More About Me

Answers to the five questions you’ve been wanting to ask:

Q: Why a Book?

A: Throughout my career, it seems I have always thought in book-length rather than article length ideas, not an entirely rewarding trait for a political scientist. Looking at the literature on Iraq, there was a glut of books on why we made a mistake invading (I agree!) and how we have blown the occupation (I also agree!), but not so much on the critical political question of what happens when we leave under different circumstances. That’s what I undertook to discuss, and it simply would not fit into less than a book-length treatment. But then, 40 books later, I guess that’s true of most of the things I look at.

Q: Why a blog?

A: That’s easy. As I was writing the book, it was clear that events were moving so fast that whenever the book was published, it would be partially overcome by events (OBE). How to compensate? A blog that could update and elaborate on points made in the book seemed the best solution for me and the reader.

Q: Why should I read you?

A: This gets to what my late mother used to refer to as “tooting your flute” (“if you don’t toot your own flute, nobody’s going to toot it for you”–old east Tennessee saying). I think there are two reasons. First, I bring a fairly unique perspective to the subject. I am a basically liberal academic, but I have also worked, interacted, and taught military leaders at the country’s three service war colleges. I think my understanding is conditioned by that experience. Second, I think I write pretty well (but that’s your call).

Q: What are your politics?

A: I think of myself as a (John) Kennedy liberal. That makes me pretty liberal on domestic issues, but more middle-of-the-road on foreign and security matters. On the latter, I am pretty much a traditional realist, which means I think force should only be used in defense of vital national interests (which is the main reason I oppose the Iraq War). I am a registered Democrat in a community where that leaves me very much in the minority (Hilton Head Island, SC).

Q: Basketball, baseball, or football?

A: All of the above. Basketball: I am a native Hoosier; need more be said? Baseball: The last World Series (Rox-Sox or Rockies-Sockies, as you prefer) was agony, since those are my two teams. Football: Colorado, Indiana (alma maters) and Alabama (employer) for college, Denver Broncos for pros. I also coached soccer for 14 years from 8-year-olds to adults.


12 Responses to “More About Me”

  1. Brandon Owens Says:

    Dr. Snow,

    Long time since we’ve talked. I just now found your blog and am very impressed. It’s like sitting in your classroom all over again. My question for you is what do you believe will be the changes at the State Department under Hillary? I will probably attempt to get into the Foreign Service again now that we are assured there will be no more Bush action there. Thanks for your thoughts.


  2. i no that u r talkin 2 da students @ hhihs and they wanted 2 no why u so liberal

  3. William Bilek, M.D. Says:

    Dr. Snow, I am sorry I missed your lecture today due to a medical emergency. I am sure it went very well. I hope there were some good arguable counter-points brought up.

    I would like to ask you about the winter lifelong learning program. Is there an e-mail where you can be reached?

  4. Dear Professor Snow,
    On the occasion of its 60th anniversary the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has released three online video spots designed to make the Alliance’s core values interesting for young people.

    You can find the videos, and other relevant information here:

    We would like you to join our debate on whether NATO is successful in its mission amongst changing global security priorities, and would be delighted if you could feature one of the videos on your blog together with your thoughts, ideas, or criticisms about it, to help spark discussion.

    You can also follow the debate taking place on

    Please don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any questions.

    With best regards,

    The Atlantic Community Team

    Atlantische Initiative e.V.
    Wilhelmstrasse 67
    10117 Berlin
    Tel: +49 30/2063 3788
    Fax: +49 30/2063 3790

    ——————– is a joint project of Atlantische Initiative e.V. (Berlin) and Atlantic Initiative U.S. (Washington DC), two independent, non-partisan, non-profit organizations dedicated to furthering transatlantic cooperation.

    Disclaimer: This email is part of a service project conducted in cooperation with NATO.

  5. Aileen Andres Says:

    Dr. Snow,

    I want to express my enthusiasm for your book “Cases in International Relations”. We’re using it in my World Politics class and it has become my bible of all things international.
    I am currently writing a paper on the issue of sovereignty and your book has been the most helpful of all the resources I have collected.
    Thank you for making me so passionate about these cases and for making me look forward to the reading assignments from my class.

