Brave New War Book Summary - Brave New War Book explained in key points
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Brave New War summary

John Robb

The Next Stage of Terrorism and the End of Globalization

3.9 (22 ratings)
19 mins

Brief summary

Brave New War by John Robb showcases the rise of small, decentralized groups employing guerilla tactics and information warfare to defeat larger nation-state adversaries, reshaping the nature of conflict and security in the 21st century.

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    Brave New War
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    Large, resourceful nation-states can no longer dominate warfare.

    For the past four hundred years, most wars have been fought between two or more nation-states for control of a geographic area. In such conflicts, the largest states with the biggest military capacities tended to prevail.

    But with the advent of nuclear weapons and the growing global interconnectedness of the world, larger states no longer dominate warfare so overwhelmingly.

    Since nuclear weapons were developed in the mid-twentieth century, it has become increasingly unlikely for two developed nations to come into direct conflict. This is due to the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction, according to which no state with nuclear weapons can be attacked without the attacker also being devastated in a matter of hours. Large armies became essentially useless in the shadow of these weapons.

    Secondly, nation-states have become more interconnected through trade, among other things, meaning that any conflict would hurt their economies. At the same time international bodies like the UN work to uphold peace by refusing to legitimize most conflicts, further decreasing the value of large armies.

    Another factor decreasing the advantage of countries with large armies is the trend toward proxy wars, which are not fought by the actual states, but by proxies such as guerrillas.

    Both large and small states have waged proxy wars when they could not directly engage each other. For example, the United States used guerrillas to fight against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, while Iran and Syria used Hezbollah terrorist proxies to bomb a US Marine barracks in Lebanon.

    Guerilla warfare means avoiding large battles in favor of small-scale attacks that wear down the enemy gradually, negating the advantage of large armies, which can be bled dry this way.

    Over the past half century, the advantage of large nation-states in warfare has been gradually eroded to the point that large armies in theaters, like Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, have struggled greatly against guerillas.

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    What is Brave New War about?

    Modern technology and globalization have made it possible for one man to wage war against an entire country and win. Although it might seem unbelievable, it’s not.

    Technological advances like the internet have made it possible for groups of terrorists and criminals to continuously share, develop and improve their tactics. This results in ever-changing threats made all the more dangerous by the interconnected nature of the modern world, where we rely on vital systems, like electricity and communication networks, that can be easily knocked out. Brave New War (2008) explores these topics and gives recommendations for dealing with future threats.


    Brave New War Review

    Brave New War (2007) by John Robb is a thought-provoking exploration of the changing nature of warfare in the 21st century. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Offers a unique perspective on the future of warfare, focusing on the decentralized nature of conflicts and the impact of technology.
    • Provides practical insights and real-world examples of how non-state actors are leveraging networks and technology to challenge traditional powers.
    • Keeps readers engaged with its real-time analysis of ongoing conflicts and its implications for global security, making it a compelling and relevant read.

    Who should read Brave New War?

    • Anyone who wants to learn what warfare will be like in the future
    • Students of military history
    • Anyone concerned with the negative aspects of globalization and instant communication



    About the Author

    John Robb is a military analyst and high tech entrepreneur who now advises corporations and governments on future terrorist threats.

    He has written several articles on war and military strategy, and blogs on Global Guerrillas.

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    Brave New War FAQs 

    What is the main message of Brave New War?

    The main message of Brave New War is that traditional warfare is becoming less relevant in the face of new global threats.

    How long does it take to read Brave New War?

    The reading time for Brave New War depends on the reader, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Brave New War a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Brave New War is a thought-provoking read that offers unique insights into the future of warfare. It is definitely worth exploring for anyone interested in global security.

    Who is the author of Brave New War?

    The author of Brave New War is John Robb.

    What to read after Brave New War?

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