Four angles plus one on reading Trump

[ by Charles Cameron — on the need for an analytic open mind — or hedging one’s bets? ] . I suppose we have to start with Trumpian Fundamentalism — by wbich I mean, taking the literal meaning from whatever he says. This view is simple, even simplistic. One down, three to go. ** There’s […] Read more »

Firefights, breath, & meditation

[ by Charles Cameron — remembering my father, Capt Orford Gordon Cameron, DSC, RN ] . I came across two pieces with overlapping descriptions of what happens to the body, perceptions, and thought, in a firefight. As is my habit, I’ve picked some of the essential text and accompanying illustration in each case, and offer […] Read more »

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 »

On militarizing the concept of Thought Police

[ by Charles Cameron — a renewed emphasis on the war of ideas? ] . A cluster of items from JM Berger‘s twitter feed this morning gave me pause for thought — but I was careful not to think anyway. Here’s the basic concept: "Destroy the idea" https://t.co/y9PGRfSsvI — J.M. Berger (@intelwire) April 19, 2016 […] 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 »

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 »

Politics while in uniform: the No, Sir, and Yes of it

[ by Charles Cameron — trying out a new look for DoubleQuotes ] . I’m aware that testifying under oath when questioned on a specific topic by Congress is different from promoting a presidential candidate at a campaign rally — but even so, the contrast strikes me as interesting: As for the question of orders […] Read more »

The Strategist: Brent Scowcroft and the Call of National Security

[by Mark Safranski / “zen“] The Strategist: Brent Scowcroft and the Call of National Security by Bartholomew Sparrow In writing The Strategist, Bartholomew Sparrow has demonstrated that his talents as a biographer match his skill as a scholar. Cautious and careful, in telling the life and national security career of the highly regarded Brent Scowcroft, Sparrow […] Read more »

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 »