Published Works

I write across a range of topics and disciplines, with special emphasis on defense and technology policy.

My coauthored book, LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Mediawas released in October 2018 via Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

LikeWar tackles the mind-bending questions that arise when war goes online and the online world goes to war. It explores how ISIS copied the Instagram tactics of Taylor Swift, how a former World of Warcraft addict foiled war crimes thousands of miles away, and how China uses a smartphone app to the police the thoughts of 1.4 billion citizens. What can be kept secret in a world of networks? Does social media expose the truth or bury it? And what role do ordinary people now play in international conflicts?

LikeWar has received accolades from generals and admirals, Hollywood executives, and even the co-inventor of the internet. It was named to the New York Times “New and Notable” and proclaimed a Foreign Affairs book of the year. It has received rave reviews from the Washington Post, the Verge, Booklist, Kirkus, and a dozen other publications.

You can learn more about LikeWar here.


Mending the Broken Dialogue: Military Advice and Presidential Decision-Making

Study examining the cultural and institutional drivers of civil-military friction, the doctrinal limitations of the military options formulation process, and the relationship between group friction and presidential decision-making. Proposes a series of reforms predicated on a close reading of 70 years of U.S. military history and interviews with former cabinet-level officials, COCOMs, and Joint Staff planners.


War Goes Viral

Social media has altered the nature of war. The viral propaganda of the self-declared Islamic State, Russian disinformation campaigns, and Chinese cyber-nationalism are all indications of a more fundamental shift in conflict—a revolution that threatens to catch U.S. policymakers and social media companies off guard. With P.W. Singer. (The Atlantic)


Terror on Twitter

Feature article detailing the online operations of the Islamic State and the diverse set of actors who seek to stop them. Also explores the nature of effective viral propaganda and the exploitation of communication platforms by terror groups through history. With P.W. Singer. (Popular Science)


How the Overseas Contingency Operations Fund Works—and Why Congress Wants to Make It Bigger

Analysis and discussion of the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund, the budgetary mechanism that has founded U.S. expeditionary operations since 2001. With Janine Davidson. (Defense in Depth, Council on Foreign Relations)


Bravery and Folly at Gallipoli, One-Hundred Years Ago

Discussion of World War I's Gallipoli campaign, the first significant amphibious operation in history and arguably the lowest point of the Entente's war effort. Assesses strategic, operational, and tactical failures on the part of British war planners. The only way to "win" at Gallipoli would have been to avoid attacking in the first place. (Defense in Depth, Council on Foreign Relations)


Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Is the Partner the United States Needs to Get the Job Done

Reflection on Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's recent trip to the United States. Offering robust U.S. support to Ghani will be making a positive investment in Afghanistan's future. With Janine Davidson. (Defense in Depth, Council on Foreign Relations)


The U.S. Government Should Pay Anonymous in Bitcoin to Fight ISIS

Given the Islamic State's strategically significant use of social media for recruiting and messaging, any comprehensive plan to defeat the terror network must also neutralize its online presence. Proposal for the creation of a bounty system that would pay hacktivists in anonymized Bitcoin to flag ISIS social media accounts and disrupt its websites. (


Everything You Need to Understand the Military Compensation Debate

Contextualization of military compensation debate by use of interactive visualizations. These graphics chart the category and percentage/dollar value of every military compensation outlay; funding by government department; the per-soldier cost of pay and health benefits from 1998 to 2014; and the growth of Defense Health and Veterans Affairs health-related budgets from 1998 to 2014. (Defense in Depth, Council on Foreign Relations)


The ISIS Propaganda Machine is Horrifying and Effective. How Does It Work?

Examination of the employment and implications of Islamic State (IS) propaganda, conveyed largely via social media. IS has emerged as one of the most effective propagandists of the twenty-first century. (Defense in Depth, Council on Foreign Relations)


In Afghanistan, Path to Lasting Success Will Also Be the Hardest

Assessment of potential glideslopes for U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in wake of the April 5 presidential elections. The most effective plan will be phased and gradual – but this will likely be incompatible with American public opinion. With Janine Davidson. (Defense in Depth/Council on Foreign Relations)


What Now for America’s Young, Jobless Soldiers?

Assessment of the unprecedented employment challenges facing veterans of Afghanistan/Iraq II. Never has such a substantial force drawdown taken place in such a stagnant labor market. There is a looming jobs crisis for today’s young soldiers, and policymakers must address it before it gets worse. (The National Interest)


Roma Surrecta: Portrait of a Counterinsurgent Power, 216 BC – AD 72

Evaluation of the behavior and anti-revolt strategies of the Roman Empire in context of contemporary counterinsurgency theory. Roman history, economy, values system, force disposition, and acculturation practices are each considered in this light, supplemented by fourteen case studies.


Finding Efficiencies in the Business of Defense: Reducing Fuel Cost for the Defense Logistics Agency

Comprehensive review of DLA-Energy fuel procurement practices, from market engagement to governance structure to final product distribution. Analyzes previously proposed reforms and makes new recommendations based on consultation with petroleum industry leaders. (Business Executives for National Security)


The Part-Time Generation: Debt and Unemployment Threaten College Graduates’ American Dream

Examination of unemployment, underemployment, shifting labor dynamics, and debt shouldered by Millennials in wake of the Great Recession. Many college graduates will never find skilled labor. (Fair Observer)


The Tea Party: How Long Will It Last?

Evaluation of the rapid rise and outsized political influence of the right-leaning Tea Party movement. Investigates and rebuts some of the gravest charges leveled against the nascent movement. Concludes that hyperpartisanship and ideological rigidity demanded by Tea Party faithful will ultimately further stymie the American policymaking process. (Fair Observer)