U.S. Foreign Policy & The 2024 Election, f/ Van Jackson, Amel Ahmed & Omar Dahi

Here's a video of a symposium I was part of at Hampshire College recently. It's very riff-heavy

U.S. Foreign Policy & The 2024 Election, f/ Van Jackson, Amel Ahmed & Omar Dahi
Pic via YouTube

Edited by Sam Thielman

I HAD NEVER MET VAN JACKSON before, as he lives in New Zealand now, but the chance to both meet him in person during his speaking tour and speak alongside him was too much to pass up. That's how I ended up at Hampshire College in Massachusetts on a surprisingly frigid weekend last month, riffing mostly off the top of my head about the U.S. footprint in the Middle East, while Van had cogent things to say about the U.S. footprint in the Pacific. 

We were joined in this endeavor by Prof. Amel Ahmed of UMass-Amherst, a formidable talent whose points immediately made me jealous that I hadn't come up with them. Omar Dahi, an economics professor at Hampshire who directs the Security In Context research network, not only moderated us deftly, he was the linchpin to this entire thing happening. That was definitely the case when I was stuck at an unfamiliar Massachusetts train station without cabs or rideshares to hail and needed an impromptu ride to campus. 

I didn't get a chance to talk to as many people as I would have liked, but a special shout is due Taylor, who put together the video below, and who came up to me afterward to talk about his experiences in the military, deployed in support of the War on Terror. 

I don't see how you could watch this and not subscribe to Van's newsletter, Undiplomatic. I learn a lot from it. This edition from last week introduced me to a development I hadn't heard of: the State Department denying U.S. imperial holdings in the Pacific (sorry, "territories") Guam and American Samoa membership in the Pacific Islands Forum, a venue for political and economic dialogue among their neighbors, on the grounds that membership would involve exercising too much sovereignty. Read Van's stuff and you'll learn a lot about such things. 

This is going to have to be a short one from me today, because of scheduling reasons—three very big and very imminent deadlines plus a major Jewish holiday—and because, to keep it all the way real with you, FOREVER WARS reader, I am feeling spiritually bereft. And Passover? In the shadow of Gaza? It, uh, will not help.

But up next we'll have my first piece for Mehdi Hasan's new outlet, Zeteo. That's going to be for paid subscribers only, so if that's not you, smash that subscription button, my friend. 

WALLER VS. WILDSTORM, the superhero spy thriller I co-wrote with my friend Evan Narcisse and which the masterful Jesús Merino illustrated, is available for purchase in a hardcover edition! If you don't have single issues of WVW and you want a four-issue set signed by me, they're going fast at Bulletproof Comics

No one is prouder of WVW than her older sibling, REIGN OF TERROR: HOW THE 9/11 ERA DESTABILIZED AMERICA AND PRODUCED TRUMP, which is available now in hardcover, softcover, audiobook and Kindle edition. And on the way is a new addition to the family: THE TORTURE AND DELIVERANCE OF MAJID KHAN