New Book ! Global Radical Islamist Insurgency

[by Mark Safranski / “zen“] Torn from the pages of Small Wars Journal….. Global Radical Islamist Insurgency: al Qaeda and Islamic State Networks Focus Vol. II 2012-2014  edited by Dave Dilegge and Robert Bunker New and looking to be very useful. Right up the alley for our own Charles Cameron and friends of ZP blog […] Read more »

ISIS: Paganism with an Islamic Face?

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a “zen“] “And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Moloch, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.” – Leviticus 18:21  “They rejected the commandments of the Lord … and served Baal. They consigned their sons and daughters to the fire” – 2 […] Read more »

The Freikorps Revival

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen”] One of the signs that the Westphalian state system was approaching its zenith was the gradual extinction of legal private warfare in Europe (and in America , east of the frontier). While this trend predated the French Revolution with divine right absolutism monarchs taxing and regulating their nobles once formidable […] Read more »

Intellectuals and their Romance with Political Barbarism

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] Martin Heidegger, Eric Hobsbawm and Ezra Pound A  meandering post inspired by Reason Magazine and Charles Cameron. Reason.com is best known for giving a scrappy libertarian take on current events, crime, technology and pop culture, but recently, an article by Charles Paul Freund touched a deeper, darker vein of twentieth century history […] Read more »

Some very welcome news: JM Berger & Jessica Stern

[ by Charles Cameron -- forthcoming book announced ] . JM Berger at Intelwire frames it like this: ISIS: THE STATE OF TERROR Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger co-author the forthcoming book, “ISIS: The State of Terror,” from Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins. The book, which will debut in early 2015, will examine the rise […] Read more »

The Cockroaches of War. And of Jihad

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a "zen"] John Robb had a cool post on the ultra-radical takfiri insurgency ISIS/ISIL and their self-proclaimed Sunni “Caliphate“, the Islamic State, whom he gave as an example of “the cockroaches of war”: ISIS Opens The World’s Biggest Bazaar of Violence ISIS is a marketplace — a freewheeling bazaar of violence – and it is [...] Read more »

New Book: The Lion’s Gate by Steven Pressfield

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"] The Lion’s Gate: On the Front Lines of the Six Day War by Steven Pressfield  This just arrived hot off the presses on my doorstep yesterday, courtesy of Steve and in terms of writing, The Lion’s Gate appears to be a significant departure for him. While Pressfield has done novels [...] Read more »

Making Historical Analogies about 1914

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"] The Independent has a short, quasi-sensationalist, article featuring historian Margaret MacMillan discussing what is likely to become the first pop academic cottage industry of 2014….making historical analogies about 1914 and World War I! MacMillan is a senior scholar of international relations and administrator at Oxford ( where she is Warden of St Antony’s College) [...] Read more »

Octavian Manea Interviews General David Petraeus

[by Mark Safranski a.k.a. "zen"] Octavian Manea has had an excellent series of COIN  interviews at SWJ and this is one of the more important ones: Reflections on the “Counterinsurgency Decade”: Small Wars Journal Interview with General David H. Petraeus SWJ: In his recent op-ed published in the New York Times, “The Pipe Dream of Easy [...] Read more »

A Brief Note on the Benghazi Hearings

There is legitimate room for debate if there could have been an effective military reaction to the attack in Libya by al Qaida terrorists that killed Ambassador Stevens and other US personnel.  One was apparently never seriously entertained  by senior White House, State Department and Pentagon officials. I think there ought to have been an [...] Read more »