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Tag Archives: about Learning From Veterans

News – my new job at AOL Defense

This Monday, I sat down at my new desk in my new job as deputy editor of AOL Defense, a website where I’ve written with increasing frequency as a freelancer but am now on staff. What does this mean for Learning from Veterans? For this website, it simply means that I’ll be writing too many [...]

News – Learning From Veterans at 200

This month, I did my 200th interview with a veteran of our post-9/11 wars, a recently retired Marine Corps reservist. Most of my interviews were done in 2004-2010 during my time at National Journal, but since then I’ve interviewed about one new person a week (sometimes over multiple sessions). The servicemembers who’ve honored me with their [...]

Commentary – the Pentagon after Bob Gates

I posted my thoughts on the impending departure of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, his legacy, and the painful questions left unresolved over at National Journal’s expert blog: We can’t keep doing everything we do now on the current budget, let alone a smaller one, but the current budget is only going to shrink. And Secretary of [...]

News – a rose by any other name….

After much consulting with colleagues, friends, and my learned wife (a poet), I have finally admitted that my original name for the project, “Policy at the Sharp End,” was painfully opaque. (It turns out “sharp end” is a Britishism, which I must have picked up from my Anglophile father). So I’ve promoted my straightforward subtitle [...]

News – new website page – Acknowledgments

I’ve added a much-overdue Acknowledgments page. To all those left out, my sincere apologies. To all those included, my profound thanks. And, yes, as you can tell from the tags, there are war dead on this page, too.

News – Dedication

This website is still missing many things. When I went back to my hotel room after my Dartmouth lecture today, I realized what one of them was. So I have revised my “About” page to include a quotation from a Marine Corps officer who, in the course of an oral history interview, gave me my [...]

My articles from National Journal are available

National Journal editor-in-chief Ron Fournier and editor Charles Green have graciously agreed to unlock most of my 25 oral history stories for National Journal over the years and make them freely available to the general public, not just subscribers, at We’re hoping to have these stories available in the coming weeks; at the moment [...]

Website goes live, albeit wobbly

At the end of September, I finished my last article for The National Journal and, after almost 13 happy years, I left to pursue my oral history work with veterans full-time. The launch of this website is this project’s first big step into the wider world. Please take a look around, be patient with the [...]