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 »

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 and the Crisis in American Statecraft

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] A Facebook friend with an astute comment pointed me toward this Wall Street Journal article by Joe Rago on the mission of General John Allen, USMC  as “Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL”. What is a “Special Presidential Envoy” ? In diplomatic parlance, a special envoy is […] Read more »

What We Are Reading… December 19, 2014

International News Cuba FACT SHEET: Charting a New Course on Cuba The Office of the Press Secretary / White House Today, the United States is taking historic steps to chart a new course in our relations with Cuba and to further engage and empower the Cuban people. We are separated by 90 miles of water, […]

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What We Are Reading… December 5, 2014

International News MENA IS FIGHTERS BESIEGE CRUCIAL SYRIAN AIR BASE The Associated Press Muslim militants pushed forward in their offensive on a major military air base in eastern Syria Friday capturing a nearby village in an attempt to take one of President Bashar Assad’s last outposts in a province that borders Iraq, activists said. Inflating […]

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To Make and Keep Peace — New Book by Angelo M. Codevilla

[by J. Scott Shipman] To Make and Keep Peace, Among Ourselves and with All Nations, by Angelo M. Codevilla Recently I had opportunity to read the latest issue of the Claremont Review of Books, and in the issue was a lengthy review of Angelo Codevilla’s latest book, To Make and Keep Peace. Codevilla is no […] Read more »

Tragedy of the geopolitical nerd

[defrosted into unnatural long life by Lynn C. Rees] Pity the American nerd. His brow furrows. The American nerd suffers from chronic contradiction. While he sees finely diced reality within his area of expertise in exquisite, even excruciating, detail, he sees the wider world only in the broadest shades of bright, shining ideals, his specialized fixations […] 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 »

War on the Rocks: A New Nixon Doctrine – Strategy for a Polycentric World

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"] I have a new piece up at the excellent War on the Rocks site that is oriented towards both history and contemporary policy Some Excerpts: A New Nixon Doctrine: Strategy for a Polycentric World ….Asia was only the starting point; the Nixon doctrine continued to evolve in subsequent years into [...] Read more »