I've been asked more than once recently "What happened to Blackfive?" The question has come from long-term readers and from people I would never have expected to be readers.
The common thought behind that question is what happened to our regular, often in-depth, posts on a variety of topics pertaining to the military and national security. It is a good and valid question.
Speaking strictly for myself, I think it was a combination of things.
When Blackfive started, there was a huge interest in, and need for, discussion and explanation of things military for a public that is increasingly disconnected from the military and from issues of national security. What Blackfive did was provide that discussion, and Matt wisely (IMO) started adding guest posters and then other regular writers to cover a wide range of areas as well as the various services.
By 2007, this had changed. New media was no longer new, and a number of entrenched interests did all they could to marginalize it. The public was tired of a war that seemed to go on and on, despite being told that this was a generational fight and not just a quick battle. Politicians eagerly seized on this to push a variety of agendas domestic (mostly) for personal or party gains (again, IMO). It was at this time that Blackfive took some partisan stands -- a thing much debated within Blackfive. Whether or not how we did it was a wise choice or not is a matter of debate, but I will say that I personally think it hurt us by alienating a number of readers and by giving ammo to our enemies (or at least to those who saw us as an impediment to their political/turf ambitions). At the same time, we all had lives and several of us faced a series of challenges and change. This meant that our unpaid writing here suffered. Add in that senior leadership military and civilian that came into power that saw new/social media (and reporters in general) as the enemy rather than an opportunity...
The world has changed, for good and for ill, and I am adapting to it and I believe that Blackfive is working to adapt to those changes. I think that more than ever we need to discuss the situation as it is, look at how changes impact the military and more, and that we need to discuss not just the kinetic situation, but the larger cultural war underway.
To that end, expect to see a number of guest posts coming that will cover a wide range of topics. One of the first you will see are reviews of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and non-fiction works here. Other guest posts covering culture, national security, and topics of interest to not only our core audience (and I thank you all for continuing to read us each day) but a broader audience as well.
Even with the changes in my life, and the need to concentrate on paying work, I hope to be posting a bit more regularly on topics kinetic and non-kinetic, with an eye towards the national security issues that I see facing the U.S. and the world. Military suicides, the VA, and more will be discussed by myself and others.
"Support the Troops" gets a lot of talk, and -- to me -- damned few walk the walk. For our core readers -- who have done some amazing things in public and in private via that walk -- thank you. There is indeed more to come.