Welcome one and all to the magic that is my internet page/blog/salon (a la Revolutionary France). I have integrated my professional (read: advertising) site with a site on commentary, reflection, and research. I have been hesitant to do this for a long time, for fear that my opinion would negatively impact future job prospects, tenure, friendship, the state the world economy, etc. However, I decided to meld the sites here for two reasons: the posts on this site will be dedicated to scholarly and policy pursuits that are presented with logically coherent (with any luck) arguments, and secondly, I am imagine the contributions here will target so small a niche of people as to not be of interest to most. This transitions us to content.
As visitors will notice, my interests academic research focuses primarily on issues of nuclear weapons and energy, and how these impact international security. My personal interests are much broader though. I am avid reader or military history, strategy, American politics, Russian history and foreign policy, and the strategic relationships in East Asia. Like many of my generation, I am blessed and cursed with a curiosity that goes well beyond what I work on, making working on a subject in isolation difficult. In my mind, any issue in the policy arena is molded by: a historic narrative, economic choices, leadership influences, competing strategic visions, budgeting, security concerns, etc. This makes parsimony difficult, although an organizing principle is always sought, and often selected based on a ‘right tool for the job’ manner.
What should readers/visitors expect? Beyond the pedigree data, this site will include discussions that relate to my research, commentary on current events, issues with research design, and data collected on the topics I am researching. What I will try to avoid: posting pictures of my dogs, complaining about the house I am renovating, any controversial political topic, or the grumbles on the weight of the work my dissertation bearing down upon me. With these disclosures, let us venture into the great unknown.
(Also, quick plug for following me on Twitter @pbaxter)