Friends and followers,

I am launching this space, in order to facilitate open and honest discussion about US national security threats, from a plain spoken, non-politically aligned and common-sense point of view. My bio will offer a little more insight as to my background. The modest $5 USD per month subscription is dedicated to spoiling grandchildren and adding to their education (s). At some point, research work and white papers may be bumped to 8 or 9 dollars a month, but that’s a somewhere down the line, if at all.

Throughout my career, I’ve had the good fortune to come into contact with some of the best and brightest. Like me, they have been hamstrung by bureaucracy, narrow minded thinking and antiquated research systems. I believe that we must shake things up. I’ve long been a “speak truth to power” type and an innovator. I also have what will likely be an annoying addiction to Einstein, the philosopher quotes, not the theoretical physicist.

I’ve spent decades mired in the bureaucratic morass of the national security community, in uniform and out. This includes everything from tactical military operations to research, design and launch of tactics/ programs. I simply prefer calling myself a practitioner, with a drive to; leave it better than I found it.

Of course, national security is complex, sometimes maddeningly so. It’s also irrevocably intertwined with commerce, diplomacy, global events like pandemics etc. What I hope to accomplish with others here is, to distill some of these problems into language and concepts that we can all understand and employ in support of the US NSS, National Security Strategy.

Some of the threat topics I will pursue will be politically delicate, but that simply means they require more immediate attention. By addressing what most fear to address, we’ll be treating these issues like a wound that requires us to drain the infection before we clean up and treat the wound.

On the topic of problems: again, I will take a quote from Einstein when he was asked what he’d do if he had an hour to solve a problem. He said, “I’d spend 55 minutes understanding the problem and 5 minutes on solutions.”

I once spent a great deal of time trying to achieve these results on the LinkedIn Platform. I gave it up because intelligent discussion there is compromised by an ever-increasing army of political trolls, as well as those of adversaries such as China, Russia and extremist movements. Their censorship also impedes posting about certain subjects. Such activity will NOT be tolerated here. Informed dissent is both welcome and encouraged. The one thing I will not tolerate though is arguing a conspiracy theory. We’re going to deal with facts, context and serious content.

To be quite frank, I’m a common-sense practitioner with decades of instructive experience, not a brilliant academic like so many of my friends and colleagues. We need both experience and brilliant academics to solve our most serious national security threats, not one or the other. Check your political tribalism at the door. Politics may come up due to the nature of associated threats, but not as a primary discussion that argues for one “side” or the other. We’re here to decrease threats with imaginative thinking, nothing more. To this end, I’ll leave you with a final Einstein quote.

To raise new questionsnew possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.

Albert Einstein


Paul Cobaugh
Paul's career with USSOCOM focused on influence in modern statecraft and conflict. He’s the VP at Narrative Strategies, a US, Think-Do Tank. Besides writing, research and consulting, also Guest Lecturers at ASPI & the NATO COE on Terrorism.
Veracity de Perils
Pointing, clicking, and the like.