During the summer of 2004, a small group of Iraqi insurgents blew up a southern section of the Iraqi oil pipeline infrastructure. This attack cost an estimated $2,000 to produce, and no attackers were caught, while the explosion cost Iraq $500 million in lost oil exportsa rate of return 250,000 times the cost of the attack.
In Brave New War, the controversial terrorism expert John Robb argues that the shift from state-against-state conflicts to wars against small, ad hoc bands of like-minded insurgents will lead to a world with as many tiny armies as there are causes to fight for. Our new enemies are looking for gaps in vital systems where a small, cheap actionblowing up an oil pipeline or knocking out a power gridwill generate a huge return.
Drawing on scores of chilling examples from the ongoing insurgency in Iraq, Robb reveals how the technology that has enabled globalization also allows terrorists, criminals, and violent ideologues of every stripe to join forces against a far bigger and richer foe without revealing their identities, following orders, or even working toward the same ultimate goal. This new brand of open-source warfare enables insurgents to coordinate attacks, swarm on targets, and adapt rapidly to changes in their enemy's tactics, all at minimal cost and risk. And now, Robb shows, it is being exported around the world, from Pakistan to Nigeria to Mexico, creating a new class of insurgents he calls global guerrillas.
This evolutionary leap in the methods of warfare makes it possible for extremely small nonstate groups to fight states and possibly win on a regular basis. The use of systems disruption as a method of strategic warfare gives rise to a nightmare scenario in which any nationincluding the United Statescan be driven to bankruptcy by an enemy it can't compete with economically. We are staring at a future where defeat isn't experienced all at once but as an inevitable withering away of military, economic, and political power through wasting conflicts with minor foes.
How can we defend ourselves against this pernicious new menace? Brave New War presents a debate-changing argument that no one who cares about national security can afford to ignore: it is time, says Robb, to decentralize all of our systems, from energy and communications to security and markets. It is time for every citizen to take personal responsibility for some aspect of state security. It is time to make our systems, and ourselves, as flexible, adaptable, and resilient as the forces that are arrayed against us.
Holy s*** this book was amazing! I’m not sure what it was that sucked me in so completely, but I was totally engrossed. Read morePublished 3 months ago by RF
Brave New War makes an important distinction. Much of what we label terrorism isn’t actually terrorism, but is really Fourth Generation Warfare – attack of the global guerrillas. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Steve Brooks
Now I see why our government has begun to operate from a fear-based stance. It is afraid of what it can't see. Read morePublished 7 months ago by William P Johnson
A "Brave New War" commands the immediate attention of those who seek to understand global evolution and next-generation warfare. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Erinveine
Taken in by the title and the brief advert descriptor, I bought this book as reading material for my ongoing PME program, but was sorely disappointed. Read morePublished 13 months ago by W.R. Muenzberg
This is the reference text for resilience reasoning; why we should be prepared for the collapse of globalization, and the unstoppable wave of global gorilla tactics. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Resilient Australia
John Robb put into words what I saw first-hand in Sri Lanka during the 1990s: a tiny rebel movement running in circles around a government fielding 200 times more troops. Read morePublished 20 months ago by dj
I've been following John Robb's blog Global Guerrillas for a few years, and while I was able to absorb some of his prescient thinking online, I just recently finished Brave New... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Jack Donovan
I first read this book in 2007 as research for Robert Greene's address to a class at West Point and it's stuck with me and stood up better than almost all the books I've read on... Read morePublished on March 23, 2012 by Ryan C. Holiday