Why subscribe?

In my journey as a journalist and writer spanning almost two decades, I've traversed numerous countries, seeking to unravel the intricate tapestry of our world—a place both beautifully nuanced and tragically complicated. Amidst wars and conflicts, I've strived to comprehend the puppeteers orchestrating these tragedies, as well as the ordinary individuals left grappling with the aftermath and the shards of their shattered lives.

Regrettably, mainstream media and political establishments often overlook the origins and complexities of crises, choosing narratives dictated by agendas and political landscapes rather than those lived by those on the ground—individuals compelled to exhibit extraordinary resilience. This detachment fosters a desensitization, obscuring truths and alienating those yearning to grasp global realities and extend a helping hand to those in dire need.

Furthermore, those accountable for mass atrocities frequently escape justice, leaving survivors bereft of closure. Through "The World of War, Crimes + Crises," my aim is to invite readers on a journey, peeling back the layers of global unrest to reveal the motivations and actors, presented in a straightforward manner through storytelling, narrative nonfiction, original war and travel photography, and cultural appreciation—sans hidden diplomatic agendas.

This newsletter seeks to foster a community where others can share their stories and perspectives, shedding light not only on the darkness of war and transgressions but also on the unsung heroes who emerge from its shadows. Those individuals deep in the trenches, selflessly supporting survivors and exemplifying true bravery.

As someone once told me, the notion that events far away don't impact us is a fallacy. If awareness and action are lacking, could similar tragedies not unfold on our doorstep?

You can follow me here on Twitter @holliesmckay Instagram @holliesmckay and through my website www.holliemckay.com

Read some of my select work over the years and media appearances here

And purchase my book “Only Cry for the Living: Memos from Inside the ISIS Battlefield” and Afghanistan: The End of the US Footprint and the Rise of the Taliban Rule

Subscribe to get full access to the newsletter and website. Never miss an update.

About Hollie McKay

Hollie McKay is a distinguished foreign policy expert, war crimes investigator, and bestselling author renowned for her work, particularly the book "Only Cry for the Living: Memos from Inside the ISIS Battlefield."

With nearly two decades of experience as an investigative and international affairs/war journalist at Fox News Digital and Fox Business, followed by years of writing for numerous publications including The Cipher Brief, Wall Street Journal, New York Post, National Review and The Independent, Hollie focuses on warfare, terrorism, and crimes against humanity. She has extensively covered major war zones and crises globally, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Burma, Russia, Africa, Latin America, and more. Her comprehensive reporting, comprising thousands of articles and essays, includes exclusive interviews with captured terrorists, high-ranking officials, and leaders from all sides. Hollie's work has earned her numerous foreign press and humanitarian awards, and her columns have been featured in mainstream publications and academic journals.

As a board member of EMERGENCY USA, Hollie continually seeks to help conflict victims worldwide. Additionally, Hollie serves as the Outreach Director for Burnt Children Relief Foundation (BCRF), working to bring severely bomb-burned Syrian children to the US for life-saving treatment. B

Based in Washington, DC, Hollie is also a devoted mother to a lovely baby girl and as a former professional dancer, continues ballet endeavors in her spare time.

What critics say

"A harrowing look inside war that explores the experiences and psychology of the perpetrators, innocents, victims, and heroes. This account is not written by some safe and distant theorist, but by someone who was actually there. Read it. Remember it."--Jocko Willink, retired Navy SEAL and multiple NYT best-selling author

"Hollie's experiences in the Middle East rival quite a few Iraqi war veterans. Her ability to talk with the Iraqi people and see inside their relationships with each other as well as the enemy is unbelievable. This book is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the effect ISIS has had on an already war torn country."--Kris Tanto Paronto, 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi

"A fearless quest for human truth amidst inhumane atrocity. First-hand stories from both victims and perpetrators of the ISIS occupation of Iraq that you will never forget."--Neil Strauss, author, The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists

“Hollie McKay delivers a riveting and poignant account of war behind terrorist enemy lines, the personal stories of the victims and their profound legacy.”--Daniel Hoffman, former CIA Chief of Station

Hollie McKay, Foreign Affairs/War Reporter

Stay up-to-date

You won’t have to worry about missing anything. Every new edition of the newsletter goes directly to your inbox.

Join the crew

Be part of a community of people who share your interests.

To learn more about the company that provides the tech for this newsletter, visit Substack.com.

Subscribe to Dispatches with Hollie McKay

Unique frontline perspectives on war, crises and interesting shifts across the world


War/World Reporter. Author. Speaker. Mother. 🇦🇺🇺🇸 www.HollieMcKay.com