Review: The Rule of the Clan

[by Mark Safranski / “zen“] Rule of the Clan by Mark Weiner I often review good books. Sometimes I review great ones. The Rule of the Clan: What an Ancient Form of Social Organization Reveals about the Future of Individual Freedom  by Mark S. Weiner gets the highest compliment of all: it is an academic book that […] 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 »

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 »

Military Reform through Education

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] Don Vandergriff facilitating Adaptive Soldier/Leader exercises at Fort Benning Fred Leland at LESC Blog recently had a guest post up by Dan Grazier from the Project on Government Oversight regarding the important work Don Vandergriff is doing to reform professional military education and training: Military Reform Through Education: From The […] 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 »

It sure Ain’t: Elkus on Why Congress Isn’t Good at Foreign Policy

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] Adam Elkus had a nice post on the sound and fury over the open letter by 47 Republican senators to the government of Iran, asserting Congressional prerogatives regarding contractual relations with in foreign powers: “Congress Isn’t Good At Foreign Policy.” In the midst of the ongoing fracas over GOP congressional […] Read more »

The Foreign Service: Still Clueless About the Face of America

By Patricia H Kushlis It’s been nearly four months since we asked the State Department to grant open and public access to its statistics - broken down by gender and race - regarding promotions in the Foreign Service in “What's... Read more »

Van Riper on Grand Strategy and Operations at Infinity Journal

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"] Lieutenant General Paul K. Van Riper is featured in the latest issue of Infinity Journal where he gives a superb tutorial or grand strategy and operations. It should be required reading for the legion of young Hill staffers, newbie think tank operatives, junior officers and aspiring war correspondents who envision […] 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 »

REVIEW: American Spartan by Ann Scott Tyson

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen'] American Spartan: The Promise, the Mission, and the Betrayal of Special Forces Major Jim Gant by Ann Scott Tyson  When I first posted that I had received a review copy of American Spartan from Callie, it stirred a vigorous debate in the comments section and also a flurry of email offline to me from [...] Read more »