The Publishing Trifecta: Community, Collaboration, & Creativity—Three Years of The Bridge

Community—a nebulous, yet powerful concept of fellowship based on common interests. Few ideas are more powerful in the writing and strategy areas, where truly no person can be an island. Both writing and strategy require the sharing of ideas and robust dialogue to get the best possible product.

The desire for such a community in the areas of strategy and writing led to the creation of The Bridge three years ago. And what a wonderful three years it has been, due largely to the opportunity it has afforded us to support great thinkers communicate their ideas via the written word.

Through the dialogue created with and between hundreds of authors over the years, four guiding principles served as the foundation for our recent establishment of The Bridge as a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting writers in the strategy, national security, and military affairs space:

  1. Writing and strategy are communal affairs. We exist to develop a community of thinkers and writers who seek to improve the level of discussion in these areas.
  2. By creating this community, we will support the collaboration that creates the authorship of quality content in the areas of policy, strategy, and military affairs.
  3. By creating this community, we will also develop networks of creative individuals that support current thinkers and practitioners, as well as support the development of future leaders in these areas.
  4. Forever in our sight should be the development of the next generation of thinkers and practitioners in the realm of strategy.

In short, community creates collaboration that leads to the development of quality and creative content by thoughtful men and women, which in turn fosters the next generation of thinkers and practitioners of strategy. So what better way to celebrate our anniversary than to highlight some of the great work our authors have published over the years? As much as we’d like to revisit each and every one of our authors and the splendid work we’ve been privileged to support, there simply isn’t time or space to do that here. Instead, we challenged our editors to select some of their favorite articles published on The Bridge. We hope you enjoy this brief trip through the last three years as much as we did.

  • We Can't Be Overrun,” by Jason Brown. This article was a fresh look at an old battle with the intent of examining a strategic narrative that has shaped our national will.
  • Uploading John Boyd,” by Jason Brown. The use of YouTube videos of this fighter pilot and innovator merged multiple mediums of communication to analyze his oft-quoted but rarely understood ideas.
  • Sun-Tzu, Clausewitz, and Thucydides: It’s Only a Lot of Reading If You Do It,” by Crispin Burke. We all know the key quotes of the classics...but do we really understand their importance? Crispin challenges all strategists to rise above the easy quote.
  • Nelson Mandela as a Strategist,” by Lawrence Freedman. There’s more to strategy than the overt use of violence, and no one is better poised to address this than Sir Lawrence himself.
  • The Battle of Gallipoli,” by Brett Friedman. The first real historical analysis hosted by The Bridge, few posts are more effective or educational.
  • The pairing of “Strategy as Narrative” by Brett Friedman and “Strategy as Fiction” by Jeremy Renken are not to be missed. First, they are both exceedingly well-written and they challenge conventional thinking. Second, they aptly illustrate the conversational nature of strategy –– and of The Bridge community.
  • Down the Rabbit Hole: Alice and the Experience of Clausewitzian Genius,” by Olivia Garard. This fusion of literature and strategy canon is simply masterful. If you read anything on Clausewitz outside his own words, this should be your first stop.
  • A Case for Martian Independence,” by James Gilley. This exceedingly creative article pushed our community to think beyond our troubles here on Earth and reminds us that strategy is ever-present in all actions, in all domains.
  • Peacetime Restrains Strategy: R.B. Haldane and the Shortfalls of His Army Reforms,” by Mikhail Grinberg. The first long form piece hosted on The Bridge, this article by one of our founding minds is elegant and pertinent to today’s issues on innovation and reform.
  • Ethical Requirements of the #Profession,” by Becky Johnson, is one of several great contributions to our series on the military profession.
  • Reflections on Mentoring and #Leadership,” by Ray Kimball. Leveraging groundbreaking work from his dissertation, this article covers mentorship and its importance to the profession as a part of our series on leadership.
  • Eagle Troop at the Battle of 73 Easting,” by H.R. McMaster. This recounting of a famous battle during Operation Desert Storm by its most well-known participant is riveting and full of useful lessons for future leaders.
  • Atomic Weapons on Their 70th Anniversary,” by Jason Nulton. This great submission of historical analysis reviews the events of August 6, 1945 and its impact on today. The creative fusion here of fiction and nonfiction to examine the strategic narrative of nuclear weaponry is simply quality writing.
  • Beyond Great Men & Great Wars,” by Katie Putz. This article calls for reading history closely and looking at the entire cast of characters, not just the lone actors who earn biographical study. Like earlier entries in this list, this article was part of a great conversation, in this case the previous article “Navigating by Terrain Features,” by the pseudonymous “Angry Staff Officer.”
  • Clausewitz Turned on his Head,” by Martin Skold. Another great analysis of the master and today’s civil-military relations as created by the events of the war in Vietnam.
  • Human Fog, Human Friction, Human Chance,” by Daniel Sukman. As a part of another great conversation, this article admirably addresses the ubiquitous facets of war equally present in all forms of warfare, even land power, and acknowledges the terrible risks involved in any undertaking of war.
  • Finally, the trifecta of Eben Trevino's “Reflections on a Room” (Part I and Part II) and Pauline Shanks Kaurin's “Perfection, Moral Clarity, and Impossible Expectations” replay and assess a war that was pivotal to many of The Bridge community. We love the way these articles juxtaposed views of that conflict from as far inside and, in some sense, as far outside as is possible.

Without you, our authors and readers, there would be no community, so we sincerely thank you for your time, energy, and ideas. Today our community is stronger and more vibrant than ever, and it is still growing! We are thrilled to continue our work as a non-profit dedicated to growing its authors into the leaders and thinkers of both today and tomorrow. We look forward to many more years of dedicated service with you, The Bridge community!


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