On Critiques of BNW

Most of the critiques I’ve read of Brave New War center on its lack of the traditional focus on politics and culture (“the why”). Mountainrunner has a post up that channels that school of thought.

There are literally hundreds (if not thousands) of insurgencies raging across the globe. A collection of Friedman-esque case studies would have been found lacking due to the sheer amount and complexity of the hundreds of insurgencies littered throughout the world. Instead, in the book Robb ‘simply’ (I use the term loosely) reads the emergent empirical datapoints and connects the dots. Those dots make up a framework.

Since Brave New War is a framework, it does not need to fill out the global details. The complexity is a layer below the emergent datapoints. As a result, as previously stated, it probably would not have been able to do so in a real or satisfying way.

That said, you can (and should) zoom in with the framework that Brave New War offers. The details will be filled out by those of us in the slipstream. That is exactly what I am hard at work doing in India.

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  • John Robb
    Jun 10, 2007

    Thanks Shlok. It’s pretty frustrating since it is the equivalent of people in 1932 faulting JFC Fuller for lack of a treatment of fascism. Totally don’t get those guys.

    BTW, would definitely like to post any write-up you come up with on your current experiences.

  • Shlok Vaidya
    Jun 15, 2007

    Sure thing John.

    I’ll be sure to take you up on that offer.

  • John Robb
    Jun 15, 2007

    Thanks Shlok. Send it over anytime.

  • Dan tdaxp
    Jun 18, 2007


    Fuller could answer the question — why would anyone use this — simply: “To practice politics: to take-over a state or to influence a state.”

    However, you have said (I think) that GGs aspire to neither. So, the same question: “Why would anyone be a global guerrilla”?

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