    Thank you again,
    Aileen Andres

  6. Hey, Gathering of Eagles is an awesome movie. Funny you also have a T-Town connection. My father flew B52s in many of the scenes in GOE and retited to Tuscaloosa.

    Here’s a great scene from the movie – my dad is flying one of the B52s – it’s real-time exercise they were allowed to film. We were stationed at Beale AFB (California) at the time.

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  8. Thanks. Just glanced thru your post. failed to have the time to scan the entire thing. I subscribed to your rss feeds and trying forward to more.

  9. Please keep me posted on oil developments in Iraq and Kurdistan. My interests in Iraqi oil aren’t academic. From my perspective, you’re speculating pretty far from the chaotic playing field in Iraq and Kurdistan, where the business dealings are not conducted to vent pro- or anti-American feelings, but to make a profit. On the surface, Iraqi’s terms seem to offer an incentive to oil bound for North America. You might read over the oil offers, bid requests, and contracts before speculating about political motives.

  10. Great site Im happy I stumbled onto it through my friends blog. Going to need to add another blog to the morning routine

  11. Justin Aday Says:

    Dr. Snow –
    I just happened to be looking at the UA Political Science website, and saw your profile and the link to this site. I hope all is well with you in South Carolina. As for Alabama, we are dealing with the same old politics – the flavor of the day just happens to be BINGO, of all things. I’m finishing up law school in Montgomery this year, and I look forward to reading your book(s) when I have a little free reading time. Take Care!

  12. Dear Prof. Snow,

    As you are aware, governments across North America and Europe are about to slash defense budgets. President Obama has announced huge cuts to the Department of Defense budget, and British Prime Minister David Cameron has just declared huge reductions in military funding this week.

    Here at, the transatlantic affairs think tank, we are looking for sensible policy recommendations and bold ideas from committed bloggers and commentators. Our special analysis week about the impact of and solutions to defense cuts will begin on November 1st, where we will be addressing topics such as:

    How can we maintain security levels at a time in which major cut backs are on the cards?
    Is a co-operative or “burden sharing” military approach workable, and if so, how?

    We would like to invite you to take part in an open online debate on this topic of defense cutbacks. As you are active in this field, we would value your input greatly, whether it is through a post on your blog, the writing of a short op-ed article (500-700 words) for publication on, or engaging in the debate here:

    For op-eds, the deadline is October 31, 2010. We appreciate a strong thesis and concrete policy recommendations. currently has over 4,800 members and receives over a million monthly page views. Members participate by publishing op-ed pieces, research papers, and comments on the website which are then discussed by current and future policy makers, think tankers, journalists, bloggers, academics and students. Outstanding ideas from debates are collected, summarized and sent to the foreign relations committees of twenty-eight NATO and EU members. In effect, our goal is to harness the potential of user generated content in the policy making sphere. This means that your ideas can directly affect policy.

    Most recently NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Defense Policy and Planning, Jiri Sedivy, responded to our recommendations for the Alliance’s new Strategic Concept:

    Registration for the open think tank is simple, only takes a minute and above all is free. Under no circumstances will any of your details be shared with any third parties:

    Any op-ed submissions can be either uploaded online or sent directly to me via email.

    We look forward to hearing from you. Please don’t hesitate to email me if you have any questions.

    Yours sincerely,

    Eoin Heaney


    Eoin Heaney
    Editor, Atlantic Community

    Atlantische Initiative e.V.
    Wilhelmstraße 67
    10117 Berlin

    Tel.: +49 – 30 – 206 337 88
    Fax: +49 – 30 – 246 303 633


    Atlantic Community is a joint project of Atlantische Initiative e.V.
    (Berlin) and Atlantic Initiative U.S. (Washington DC), two independent,
    non-partisan, non-profit organizations dedicated to furthering transatlantic


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