Hi, I’m Bernard. John recently invited me to begin posting on BJ, and I am excited to join the team. This has long been my favorite blog. I’ve been known to refresh the page obsessively hoping for a new post from any of the wonderful authors, so this is a real thrill for me.
I thought I’d tell you a little about myself, and what I plan to focus on in my posts.
I’m an international relations specialist. I received my Ph.D. from Georgetown in 1997, and have been in and around academia since. I was the Executive Director of the M.A. Program in Security Studies at Georgetown from 2001-2004, and from 2006 to 2010 I was Senior Fellow and Director of Research at the American Security Project.
I am currently a professor at the National War College, in Washington, DC. NWC is, as you may know, a Senior-Level, Department of Defense school. I’ve heard it described as a “finishing school for colonels,” which is a funny, but not wholly inaccurate description. Anyway, as should be clear almost immediately, my views are my own, and do not reflect those of the National War College, National Defense University, or the Department of Defense.
I’ve written pretty widely on international affairs issues. I’m a generalist within the field, jack of all trades, master of none, but my main focus has been on guns and bombs issues: proliferation, terrorism, use of force. Anyway, all of this is Googleable.
My own interests though are broader than my professional publications. On my personal blog, I spend a lot of time ranting about domestic politics. Like John, I am a recovering conservative. I was a Reagan youth, but have become radicalized over the years both by the increasing lunacy of the American right, and also, frankly, by a fair amount of personal growth on various issues. But I also have to say that a lot has changed in terms of context. Transported back to the 1970s/1980s, and facing the problems of that time — rising crime, the challenge of the Soviet Union, inflation, and so on — conservatism had more virtues. This is something worth remembering, I think. A lot of right-wingers are sociopaths… but at least some are just trapped by the past. Just as many of us remain wedded to the same music and films from our youth, a lot of them are stuck in a worldview dominated by those challenges rather than the issues we face today.
Anyway, I digress. There are a few places where I hope I can make an original contribution to discussion here: