Saturday, February 14, 2009

A New Blog: The Bellum, A Stanford Review Blog

February 9th was the maiden post of a new blog, The Bellum: A Stanford Review Blog. The members introduce themselves with this opening paragraph.

Welcome to Bellum, a new media project of The Stanford Review. Conceived in January, this collaborative blog brings together a team of Stanford alums who, despite having entered professional fields quite far removed from war, have nevertheless retained a passion for international security affairs and geopolitics. Ideally, Bellum will serve as much as a creative outlet for us as a useful resource for you.

Finding a niche will admittedly take time, but we enter the fray with a few strongly held beliefs that we hope will generate some uncommon insights. The first is a pronounced suspicion of theoretical frameworks that strike us as either too complicated or too simple.

The second is a pronounced worry that some of the thinking prevalent in today’s discourse not only obscures reality but positively promotes fantasy. Debates are all too often reduced to point-counterpoint affairs, dissenters from orthodoxies are hounded and maligned, and some topics are declared off-limits altogether.

The third and final is a pronounced desire to elevate the role of logistics, geography, economics, and history in discussions about military affairs.

By way of introducing this new blog to my readers, I am posting a few links to offer a flavor of the blogs content.

Always sure to ignite a hot debate is Pearl Harbor. This post asks Jeffrey Record, a researcher at the Strategic Studies Institute and professor at the Air War College and author of a report concluding that a massive failure of Japanese statecraft led to them become the aggressor in starting the Pacific War. The blog asked Dr. Record to respond to questions that compared the debate about the origins of the Pacific War and the debate over the Iranian nuclear program.

Read more:
Pearl Harbor: Historical Revisionism and Lessons for Today

And staying with the Iranian theme is this post.

Geopolitics is a field ripe with narrative. The dream of stumbling upon an enduring insight that summarizes something hopelessly complex into something beautifully simple is, in large part, what keeps political science classes filled to the brim.

Read more:
Modern Iran: Empire or Network?

And closer to home this post about the drug cartels poised on our southern border.

In the first weeks of the new administration, much attention has been committed to standard geopolitical hotspots like Iran and Afghanistan. While these theaters will continue to merit strategic efforts by the United States, Barack Obama’s top brass would be well-advised to deal more forcefully with terrorism along the Mexican border that presents arguably trickier security challenges.

Read more:
Narcocorridos: The Cartels Stretch Their Wings

This new blog has hit the ground running. I don't showcase it to endorse their conclusions or editorial content. On it's maiden voyage into the blogosphere The Bellum shows promise of offering the kind of debate and well crafted posts that are welcome and critical to understand our world. I welcome them and look forward to reading their contributions.

1 comment:

Bellum said...


We are very grateful for your kind review. Both of us are new to blogging so it is exciting to receive positive feedback from someone with a long track record of excellent analysis.