Blogs are not just for online diarists, they are a medium for professionals to discuss and exchange information about their fields. Nowhere is this truer than in the national security community. Everyday national security practitioners, researchers, writers, and reporters use blogs to publish news, analysis, and commentary on issues ranging from counterinsurgency doctrine to Chinese naval developments. For job seekers interested in working in the national security community, reading blogs can be an excellent and free way to keep up-to-date on the latest military and political developments. Below are ten of the best national security blogs to help get you started.
1) Danger Room – Run by Wired, Danger Room is one of the most respected and read national security blogs out there. Considering it is a part of Wired, it should not be a surprise that Danger Room focuses heavily on new military technologies such as unmanned aerial vehicles and new weapons, and it keeps with the casual, tongue-in-cheek vibe of Wired.com. However, in addition, Danger Room reporters have been responsible for breaking some of the most important national security stories in the last few years.
2) Secrecy News – Secrecy News is the blog of the Federation of American Scientists, an independent think-tank which provides analysis and recommendations on national and international security issues connected to applied science and technology. Written by Steven Aftergood, who heads the Project on Government Secrecy, Secrecy News breaks news involving intelligence spending, classification guidelines and decisions, and other highly relevant information for the cleared community.
3) The Best Defense – The professional blog of Pulitzer Prize winning national security journalist Thomas E. Ricks, The Best Defense gives readers a good mix of posts on military affairs and foreign policy. Posts can range from a detailed analysis of Middle Eastern politics one day to a historical account of the U.S. civil war the next. The Best Defense also publishes a series of great guest posts, my personal favorite being Rebecca Frankel’s weekly discussion of war dogs.
4) New York Times: At War – At War is a reporting blog on armed conflict around the world, in particular Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq. Its posts offer more traditional news and commentary than most blogs, but it still more informal that the rest of the New York Times. At War is also the writing home of one of the best war reporters alive today, C.J. Chivers, whose series of posts on small arms in Libya earned him respect from many in the national security community.
5) Washington Post: CheckPoint Washington – Whereas New York Times’ At War blog focuses on reporting for foreign conflicts, the Washington Post’s Checkpoint Washington examines national security from the domestic perspective. The blog is a national security wonk’s guide to the latest happens in the defense and intelligence communities. Posts focus heavily on the politics of national security policy in the DC area, with excellent analysis of Congressional activity and Department Of Defense news.