‘The War Never Ends With Afghanistan’: Joining the Substack Parade, Spencer Ackerman Wants to Re-imagine National Security
“This year is when I go from there, Isn’t this a good thing to do? To become like Now or Never,” Spencer Ackerman said in launching “Forever Wars,” a Substack newsletter with the goal of establishing “another type of national security reporting.” He said he took the leap to “do something that, both from a subject and a format perspective, I find, isn’t really easy sitting in the newsrooms.”
Ackerman has spent the past two decades ensuring national security for stores like Wired, New Republic, and Guard, where he was part of the Pulitzer Prize winning team, disclosure US surveillance secrets based on leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. In 2017, he joined the Daily Beast as a senior national security correspondent, reuniting with Noah Shachtman, a problem first Wired alum, who led the Beast and is now take the reins of the Rolling Stone. This past spring, Ackerman transitioned into a contributing editor role at the site, most recently writing a wordless obituary for Iraq war architect Donald Rumsfeld.
While going the independent path, Ackerman joins Substackers as Glenn Greenwald and Matthew Yglesias, Similar people have cut their teeth blogging in Mr. George W. Bush years as the administration responded to the September 11 attacks by not only targeting al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan, but by launching the disastrous invasion of Iraq in 2003. Stick to the idea. that the 9/11 era never really ended, Ackerman — who covered Afghanistan, Iraq, and Guantanamo Bay—Said “Forever Wars” will explore “continuity, mutation and departure khởi [of the 9/11 era] and how they inform the dire economic, social and political circumstances we are facing. ” Indeed, he said, “the war never ends with Departure from Afghanistan, ‘But’ entrenched in the architectural foundation of the security apparatus and the political establishment ‘.
In many ways, that premise emerges from his forthcoming book, The Reign of Terror: How the 9/11 Era devastated America and Produced Trump. While working on it, Ackerman said he’s “absorbed this vast and unsatisfied space in journalism” where “everyone is trying to figure out what the 9/11 era is, it represents what it stands for, its reach, how we announce we’re getting there.”
“The war on terror is not simply, quote, not quote, ‘national security,’” he told me, which may help explain why his pulse now lies. in quotes in his Twitter bio. “It is self-sustaining in part because of its deep and profound American roots. I want to put all of that up to question and long focus. ” Ackerman says the writing will be “like a continuum” of the work he did at the Daily Beast. But he wanted to “let the stories permeate,” creating “something relevant to the story.” a truly terrible reality, rather than the provocative of the day.
In fact, Ackerman doesn’t “really want to react to the news cycle at all,” and also considers the fusion of journalism and history essential to the mission of “Forever Wars,” a model of the endgame. largely missing in the current media landscape. (Ackerman’s friend, Atlantic‘S Adam Serwer, have Highlights to bring historical news.) And as the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approached, Ackerman wanted to avoid “a celebration that is so cheap and sterilized, inaccurate and synthetic” that the Stores can start rolling out. “I think this could be something to adjust,” he said, “or it could be something of a counterweight.”
Unlike some Substacks, “Forever Wars” will be edited, by Sam Thielman, more recently Columbia’s Tow Center and before that “Ackerman’s work husband at Guard,“And legends and punk artists Sam McPheeters design logos and are contributing images. The newsletter will cost $5 per month, and is intended to be published twice a week. Ackerman received an advance from Substack, according to VP of Communications Lulu Cheng Meservey, who said the deal is meant to give the writer a “feeling of security, stability and financial security” and that “for us, it’s an investment and a bet.” Ackerman, she says, “has really good instincts” and “can burn the keyboard when he writes.”
Ackerman said he hopes he can “raise enough money to not only make it sustainable, but to enable a wide range of ambitions” – not only reporting trips but perhaps, hiring lawyers to help navigate the impending “legal maze series” with a Freedom of Information Act request. As he noted, “There’s a lot from the war on terror that hasn’t come out yet.”
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https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/07/spencer-ackerman-reimagines-national-security-coverage-substack | ‘The War Never Ends With Afghanistan’: Joining the Substack Parade, Spencer Ackerman Wants to Re-imagine National Security