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Frequently Asked Questions from the Kickstarter site for “War”The Afterparty”

Updated FAQ available throughout the project at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wartheafterparty/war-the-afterparty#project-faqs.

  • I am astonished that a smart, principled world leader like the United States of America can get itself into quagmires like Iraq and Vietnam. The spectacle of a two trillion dollar war of choice in Iraq, resulting in Islamist takeovers of major cities and expanded Iranian influence, not to mention tens of thousands of violent Iraqi deaths and wounded veterans, invites a new approach to how and why we wage war. What we are doing is not working. I looked at a world map and realized you could circumnavigate the globe with every country along the way visited by the American military or affected by a covert regime change. If this was necessary during a perceived existential threat from the Soviet Union and world communism, during a time of American economic hegemony, why are we spending and projecting military power as much or more once the Cold War was over? I want to find out.

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  • The book is a taxpayer/ citizen audit of sorts of the last fifty years of military engagements and covert actions, comparing promised versus actual outcomes. I’m traveling through the scenes of those conflicts to explore how the local narratives differ from the narratives Americans get from our press and our government. In each country in my round the world walkabout, I will seek out stories and characters that illuminate the after effects of war, after the media attention has faded or, if you will, after the party is over. You will be able to participate via social media conversations and interviews and google hangouts and to support the project via crowd funding sites Kickstarter and Patreon.

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  • I plan to go to four regions:
    Central America; Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama.
    Europe; France, Germany, Serbia (Bosnia, Kosovo).
    Greater Middle East; Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan
    SE Asia; Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia.

    I planned to go to more countries, and still may, depending on funding. but my writing group counsels focus and more time for going deeper in each place.

    If visa restrictions and outright civil war make entry dangerous or impossible, I will select regional countries that allow me to tell the story as effectively. If there are warning signs, or the need to depart quickly, I will. There is an element of risk to life anywhere, and certainly to travel. I proceed based on the premise that we are far too fearful of travel and of other cultures, that people are more welcoming and open than we might believe, and that street smarts and proper safeguards will make the risk manageable.

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  • If I believed that only journalists or academics working for major institutions were qualified to tell stories or explore important questions, i would stay home. I believe there are far smarter and more credentialed writers, and I intend to curate and share their work with my audience. I also believe that the web allows for travel, research and content aggregation opportunities never before available. I have a lot of experience interviewing politically and culturally prominent people, from Senators and Cabinet officials to authors and public intellectuals from my C-SPAN and FORA.tv days. I am told I have a unique ability to draw people out, coming well prepared with a real passion for knowledge and insight. First and foremost, i do this for myself, to probe for answers to important questions about war and peace, and then, i intend to share what I find through social media, the book and multimedia outlets. My bio is on this site and athttp://thevisionproject.com/about/about-brian-gruber.

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  • You are supporting an important, serious, and unique exploration of why, how and when we fight, asking whether it is time for a new approach to war.

    You are able to participate up close and personal, tracking the author, asking questions via Twitter and Google Hangout, reading daily dispatches from the field, learning at your own pace in an entirely new way.

    You will get valuable rewards, including signed books, ebook copies for your friends as a sponsor, invitations to exclusive events and public acknowledgement for your support.

    You will be able to see a Kickstarter project unfold first hand, see the book being written in real time and affect the final product and conclusions. You will get an education, a grounding in foreign affairs and military history in a unique and engaging way.

    Finally, you will ensure that I have enough resources to stay out of trouble, complete the project and eat. The daily budget for the project is $60, including all travel, lodging, food, incidentals, visas and emergencies. It will be an exercise in creative, low cost travel.

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