As you all know, I work in political theory, which of course means that while I talk lots about war and morality I don’t, in general, do things like, well, get my hands dirty with actual empirical day-to-day issues in war. Fortunately, there are those who are willing to get their hands dirty, doing the sorts of empirical work necessary for theorists to do ours. One such man, Patrick Bentley, is getting ready to head off to Israel as part of an undergraduate fellowship on terrorism sponsored by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. He has begun a blog here as a sort of diary of his experiences.
Patrick, who is now a politics major at the University of Georgia, was a cadet in my philosophy class at West Point. After deciding at the end of his yearling (or sophomore) year that the Army wasn’t for him, Patrick enrolled in seminary to become a Catholic priest before ending up at UGA. He was one of the best of my students at West Point, a potentially promising philosopher and, I thought, an outstanding future officer. It’s great to see him putting those two years (and his considerable talent) to work in a such an important project. I’d encourage everyone to keep an eye on his blog.