About the authors

“Nor do we believe that any amount of author reputation is (or should be) able to prop up a bad piece. We credit our readers with the requisite intelligence and skepticism to do their own fact checking and assign their own credibility ratings to our content.”

From the Zero Hedge website.

The authors of the FM website

  1. Chet Richards
  2. Ian Michael
  3. H. Thomas Hayden
  4. Don Vandergriff
  5. G. I. Wilson
  6. Larry Kummer, Editor
  7. Who was Fabius Maximus?

The FM website has no party line, no one voice.  Everybody speaks their own mind, and their words do not represent the views of other contributors.

(1)  Chet Richards (Colonel, USAF, retired), former Editor

Ph.D. Mathematics.  Colonel, USAF, retired.  Long-time editor of the original Defense and the National Interest website (archived here — NO relationship to the site now at that address!), and blogs at Fast Transients.  He is Adjunct Professor of Strategy and Quantitative Methods at Kennesaw St. University in Atlanta, and author of

Alth0ugh he played a decisive role in the creation and early days of the FM website, and still provides valuable guidance, he assumes no responsibility for the material on this website.

(2)  Ian Michael

Ian served four years in the Marine Corps as a fire support man, reaching the rank of Staff Sergeant. He deployed twice to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. While pursuing higher education, Ian joined the California Army National Guard as a public affairs specialist. In late 2015, he deployed again, this time with a combat aviation regiment.

Now in the Army Reserve and a resident of Iowa, Ian dived into the world of intermediate and advanced shooting, first becoming an NRA instructor, and then a co-founder with Distributed Security Quad Cities. He has also founded Gunslinger USA, which supports small businesses and start-ups in the firearms community. He will also be launching Reading Junkie, a website for authors and bloggers to gain exposure, make sales, and collaborate.

Ian’s passions include writing and photography. He has authored numerous articles and photojournalism stories that have been shared across the country. His most recent venture is into the world of speculative fiction. He’s published one volume of his work with several more on the way.

Contact him at LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. His full bio can be found here. His articles published on the FM website can be found are listed here.

(3)  H. Thomas Hayden (Lt. Colonel, USMC, retired)

  • He retired after 35 years of service, which included the Agency for International Development, the Marine Corps, defense industry and the Pentagon. His specialties are Intelligence, Counterinsurgency Operations, Anti/Counter-terrorism, and Joint Concepts Development and Experimentation.
  • His Marine Corps assignments included command of two separate battalions; AC/S G-2, 4th MARDIV & AC/S G-2 FMFEurope; Branch Head, HQMC, Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict (SO/LIC); Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for SO/LIC; and, Senior Program Analysts at HQMC with the Joint Staff and DoD at the Pentagon. Overseas combat assignments included Vietnam, Central America, Gulf War, Somalia and and Colombia.
  • He has a MBA (Pepperdine Univ) and an MA in International Relations (Univ of Southern California).
  • He has written two books and is working on a third.

Hayden’s other publications:

  • Warfighting: Maneuver Warfare in the US Marine Corps (1995)
  • Shadow War: Special Operations and Low Intensive Conflict (1991)
  • Contributor to Amphibious Assault: Manoeuver from the Sea, Royal Navy and Royal Marine (2005)
  • “Counterinsurgency in Iraq started with Fallujah”, Marine Corps Gazette, October 2007
  • “Winning Hearts and Minds — Afghanistan presents different problems,” Marine Corps Gazette, June 2010
  • See his past articles at Military.com (he no longer publishes there)
  • See his news columns at Poliquicks.Com.

(4)  Don Vandergriff (Major, US Army, retired)

He retired in 2005 at the rank of Major after 24 years of active duty as an enlisted Marine and Army officer.  He now works as a consultant to the municipalities, corporations, and the US Army.  See this page for a list of his books and other publications.

(5)  G.I. Wilson (Colonel, USMC, retired)

He retired from the Marine Corps after 30+ years of military service, including several combat tours.  Today he teaches for the Administration of Justice Department of Palomar College (San Marcos, CA).  Also, he has consulted for ABC-7 Los Angeles, Knowledge and Intelligence Program Professionals KIPP), and the Emergency Response Research Institute (ERRI).  His posts on the FM website are listed here.


  • BA in psychology from the State University of New York at Albany
  • MA in Business and Organizational Security Management from Webster University
  • MA in forensic psychology at Argosy University in Los Angeles

His major publications

(6)  Larry Kummer, Editor

A “performative centrist”!
— Said by the good leftists at Lawyers, Guns, and Money.

The current editor of the FM website is Larry Kummer. He has 37 years experience in the finance industry in a variety of roles. From 1994 to October 2013 he was at USB, for the last 15 years a senior portfolio manager and Vice President of Investments.

His articles are widely reposted. Those about economics and finance appear at Roubini’s Economonitor, Investing.com, OilPrice.com, Wolf Street, and Seeking Alpha. Those about climate change appear at websites such as Climate Etc (run by Judith Curry, Professor of Atmospheric Science at Georgia Institute of Technology). Those about geopolitics have been posted at Martin van Creveld’s website and elsewhere.

He was a Boy Scout leader for 15 years, concluding as Director and VP-Finance of the Mt Diablo-Silverado Council. For 20 years he was an active Republican, working on many campaigns — until the party abandoned its traditional principles.

He began writing about geopolitics in 2003 at the Defense and the National Interest website. The DNI staff set up the FM website when DNI closed down in 2007.

(8)  Who was Fabius Maximus?

Fabius Maximus (280 – 203 BC) saved Rome from Hannibal by recognizing Rome’s weakness and the need to conserve its strength. He turned from the easy path of boldness to the long, difficult trek of rebuilding Rome’s power and greatness. His life holds profound lessons for 21st Century Americans.

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