Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, there is at least some introductory text, though describing Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov as having “won” an election is a sick joke. Saying the “new” ...