Central Standard Time, Issue # 2

[Mark Safranski / “zen”] Professor Totorici has the second issue of Central Standard Time up. My contribution for this issue comes from the ZP archives – in keeping with the cultural spirit of CST I decided on a book review, the one on American Spartan by Ann Scott Tyson, but with an updated prologue: American Spartan […] Read more »

Guest Post: Why the United States cannot put Boots on the Ground to Fight ISIS

[Mark Safranski / “zen“] Today, I’m pleased to offer a guest post by LtCol. Bob Weimann, USMC (ret.) .  Weimann is the former Commanding Officer, Kilo Co., 3/1 and Weapons Company 3/1. He also served as a Marine Security Force Company commanding officer, an infantry battalion Operations Officer and the Executive Officer of 1/6 during Desert Storm. […] Read more »

Anne Smedinghoff Didn’t Have to Die Part 2

[ Last week, Zen hosted Pete Turner’s guest post, PRT and State Department Ignorance Fails Us All. Here is part 2 of that article — posted by Charles Cameron for Zen ] . ** Last week I wrote about the tragedy of Anne Smedinghoff, who died on a patrol in Qalat Afghanistan.  This is part […] 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 »

Guest Post: PRT and State Department Ignorance Fails Us All

[by Mark Safranski / “zen“]             Anne Smedinghoff ZP is pleased to bring you a guest post by Pete Turner, co-host of The Break it Down Show and is an advocate of better, smarter, transition operations. Turner has extensive overseas experience in hazardous conditions in a variety of positions including operations: […] 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 »

Reversals and blowbacks

[ by Charles Cameron — cf. boustrophedon, enantiodromia, ouroboros, paradox, unintended consequences ] . I have had this graphic around for a while: As you can see, I originally intended it to accompany a quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes: We should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe. […] Read more »

New Book: Relentless Strike by Sean Naylor

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] Relentless Strike: The Secret History of Joint Special Operations Command by Sean Naylor I just received a courtesy review copy of Relentless Strike from John at St. Martin’s Press.  Increasingly viewed as a “must read” book in the defense community, Relentless Strike is also extremely controversial among its target audience […] Read more »