Like many of his friends, I first “met” John Collins online.
In early 2004, I was serving as the operations officer of a tank battalion task force in Al Anbar, Iraq. I was mentioned in a New York Times article, and soon after received an email from a man who identified himself as “WARLORD.” John Collins was a retired Army colonel who had served in uniform from World War II through the Vietnam War, then enjoyed another full career as a national security writer and lecturer at the Congressional Research Service. In his second retirement, John created an online national security discussion forum, populated first by his friends from both of his careers and then, over time, by hundreds of other thinkers John or his friends bumped into along the way. John’s 2004 email was an invitation to join the Warlord Loop, or, for convenience, “the Loop”.