Recommended Reading—Summer 2016

[by J. Scott Shipman]   The Storm of Creativity, by Kyna Leski 2017 War With Russia, by General Sir Richard Shirreff The Wright Brothers, by David McCullough Serendipities, Language and Lunacy, by Umberto Eco Paradise, Dante Alighieri, translated by Mark Musa Undertow, by Stanton S. Coerr The White Horse Cometh, by Rich Parks Washington The Indispensable […] Read more »

Review: The Rule of the Clan

[by Mark Safranski / “zen“] Rule of the Clan by Mark Weiner I often review good books. Sometimes I review great ones. The Rule of the Clan: What an Ancient Form of Social Organization Reveals about the Future of Individual Freedom  by Mark S. Weiner gets the highest compliment of all: it is an academic book that […] Read more »

New Book- The Envoy: From Kabul to the White House

[by Mark Safranski / a.k.a  “zen“] The Envoy: From Kabul to the White House […] by Zalmay Khalilzad Just received a courtesy review copy of The Envoy, the memoir of Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, from Christine at St. Martin’s Press. Khalilzad was part of a small group of diplomatic troubleshooters and heavy hitters for the second Bush […] Read more »

Small Wars and Big Thoughts

[by Mark Safranski / “zen“] U.S. Marines display captured flag of Nicaraguan rebels led by Augusto Cesar Sandino While pop-centric COIN may be dead, small wars and irregular warfare will always be with us. We might say they are in the fourth or fifth generation; are an open-source insurgency; or have become “hybrid“; or exist […] Read more »

The Strategist: Brent Scowcroft and the Call of National Security

[by Mark Safranski / “zen“] The Strategist: Brent Scowcroft and the Call of National Security by Bartholomew Sparrow In writing The Strategist, Bartholomew Sparrow has demonstrated that his talents as a biographer match his skill as a scholar. Cautious and careful, in telling the life and national security career of the highly regarded Brent Scowcroft, Sparrow […] Read more »

ISIS: Paganism with an Islamic Face?

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a “zen“] “And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Moloch, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.” – Leviticus 18:21  “They rejected the commandments of the Lord … and served Baal. They consigned their sons and daughters to the fire” – 2 […] Read more »

The Freikorps Revival

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen”] One of the signs that the Westphalian state system was approaching its zenith was the gradual extinction of legal private warfare in Europe (and in America , east of the frontier). While this trend predated the French Revolution with divine right absolutism monarchs taxing and regulating their nobles once formidable […] Read more »

Manea Interviews Galeotti on Hybrid War at SWJ

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a “zen“] Dr. Mark Galeotti Octavian Manea has another excellent installment of his interviews with warriors and scholars of war over at Small Wars Journal. In this case, Russian security and transnational crime expert, Professor Mark Galeotti of NYU and In Moscow’s Shadows blog. Hybrid War as a War on Governance  As […] Read more »

Review: Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] Blood Meridian: or The Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy Cormac McCarthy and Blood Meridian first came to my attention back in 2000 when noted literary critic, Yale professor Harold Bloom was interviewed on C-Span’s Booknotes regarding his book, How to Read and Why. Bloom, an eccentric character who […] Read more »