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 »


[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] “This important and terrifying book should be read by everyone who cares about the future of human civilization.” —Anatol Lieven Warlords, inc. ; Black Markets, Broken States and the Rise of the Warlord Entrepreneur, Edited by Noah Raford and Andrew Trabulsi Warlords, inc. a book to which I have contributed a […] Read more »

ISIS and the Crisis in American Statecraft

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] A Facebook friend with an astute comment pointed me toward this Wall Street Journal article by Joe Rago on the mission of General John Allen, USMC  as “Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL”. What is a “Special Presidential Envoy” ? In diplomatic parlance, a special envoy is […] Read more »

What to do About ISIS? Constructing Strategy, Weighing Options

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"] ISIS or the Islamic State “Caliphate” is the focus  of a great deal of discussion and demands for action from the United States – and also inaction – from many quarters. What is to be done? That is a famous question.  In matters of geopolitics and strategy, it is more […] 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 »

Never bring a sword to a pen fight?

[ by Charles Cameron -- in which I suggest that reality may be more like a river, our understandings more like canals ] . ** I read a couple of things this morning that struck me. The first was in Zen’s post, Dealing with the China we Have Rather than the China we Wish to [...] Read more »

A Brief Comment on Ukraine vs. Russia

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a "zen"] Russia, borrowing a tactic used by the Soviets with unruly satellites, has massed a fair amount of troops on the eastern border of Ukraine under the guise of “military exercises” This has spurred much commentary and articles, hawkish and dovish, about what America or NATO can do or not do, [...] Read more »

Quick one: Death to America is not in the Quran

[ by Charles Cameron -- a sign of the times? ] . Definitely of interest, implications to be discovered: Wow. Isfahan v conservative city in #Iran “@NegarMortazavi: "Death to America is not in the Quran" Isfahan's friday prayer Imam told Fararu” — Suzanne Kianpour (@KianpourWorld) September 30, 2013 Excellent theology, that, at the very least! Read more »

Dateline, June 5th 2012

[ by Charles Cameron -- screengrabs from a very recently posted video, mostly Taliban with just a smidgeon of NSA ] [edited to add: please see warning in comment below] . Scary, hunh? Yeah? ** No, this is not from a NSA / Prism video — I’ll have just a little more on that topic [...] Read more »

A Sustainable National Security Posture?

[ by Charles Cameron -- and what about climate change, Mike Mazarr? ] . Is there even a Cheney-esque one-percent possibility that 97% of climate scientists (NASA’s estimate) are right? . . ** I just opened up Michael Mazarr‘s NDU Strategy Study Group report, Discriminate Power: A Strategy for a Sustainable National Security Posture. It’s [...] Read more »