DEF 2015 – the People and the Ideas are the Magic

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] “We’re starting an insurgency of critical thinkers” – Darya Pilram, Red Team Instructor Last weekend was my first Defense Entrepreneurs Forum conference, DEF 2015 . I came away extremely impressed by the diverse talents and intellectual firepower of the participants and their dedication to being positive change agents. Entrepreneurs mixed with active duty military personnel, senior leaders […] Read more »

Military Reform through Education

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] Don Vandergriff facilitating Adaptive Soldier/Leader exercises at Fort Benning Fred Leland at LESC Blog recently had a guest post up by Dan Grazier from the Project on Government Oversight regarding the important work Don Vandergriff is doing to reform professional military education and training: Military Reform Through Education: From The […] Read more »

Don Vandergriff on The Break it Down Show

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] Don Vandergriff Friend of ZP blog Don Vandergriff, author of Raising the Bar and co-author (with Fred Leland) of The Adaptive Leadership Handbook, was a guest on The Break it Down Show: The Path of Don Vandergriff  Don Vandergriff is an author of several books on leadership and development, especially […] Read more »

In Praise of Don Vandergriff for the “Next Yoda” at ONA

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] Don Vandergriff Friend of ZP blog and expert on adaptive leadership training Don Vandergriff has thrown his hat into the ring to replace the much admired, should not have been retired, Andrew Marshall,  the long time (appointed originally by Richard Nixon) head of the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, affectionately […] Read more »

Lind on the 25th Anniversary of 4GW Theory at Fabius Maximus

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] Regretfully, I was unable to attend the Boyd & Beyond 2014 Conference this year. Had I been there, I would have seen Bill Lind speaking on the topic that he and a number of military officers raised a quarter-century ago when the Cold War was winding down and the Soviet […] Read more »

Van Riper on Grand Strategy and Operations at Infinity Journal

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"] Lieutenant General Paul K. Van Riper is featured in the latest issue of Infinity Journal where he gives a superb tutorial or grand strategy and operations. It should be required reading for the legion of young Hill staffers, newbie think tank operatives, junior officers and aspiring war correspondents who envision […] 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 »

America’s Defense Amnesia

(by Adam Elkus) Over at The National Interest, Paul Pillar diagnoses America with an “amnesia” about intelligence. The US, like Guy Pearce’s amnesiac character in Memento, does not perceive that it is caught in a larger oscillating cycle: Attitudes of the American public and elected officials toward intelligence go in cycles. There is an oscillation [...] Read more »

Octavian Manea interviews T.X. Hammes

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"] Octavian Manea and SWJ are on something of a roll lately. Colonel T.X. Hammes (ret.) PhD is the respected author of the excellent The Sling and the Stone. If you have never read it, you should. The Fallacies of Big Expeditionary Counterinsurgency: Interview with T.X. Hammes SWJ: How different is Mao’s [...] Read more »

War on Speed

[ by Mark Safranski a.k.a. "zen"] “When a man is lying in a shell hole, if he just stays there all day, a Boche will get him eventually. The hell with that. My men don’t dig foxholes. Foxholes only slow up an offensive. Keep moving.”                     [...] Read more »