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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

“Sin, Death, and Hell have set their Marks on Him”

King Richard III  The bones of Richard III, Shakespeare’s greatest villain and the last King of England to be killed in battle have been discovered and identified by DNA testing: ….There were cheers when Richard Buckley, lead archaeologist on the hunt for the king’s body, finally announced that the university team was convinced “beyond reasonable [...] Read more »

“Sustaining” your Way to Serfdom as a Grand Strategy

Friend of the blog, commenter L.C. Rees, likes to point out that one of the most important part of a grand strategy, particularly one that is maintained despite evidence of being a geopolitical failure, are the domestic political effects that work to the advantage of the faction supporting it.  In my view, grand strategy usually [...] Read more »