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 »

Churchill’s oratory, American might

[ by Charles Cameron — some thoughts on Churchill while prepping a post re Cole Bunzel’s new paper ] . Let’s pre-amble around a bit, before we get to Cole Bunzel‘s important new paper, The Kingdom and the Caliphate: Duel of the Islamic States in my next post: the issue of oratory vs force is […] Read more »

War, Games and morale

[ by Charles Cameron — on gaming “living and moral forces” — with a whiff or two of Montaigne ] . ** Let’s start with Clausewitz, On War. He says — and we’d be wise to pay attention — “most of the matters dealt with in this book are composed of equal parts of physical […] Read more »

Form is Insight: parliamentarian scuffle, photographer’s eye

[ by Charles Cameron -- insight -- from the artistic eye via the ayat of the Qur'an and poetic and scientific "readings" to the craft of intelligence analysis ] . You might think this was an image taken from some art book by EH Gombrich — Art and Illusion: A Study in the Psychology of [...] Read more »

Seydlitz89: “The US Needs to Re-discover the Concept of Strategy”

[by Mark Safranski a.k.a. "zen"] Our Clausewitzian friend, Seydlitz89 commented on my recent post on politics and strategy and has a new one of his own that accurately frames a solution to the geopolitical disarray in which the United States finds itself today. Seydlitz89 asked for my comments so I will be making some where [...] Read more »

Commentary on Politics and Strategy

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"] Infinity Journal has a good article by eminent Clausewitzian strategist Colin Gray on the interrelationship of politics and strategy (free registration required): Politics, Strategy and the Stream of Time ….Second, many scholars appear to be resistant to the conceptually, perhaps even morally, necessary recognition of the implications of the fact [...] Read more »


[by Lynn Rees] Angellism before Angell, at the dawn of the French Revolution: French military might strode defiantly across the land, contemptuous of the political calculus with which other governments anxiously weighed enmities and alliances, weakening the forces of war and binding the raw element of conflict in diplomatic bonds. To their own and everyone [...] Read more »

Now, about taklif, and about parawar?

[ by Charles Cameron -- two learnings about Hezbollah, in process and with one question each ] . . The trouble with this internet thing is that it offers nonstop opportunities for learning. I hope my readers here at Zenpundit know by now that I’m an amateur (a lover) of the topics that I write [...] Read more »

Book Review at Pragati: The Strategy Bridge by Colin Gray

I have a new book review up at Pragati Magazine this morning, The Strategy Bridge:Theory for Practice by Colin S. Gray which is a must read book for any serious student of strategy. Pragati, which is a national interest and policy magazine for India is starting to turn greater attention towards the subject of strategy and [...] Read more »

Is 4GW Dead?: Point-Counterpoint and Commentary

4GW theory has always attracted overenthusiasts and  raging haters ever since the concept emerged way back in 1989, so debates about the merit of 4GW are nothing new; in fact, the arguments became so routine that they had largely gone sterile years ago.  After T.X. Hammes published his excellent  The Sling and the Stone and John [...] Read more »