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Farewell (But Not Goodbye)
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Farewell (But Not Goodbye)

Some personal news.

(Stock photo from Getty Images.)

I’m just going to rip the Band-aid off: This is my last edition of the Current (at least for the foreseeable future).  

Even as I write that, it just feels crummy. I have this strong desire to apologize and to even take it back, but that wouldn’t be right either, and the truth is, I must step away from this newsletter because some amazing things are happening elsewhere in my professional life. Unfortunately, I’m limited in what I can share right now, but I’ll do my best to read you in on the situation. 

In the coming days it’ll be announced that I am joining a D.C.-based strategic advisory firm as one of its senior executives. In this new role, I will be advising and representing, among others, several technology companies—and that’s the rub.  

The Dispatch is amazing because the reporters and authors writing here have the highest integrity and are committed to speaking truth to power, telling it like it is, and steadfastly guarding your hard-won trust, and because readers like you know that.While I have no intention of compromising my integrity or jettisoning the truth, my new duties (and, in fact, my integrity) require me to advocate for my clients and their interests as effectively as possible. This means, no matter how many caveats or disclaimers were provided, I would never be able to credibly claim independence. I don’t regret the new opportunity, but it does require me to make a regrettable choice in laying down this newsletter.  

I call it a regrettable choice because Steve, Jonah, and everyone else are some of the best colleagues I have had the pleasure to work with. From day one they brought me into “the family,” gave me a seat at the table, and demonstrated by example what it means to be excellent at your craft. I am forever in their debt and profoundly thankful that they are still my friends. And just to assuage any concerns you might have, I have talked with Steve and Jonah and you can expect an announcement as to plans for maintaining The Dispatch’s coverage of national security and technology going forward.

Some will wonder why I am doing this. As in most of life, there are many reasons, but among them is my conviction that national security is a shared burden between the government and industry. I’ve spent two decades helping the government defend this nation and now I can help the private sector do the same. I’m genuinely excited by this next chapter and am convinced that this is a mission worthy of my time and effort. But not everything is changing. 

I remain a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute where I will continue to pursue academic research and writing on emerging technologies and their implications for national security and defense. I would be remiss if I didn’t explicitly thank AEI President Robert Doar and my immediate boss, Dr. Kori Schake, for their continued support and for the opportunity to remain a member of—what I believe to be—the world’s greatest collection of scholar-practitioners dedicated to defending human dignity, expanding human potential, and building a freer and safer world. 

I’ll also continue to write op-eds and other articles. I may even resume my old newsletter, The Kitchen Sync, but I’m still noodling on those details. If you’d like to sign up for the newsletter or just be kept up to date on my latest goings on, you can click here to sign up (it’s free). You can also follow me on Twitter if that’s your thing. But before I go, I have one more “thank you.”  

Thank you to each one of my readers. You are intelligent, engaged, encouraging, and a joy to serve. I have benefited greatly from your questions, your insights, and your occasional good-hearted push back. I am better for having written for you and I hope that in some small way, you are better for having subscribed to this newsletter. You have my most sincere gratitude. 

I’m not going to lie, I’m straight-up sad to say farewell. But I suspect I’ll be around for the occasional podcast or other cameo. And even though I’m sad, this reminds me of a quote from author E.G. Valens that better captures my true feelings and is a fitting way to sign off: “How lucky I am to have known someone and something that saying goodbye is so damned awful.” 

Thank you for everything. 


P.S.: Ban TikTok! 

That’s it for this edition of The Current.

Klon Kitchen is a managing director at Beacon Global Strategies and a nonresident senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.