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 »

Pete Turner on “Collecting Instability”

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] Pete Turner of The Break it Down Show had a powerful post that encapsulated what is wrong with the American approach to intervention in foreign societies, both in terms of our aid and development programs as well as COIN and military assistance of various kinds. Collection Center Collects Instability  ….A good […] Read more »

A Brief Comment on Ukraine vs. Russia

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a "zen"] Russia, borrowing a tactic used by the Soviets with unruly satellites, has massed a fair amount of troops on the eastern border of Ukraine under the guise of “military exercises” This has spurred much commentary and articles, hawkish and dovish, about what America or NATO can do or not do, [...] Read more »

Is Grand Strategy Democratic?

[by Mark Safranski - a.k.a. "zen"] Grand strategy in 1941 A very interesting article at Small Wars Journal by Captain Sean F.X. Barrett, USMC on the state of contemporary grand strategy. Definitely worth the time to read the whole thing:, but I am only going to make meandering comments on a few sections: The Democratization of [...] Read more »

Strategy, Power and Diffusion

“….and therefore, two kinds of reactions are possible on the defending side, depending whether the attacker is to perish by the sword or by his own exertions.                                                         [...] Read more »

A Tale of Two Victories and Two Falls

My co-blogger Charles Cameron is fond of his “DoubleQuotes” postings that feature frequently uncomfortable juxtapositions designed to prod thinking. Here’s a wordier one from me: ….Planning for a second term has been under way for months, with Lew and Pete Rouse, the counselor to the president and Obama’s internal management guru, preparing lists of possible [...] Read more »

Twenty-Nine Articles

SWJ Blog has a new post up with an important and all too timely article on transition operations whose authors include an amigo of mine, Pete Turner, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. Turner will also be one of the featured speakers at the Boyd & Beyond Conference in October at Quantico: Transition Operations: A [...] Read more »

New Book: Mission Revolution by Jennifer Morrison Taw

Mission Revolution: The US Military and Stability Operations by Jennifer Morrison Taw Columbia University Press just sent me a review copy of Mission Revolution: The US Military and Stability Operations by Jennifer Morrison Taw, an assistant professor of IR/Security Studies at Claremont McKenna College.  Taw has written a very timely book given the looming threat [...] Read more »

SWJ: Casebooks on Insurgency

This looks to be an invaluable resource. From SWJ: Casebooks on Insurgency and Revolutionary Warfare  US Army Special Operations Command and Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory National Security Analysis Department have put together a useful reference for small wars students and practitioners entitled “Casebook on Insurgency and Revolutionary Warfare Volume II:  1962-2009.”  The resource is [...] Read more »