A Blog Called INTREPID Editorial Policy (of Sorts)

Our focus is Canadian national security law and policy. “National security” is an inherently ambiguous term, but generally we’ll focus on issues and analysis that lie within the purview of “threats to the security of Canada” or things that “undermine the security of Canada” (as amended by bill C-59). But we won’t be rigid – we’ll know national security issues when we see them.

Our focus is also Canadian – we won’t try to pile-on and address issues the implicate neighbours or great or lesser powers, without also having a clear Canadian nexus. And our focus even then will be on that nexus.

Our value-added is geeky, often technical analysis, not sweeping editorializing or grand strategic master-plans. We do not aim to be polemical, interpersonal or introspective. But we will be critical, and propose and debate alternatives. Occasionally, we may include “commentary” pieces, but they too will be geeky rather than polemical.

We try to write on things as they happen in the real world, not at academic tempo.

We are not a venture focusing on theory. We want to add to the factual foundation that might support theorizing in other venues.

We write for an audience with a baked-in interest in our subject matter. But since this field is vast, we write in the plainest language possible, defining or linking to terms and concepts where necessary.

We will encourage “explainer” materials in national security law and policy, as part of our collective educational mission.

When we write about primary materials, we link to those. Where they are not already posted (and can be), we will consider posting them in our own database.

We will not follow formal journal citation conventions, but will follow academic conventions: facts that may be contested should be supported, and sources upon which the piece depends will be cited, preferably through hyperlinks and otherwise through endnotes.

We are happy to receive posts that, while meeting all these expectations, present blog post summaries of longer reports or scholarship, ideally with hyperlinks to these. We will consider cross-posting of blogs, but discourage simple cut-and-paste replications: We prefer shorter version of these cross-posted blogs on our platform, that then can link to original blogs posted elsewhere.

This is a curated project. We do not do formal peer reviews, but we do vet for accuracy, cogency, timeliness and fit. We do not post the implausible, the poorly written or defended or the self-promotional. We do not post partisan pieces, although we might invite partisans to explain platforms. If a person has a personal or professional connection or affiliation implicated by what they write, they should disclose this in the piece.

INTREPID is about building a shared forum for academics and practitioners in national security law and policy. One of our aims is to facilitate dialogue with and among individuals currently serving in government in this area, or with experience working in this space. We hope to provide a platform for those within (or recently within) government to articulate geeky, often technical analysis, otherwise sometimes lost in talking points and prepared statements. In the interest of exchange, we also welcome companion pieces that, while maintaining the high standards of geekiness, provide alternative perspectives on these positions.

We have no money. We do not pay for posts.

Posts should not be much longer than 1,000 words, and no longer than 1,500 words.

We will recruit students to help build the blog. But we expect copy to be as clean and “post-ready” as possible, because we have no resources for professional editing, and one of us is generally doing that editing. And we do not have a lot of time. And we are not necessarily good proof readers.

Blog postings are considered Creative Commons. We encourage others to share and build on the postings, with attribution to the author and A Blog Called INTREPID.

We will have fun with this project.