Welcome to Politics, Power, and Preventive Action (3PA), a blog about U.S. national security policy, international security, and conflict prevention.
I embark on this blog as someone who is massively curious about foreign affairs. I was a child of the Cold War, a student of the post-Cold War era, and a graduate student/policy analyst of the Global War on Terrorism and beyond; this background informs my approach to understanding international relations. I am also a relentless scanner of news reporting, academic journals, books, policy memos, government documents, congressional testimonies, and more. In Politics, Power, and Preventive Action, I’ll share my perspectives, interesting research findings, as well as the greatest hits of what I’ve been reading, several times a week.
Readers will discover a few assumptions behind the blog.
Research matters: I have spent ten years as a researcher at a range of academic and policy institutions—click here for my bio and CFR publications. Through my experiences, I’ve realized that learning from earlier academic and policy debates, and excavating facts from primary documents are essential starting points for understanding anything.
History matters: Policymakers and the public may be predominantly interested in today’s headlines, but there is a historical context to everything, and examples from the past are illustrative for today. And by history, I mean recent history because, in the words of Prussian military theorist Carl Von Clausewitz: “The further back one goes, the less useful military history becomes, growing poorer and barer at the same time The history of antiquity is without doubt the most useless and the barest of all.”
You matter: The blog will be written with the expectation that readers share my curiosity about national security issues, may agree or disagree with my views, have important questions that are unaddressed, can correct errors, and will propose topics to cover in future blog posts. To engage with me beyond 3PA, follow me on Twitter: @MicahZenko.
Thank you for your interest in the blog. This should be fun!