Critiquing Brave New War

Mamma always said I was special. According to John Robb, on his personal blog not Global Guerrillas, I am the only one to criticize Brave New War:

Knew it was going to happen. Oh well. To tell you the truth, I kinda expected more push-back to an outsider like me from the “conference crowd” guarding the walls around the counter-terrorism money/fantasy machine in [Washington]. This guy is the only one to do so publicly.

Am I trying to protect the “money/fantasy machine”? I don’t really know what he means by that (a little help?). Whatever it is, it sure sounds bad and I would probably agree the “money/fantasy machine” needs to be whacked. Regardless, my issue with the book pivots on a failure to include and factor in purposes and support systems into the analysis of his guerrillas. Insight into these two not insignificant data sets can’t be dismissed or ignored, but that is just what BNW does.

For more discussion on BNW, see the Small Wars Council board discussion that’s just starting up here (free subscription may be required, if you’re not already frequenting SWC and you’re interesting in COIN/Small Wars, you’re ignoring valuable insights).

Other reviews of Robb’s BNW may be found here:

  • New York Times
  • Scripps Howard News Service
  • DN-I Net
  • Washington Times / UPI
  • 3 thoughts on “Critiquing Brave New War

    1. Authors are amazingly sensitive to people pointing out flaws in their works of art – I understand his comments perfectly. Doesn’t mean you’re wrong in your review (or that he agrees or disagrees with you). Just means he thought the traditional CT crowd espousing a particular mindset (Global War on Terror) and supporting the efforts in Iraq, the CIA’s kidnapping escapades, etc., would have attacked him through reviews.

    2. Jason, point taken. When (if) my book comes out, I expect to receive what I’ve given.Lefty, I’ve been going back there enough it seems like I have one…

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