Writers' Guidelines

Defense One welcomes commentary pieces that make a fresh argument about some element of national security and drive toward one or more recommendations for U.S. defense and military leaders. What we're generally looking for are oped-type pieces of 800 to 1,000 lively words, on a topic about which the author is clearly qualified to speak. Like this. Or this. Or this.

Like any good argument, these commentaries should anticipate and address potential counterarguments. And since it's easy to talk about a better world, but more useful to describe how to get there, they should identify obstacles and describe how they might be overcome.

These commentaries should get straight to the point. Don't quote doctrine or foundational documents in the lead paragraph. Don't lead off with paragraphs of description of the problem. We see many unsuccessful submissions that spend too much time describing the current situation and too little fleshing out a solution.

Use links in your text, particularly to substantiate assertions or to provide further reading. Keep your links to one, two, or three words. Don't use footnotes.

You can send completed pieces to submissions@defenseone.com. For more substantive pieces of over 1,500 words, please pitch your idea first.

Freelance articles: We pay only for original, reported articles. Freelance reporters, please inquire about current rates.