Ok, I’m trying something different with this newsletter, which I’m calling Un-Diplomatic. Its purpose: Honest, undiplomatic takes on the politics of foreign policy from me, Van Jackson.
Doublespeak and rhetorical hedging pervade Washington. I hate it. Foreign policy wonks should be more candid than politicos and government officials, but self-censorship and political detachment too often makes the most career sense. It’s like we’re all protecting some alternative future where we get Senate-confirmed.
This newsletter is a corrective to the trend. Unfiltered analysis in my personal style, which (I hope!) you’ll quickly grow to love. You can subscribe to it for free and receive new content on a twice-monthly basis. Just click the button below.
If you want the really good stuff, published every week, you can subscribe to the premium version for only $5/month. Budget dust. You can’t put a price on honest analysis that challenges your own biases—and Washington itself—but if you did, surely it would be worth more than $5/month! And if you’re a premium subscriber, you can request specific topics or decision points for me to red-team in future newsletters.
So what are you gonna get in the Un-Diplomatic newsletter?
Missing from Mainstream
The stories of greatest importance that mainstream media are sleeping on. It’s the snake you don’t see that bites you in the ass.
Sense of the Community
Consolidated hot takes from diverse foreign policy influencers and smart analysts (inside and outside the establishment). It ain’t all about me. If you want a snapshot of what other experts think about breaking events in near-real time, then look no further.
The Red Team
A contrarian analytical take on issues of conventional wisdom (mostly targeting the Beltway). Highlighting risks, surfacing assumptions, advocating for alternatives. You’re welcome.
Doin’ It Well
A shout-out to foreign policy wonks and/or government officials who are doin’ the damn thing. And by that I mean being courageously clear in their rhetoric or advocacy, even if I disagree with them.
The newsletter will also link to the most recent episode of the Un-Diplomatic podcast, and provide a CliffsNotes-style summary of the episode. If there’s sufficient demand, we may also offer full transcripts of each podcast episode for premium subscribers.
Just for fun. I’ll occasionally feature politically potent or insightful hip-hop lyrics. Because hip-hop. And because sometimes I can’t help myself.
That won’t be all that’s on offer. As the project metastasizes so will the goods.
So, por favor, sign up now! You have everything to gain.
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