Marc Lynch

Joining CNAS

 Spencer Ackerman got the drop on the official press release this morning, but it is now indeed official:  I’ve joined the Center for a New American Security as a non-resident senior fellow.  I’ve also just taken over as the Director for the Institute for Middle East Studies at George Washington University, so I guess my ...

 Spencer Ackerman got the drop on the official press release this morning, but it is now indeed official:  I’ve joined the Center for a New American Security as a non-resident senior fellow.  I’ve also just taken over as the Director for the Institute for Middle East Studies at George Washington University, so I guess my business card and email signature file need upgrades. 

 I’ll be joining an impressive team over at the so-called ‘It’ think tank  (including my FP.com colleague Tom Ricks, who I’ve seen over there wearing a tie and everything). It’s been interesting to see how they’ve re-upped after sending pretty much their entire team to the Obama administration. I feel that we have finally achieved a harmonic convergence with a genuine Axis of Abus:  putting Abu Aardvark and Abu Muqawama in the same place at the same time… it ain’t nothin’ but a blogger party.  

 I’m obviously quite excited about joining the CNAS team.  I can’t say exactly what I’ll be working on over there, but one might imagine that it would involve public diplomacy and strategic communications, the Arab world and Islamist movements, that sort of thing. It should be intellectually exciting.  I’ve worked with CNAS folks a lot in the past (including, but not only, Colin Kahl’s Iraq projects).  But anyone who’s followed the relevant debates knows that I haven’t always agreed with the COIN-gang with which CNAS (and its current President John Nagl) has often been associated.  Should make for some great internal debates.    

We can expect an early test of this internal debate:  the Autotune Wars. I’m a pragmatist, but when I see Snoop Dogg singing I yearn for moral clarity.  I’m with Hova on this one — sorry, Tom and Christine!  

 Spencer Ackerman got the drop on the official press release this morning, but it is now indeed official:  I’ve joined the Center for a New American Security as a non-resident senior fellow.  I’ve also just taken over as the Director for the Institute for Middle East Studies at George Washington University, so I guess my business card and email signature file need upgrades. 

 I’ll be joining an impressive team over at the so-called ‘It’ think tank  (including my FP.com colleague Tom Ricks, who I’ve seen over there wearing a tie and everything). It’s been interesting to see how they’ve re-upped after sending pretty much their entire team to the Obama administration. I feel that we have finally achieved a harmonic convergence with a genuine Axis of Abus:  putting Abu Aardvark and Abu Muqawama in the same place at the same time… it ain’t nothin’ but a blogger party.  

 I’m obviously quite excited about joining the CNAS team.  I can’t say exactly what I’ll be working on over there, but one might imagine that it would involve public diplomacy and strategic communications, the Arab world and Islamist movements, that sort of thing. It should be intellectually exciting.  I’ve worked with CNAS folks a lot in the past (including, but not only, Colin Kahl’s Iraq projects).  But anyone who’s followed the relevant debates knows that I haven’t always agreed with the COIN-gang with which CNAS (and its current President John Nagl) has often been associated.  Should make for some great internal debates.    

We can expect an early test of this internal debate:  the Autotune Wars. I’m a pragmatist, but when I see Snoop Dogg singing I yearn for moral clarity.  I’m with Hova on this one — sorry, Tom and Christine!  

Marc Lynch is associate professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, where he is the director of the Institute for Middle East Studies and of the Project on Middle East Political Science. He is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. He is the author of The Arab Uprising (March 2012, PublicAffairs).

He publishes frequently on the politics of the Middle East, with a particular focus on the Arab media and information technology, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, and Islamist movements. Twitter: @abuaardvark

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