We are looking for contributions from people in academia (political science, military academies, history, anthropology, law, etc.), journalism, or the policy sector on both sides of the ideological divide. We do not take an editorial stance on war or the use of force. That is, we are interested in publishing dyed-in-the-wool realists as well as idealists, neoconservatives as well as neo-isolationists.
As we say in our mission statement, we would rather publish outsiders with something to say than insiders with nothing to say. We seek original content that could range from a quick-and-easy blog post to a feature-length piece or first-person narrative. Lots of eyes glaze over at the alphabet-soup jargon of Pentagon powerpoints.
A useful service would be to interpret much of the dry number crunching of QDRs and force projections into accessible prose. We have assorted a team of trusty editors knowledgeable about war to help me out on the back-end.
Specifically, what are we interested in?
- Pieces with a longer shelf life are preferred to knee-jerk reaction posts to the immediate news of the day. The idea of the magazine/blog is to be more like, say, the Times’ (former) Week in Review than its daily editorial page. We welcome pieces that step back and take a more macro view of war. The goal is smartly written and ideas-driven pieces but with another layer of heft than a standard newspaper oped or editorial. It’s impossible to say much in a thousand words. Go long. Go deep. Storm the intellectual barricade.
- Original reportage from conflict/post-conflict zones. Here we borrow from The Economist – spin a compelling narrative, talk to lots of people in the field, though minus the fresh-out-of-J-school habit of too many quotes, and paint a vivid picture for the lay reader who can’t pinpoint Mali on the map.
- All those rejected opeds cluttering up your desktop? Send them along. Opeds get rejected for any number of reasons, quality often the least important. At most publications, editors either vote up or down to reject submissions. This is insane. We believe in developing pieces that hold promise to flesh out story ideas, angles, and ways to improve the manuscript until it is perfect – bringing a kind of hands-on, Harpers-style editing process to the opinion page. There should be a back and forth, not just a Pearly-Gates-style yay or nay.
- Data-driven research? Yes! Previously there’s always been a tradeoff between good prose/storytelling and rigorous empiricism. With the perfect storm of Big Data and every fresh-faced college grad angling to be the next Nate Silver, that is no longer the case. We welcome any copy with great visuals of data on war.
- Unlike, say, a longish Foreign Affairs piece, the aim of this magazine/blog is not to offer lawmakers on the right or left policy advice on how to respond to unfolding crises. No task-force-report lingo (e.g. Please no “comprehensive plans” or “Challenges and Opportunities” subheads). Instead, tell us a good story and give us counter-intuitive insight that will shape the debate around future decisions to go to war.
- Book reviews are welcome. As are plugs for articles published in peer-reviewed journals (provided they’re in prose accessible to a lay audience!).
- We prefer short pitches that answer three basic questions Why this? Why now? Why me? but will also look at pieces on spec.
Here’s where you can pitch your contributions: