WARLORDS, INC BOOK LAUNCH!!!

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] “This important and terrifying book should be read by everyone who cares about the future of human civilization.” —Anatol Lieven Warlords, inc. ; Black Markets, Broken States and the Rise of the Warlord Entrepreneur, Edited by Noah Raford and Andrew Trabulsi Warlords, inc. a book to which I have contributed a […] Read more »

The Creepy-State attracts Creeps

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"] Big Brother’s little brothers are listening in on your calls, tapping your data When the government and ruling elites fashion a Creepy-State, it inevitably spawns a surveillance arms race. If your private data is valuable to the Feds, it is valuable to others….and if the Feds are violating the Constitution […] Read more »

What to do About ISIS? Constructing Strategy, Weighing Options

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"] ISIS or the Islamic State “Caliphate” is the focus  of a great deal of discussion and demands for action from the United States – and also inaction – from many quarters. What is to be done? That is a famous question.  In matters of geopolitics and strategy, it is more […] Read more »

Narco-cartels as MBAs Doing 4GW

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"]   Yale organizational behaviorist Rodrigo Canales has an interesting talk on the Narco-insurgency in Mexico ( which he correctly sees as having been as lethal as Syria’s civil war). While this won’t be news to close students of Mexico’s cartel wars, Canales explains how Los Zeta, La Familia, Knights Templar and Sinaloa [...] Read more »

Ayatollah Khameini: Crony Capitalist and Slumlord

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"] Reuters has begun a remarkable series on the economic dealings of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khameini who controls a staggering fortune of $ 95 billion dollars through a secretive fund Setad that expropriates the property of poor Iranians and religious minorities. This would put the venerable theocrat in the same [...] Read more »

Heavy Metal: When Irregulars Go Armored

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"] If the symbol of the 20th century insurgent was the AK-47 and a red banner, his 21st century counterpart may someday be recognized by the suicide belt and the “homemade tank”. Irregular fighters have always used light arms, civilian passenger vehicles and armor captured (or donated by) from conventional armies, [...] 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 »

Furnish on Pew findings re: Islam

[ Charles Cameron presenting guest-blogger Timothy Furnish ] . . I’m delighted to welcome Dr Timothy Furnish as a guest-blogger here on Zenpundit. Dr Furnish has served as an Arabic linguist with the 101st Airborne and as an Army chaplain, holds a PhD in Islamic history from Ohio State, is the author of Holiest Wars: [...] Read more »

About today, a normal and highly significant Thursday

[ by Charles Cameron -- remembering that there are two calendars, two times, the secular and the sacred, and that there's more poetry, more depth of heart and thus intellect too, in the sacred calendar -- a truth made known also to popes and monarchs ] . . It’s an extraordinary day, today, for myself [...] Read more »

Sixty Years after Stalin

Sixty years ago one of the greatest monsters in history, a mass-murderer of tens of millions many times over, the yellow-eyed, “Kremlin mountaineer”  breathed his last. We live, deaf to the land beneath us, Ten steps away no one hears our speeches, All we hear is the Kremlin mountaineer, The murderer and peasant-slayer. His fingers [...] Read more »