Young Turks

Just got back from the "Young Turks" conference in Durham. The conference is run through Duke's American Grand Strategy program and was a chance for a small group of junior people in the civil-military relations field to present their work to each other and to a small group of senior people. Lots of very sophisticated projects, almost all by political scientists, and very rich conversations following the presentations. I presented the argument I've been developing for a while about the suppression of domestic political concerns from the work of American operational strategy and American civil-military relations theory (a related phenomenon in my view). I was happy to see that the baseline intuition was shared by a few other junior people who had the same frustrations -- i.e. the place of politics in strategy is one of the big areas where the field needs to address if it's to stay viable. Unfortunately, I don't think I managed to translate my ideas into a theoretical vocabulary that will find traction among political scientists. The next step of that project is to get to a point where I can demonstrate the costs of ignoring this issue while providing a productive theoretical framework that other people can use.