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 »

Manea Interviews Galeotti on Hybrid War at SWJ

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a “zen“] Dr. Mark Galeotti Octavian Manea has another excellent installment of his interviews with warriors and scholars of war over at Small Wars Journal. In this case, Russian security and transnational crime expert, Professor Mark Galeotti of NYU and In Moscow’s Shadows blog. Hybrid War as a War on Governance  As […] Read more »

Octavian Manea interviews John Nagl at SWJ

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a "zen"]   Knife Fights: A Memoir of Modern War in Theory and Practice by John Nagl If General David Petraeus was the Pope of the COINdinistas, Lt. Col. John Nagl was at least the Archbishop of Canterbury. Few men alive were more closely identified in the public mind with the revival […] Read more »

Infinity Journal on the Strategy of Operation Protective Edge

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"] Infinity Journal has an exclusive review up of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge campaign against HAMAS by LTC Ron Tira. Colonel Tira is the author of The Nature of War: Conflicting Paradigms and Israeli Military Effectiveness. Operation Protective Edge: Ends, Ways, Means and the Distinctive Context  (Free registration required) ….Much of Hamas’ […] 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 »

“Optimizing the Potential of Special Forces”

[ by Mark Safranski - a.k.a "zen"] A remarkably blunt article on SF/SOF (“special forces” is being used as an umbrella term for both) in the context of policy and strategy, from the perspective of an emerging great power by LTG Prakosh Katoch of the Indian Army. The American example of SOCOM in Afghanistan/Iraq/GWOT has obviously [...] 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 »

“The Galula Doctrine”

Small Wars Journal has published another edition of the excellent COIN interview series conducted by Octavian Manea. Here he interviews A.A. Cohen, author of Galula: The Life and Writings of the French Officer who Defined the Art of Counterinsurgency  The Galula Doctrine: An Interview with Galula’s Biographer A.A. Cohen OM: Which were the role of Mao [...] Read more »