An awkward anniversary

big boss blowing out birthday candles

I relaunched CTG one year ago today.

Just a random day in late October, I know.

If you’re curious about the history behind the steps I took to bring it back or why I pulled the plug in the first place, you can go down the rabbit hole on the tenth-anniversary post.

Having this space to write and reflect is important, personally. For me, writing is my best reflection. Sometimes it occurs in long-form and gets washed through an editor, other times it’s barely formed, simplified, and goes out in a tweet.

The stuff here at CTG is somewhere in-between. There isn’t really much of an editor. But at least I have the opportunity to expand on things here more than however-many-characters that other platform allows.

My favorite part of coming back has been connecting with old fans of the blog and welcoming new ones.

In terms of daily readership, the blog is nowhere near where it was at its peak (2015/2016) – but that’s okay. It’s definitely a little more niche and a little more tempered. Rebuilding is a slog, but it’s one that I enjoy.

Usually, this would be the spot where some announcement is made about an upcoming project or a big surprise.


You can expect more of the same. Thanks for being here for it!

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Ma’salaama, Abu Muqawama!

lego businessman
The New and Improved Abu Muqawama

I read today that Abu Muqawama is shutting down.

Without question, there is no military blogger out there that influenced my own decision to blog than Andrew Exum. He is a Middle East scholar and ex-infantryman and a clear trailblazer for those leaving the service who were/are interested in studying the Middle East. He paved a way to do it and it was easy to follow.

I am fortunate to have met Andrew on a couple of occasions and just missed him once in London when he was passing through. It would have been out of control.

My favorite Abu Muqawama post was this one, which was a simple picture criticizing the botched Israeli boarding of the Mavi Marama back in 2010. Ex was at his best when he was able to mix his military experience with his Middle East expertise and get it out there in a way that was accessible and fun for everyone else to digest.

He hinted in his post that he’s heading to the “private sector” – so I hope he’ll consider changing his now-famous “Lego terrorist” avatar to something like the one posted above.

Ma’salaama, Abu Muqawama! And good luck!

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