When I started this blog 14 months ago, I didn’t know what to expect. I thought there was a need for a site like this to bring together different parts of the professional homeland security community. And I had just learned that my employer, IBM, allowed employees to create and develop blogs, consistent with the company’s corporate guidelines. So I dove in, figured out how to create a site (first on blogspot, then directly at hlswatch.com), and started posting.
1,238 posts and 1.3 million hits later, I need to end my active involvement with this site, effective immediately. The reason: I’ve given a notice of separation to IBM and have accepted a job offer to join the Democratic staff of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), chaired by Sen. Joe Lieberman. I feel honored to have an opportunity to join the staff of this committee, which sets a very high standard for solid work and bipartisan spirit in the U.S. Congress. I’m looking forward to getting into the trenches and working on the same range of critically important homeland security issues that I’ve written about here.
As for this site, I hope that I can pass it off to people who want to carry it forward – ideally multiple contributors – and am working on this already. If anyone reading is interested in this opportunity, drop me a line to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m also willing to consider other types of proposals regarding the site. In the meantime, the links to other homeland security blogs and sites are still there on the right-hand column.
To my loyal readers, I appreciate your visits and participation at Homeland Security Watch over the past 14 months. If you have any final feedback or comments about the site, or just want to stay in touch, drop me a line. And to those who have supported my efforts by exposing the site to a wider audience (especially Noah) and/or providing me with tips, I owe you a serious debt of gratitude.
Overall, it’s been a rewarding experience to create and develop this blog. I’ve learned a lot in the course of working on it; daily blogging is a powerful form of self-discipline, one that has forced me to stay current and read reports more closely than I had previously. I think, in a small way, it’s played a positive role in homeland security policy, bridging the gap between the political domain and the policy/academic domain. And I’ve tried to adhere to the goals that I set for myself when I created the site – that it be non-partisan, and that its judgments be driven by rigorous, practical assessments of threats, risks, effects, costs, and values – and except for the occasional ill-considered post, I think that by and large I’ve succeeded in achieving these goals.
Thanks for stopping by,
Update (1/20): After some recruiting yesterday, I think I have a few solid folks lined up to become occasional contributors. They’ll be introducing themselves in the days and weeks ahead. I still would like to get a few more, however. Bottom line to readers: come back here soon…