Guest Post: Why the United States cannot put Boots on the Ground to Fight ISIS

[Mark Safranski / “zen“] Today, I’m pleased to offer a guest post by LtCol. Bob Weimann, USMC (ret.) .  Weimann is the former Commanding Officer, Kilo Co., 3/1 and Weapons Company 3/1. He also served as a Marine Security Force Company commanding officer, an infantry battalion Operations Officer and the Executive Officer of 1/6 during Desert Storm. […] Read more »

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 »

The ROE to Nowhere

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] Many of you have seen the controversial NRO essay by David French on absurdly restrictive rules of engagement that enlisted men and their NCO’s and junior officers have been forced to wrestle with in Iraq, Afghanistan and miscellaneous conflict zones. This is a problem that began under the Bush II […] Read more »

Aman, or reciprocal safety under Islamic law

[ by Charles Cameron — what eye do you use when there’s more going on than meets the eye? ] . Twice in one day, a week or so ago, I had reason to look up the meaning of “aman” in Islamic law. My source here was M. Reichberg and Henrik Syse, eds., Religion, War, […] Read more »

Yes and no — but by analogy with innocence, yes?

[ by Charles Cameron — Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and those black banners again — I’m just curious ] . Judy Clarke, an attorney specializing in death penalty cases, addresses the Tsarnaev jury in the closing statement for the defense: Clarke: The govt. wants you to see this picture to suggest Dzhokhar self-radicalized; it's just a religious […] Read more »

R2P Debate Rising ( Part I.)

I thought I would call the attention of the readership to a debate that has been ricocheting around different social media platforms on R2P ( “Responsibility to Protect“). I have dealt with the topic several times in the past, related to the ideas of Anne-Marie Slaughter, but not much recently until Victor Allen, over at [...] Read more »

An Absurd Column by Walter Pincus

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"] Walter Pincus, taking notes for the embattled bureaucrats of the creepy-state here: ‘Front-Page Rule’ is unprecedented in U.S. intelligence community  ….“Accountability and secrecy” were two watchwords a former senior intelligence official said guided operations during his 40-year career, not whether the public would approve of everything he was doing. However, that’s [...] Read more »

For the Fourth of July: The Once and Future Republic?

Ahem….”I told you so“. “Congress intended to allow the intelligence communities to access targeted information for specific investigations. How can every call that every American makes or receives be relevant to a specific investigation?”                                             [...] Read more »

Tyrannicide and the Lost Republic

“Beware the Ides of March” T. Greer gave me a rousing recommendation that I read the following post on the death of Julius Caesar by Burt Likko of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen blog. Greer was correct, it was outstanding. You should read the post in it’s entirety: Rue the Ides ….One of my big [...] Read more »

The White Paper and its Critics

Someone for reasons unknown last week leaked the classified Department of Justice “White Paper” on targeting with drone attacks the numerically tiny number of US citizens overseas who have joined al Qaida or affiliated groups. The leak set off an outburst of public debate, much of it ill-informed by people who did not bother to [...] Read more »