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 »

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 »

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 »

Manea Interviews General Zinni at SWJ

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"] Octavian Manea, Small Wars Journal’s interviewer par excellence, talks with retired USMC General Anthony Zinni:  Reflections on the Modern Battlefield: A Discussion with General Anthony Zinni SWJ: You open your book with a blunt statement: “that wars are not always decided entirely on the battlefield”. Having in mind the post […] Read more »

Quick Link: Manea interviews General John Allen

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"] Octavian Manea, the David Frost of SWJ, interviews General John Allen, USMC on the lessons learned on the Post-9/11 military campaigns. Lessons from the Post 9-11 Campaigns Octavian Manea General John R. Allen, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.) is a distinguished fellow in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings, working within [...] Read more »

Two Manea COIN Interviews at SWJ

[by Mark Safranski AKA "zen"] Octavian Manea has two excellent interviews up at SWJ; for those interested in COIN theory and history, these are must-reads: Learning From Today’s Crisis of Counterinsurgency SWJ: What is the relevance of post-9/11 counterinsurgency campaigns for future Western expeditionary operations? What are the challenges you expect to see repeated in [...] Read more »

Raqqa, Syria: the Stations of the Cross

[ by Charles Cameron -- a small devotional exercise for our sometimes too-secular world ] . In the upper image of the pair above, a crowd in Raqqa, Syria, is protesting the desecration of a church by Islamist enthusiasts who had pulled down the cross atop a church. The people of Raqaa took to the [...] 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 »

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 »

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 »