Why Terrorist Cells Are So Hard To Stop: Exploring The Vulnerabilities Of Nation States
With Brave New War, you can find out just how vulnerable the supposedly safe and pleasant life that we experience in today’s nation states is.
The book explores why even the most heavily armed military resources are unable to defend against small cells of terrorists, and outlines why our comfortable lives could easily be smashed apart if something were struck on the right spot.
It also looks at why civil liberties and privacy must be respected, otherwise terrorist attacks would become more frequent and unstoppable.
So if you want to know more about the fragility of our current state of living, Brave New War is an essential read.
The Decline Of Large Nation-States In Warfare: How Nuclear Weapons And Proxy Conflicts Have Diminished The Role Of Traditional Armies
It’s been long established that large, resourceful nation-states have a distinct advantage in warfare.
But due to advancements such as nuclear weapons and the global interconnectedness of the world, this is no longer the case.
The advent of nuclear weapons made it incredibly unlikely for two advanced nations to come into direct conflict.
This is because of the Mutually Assured Destruction doctrine – meaning both sides would suffer massive destruction even if one attacked.
Large armies became almost useless when faced with to the potential devastation that nuclear weapons could cause.
At the same time, economies and international bodies have become connected in ways which have deterred states from engaging in full scale conflics, further decreasing their military value.
Moreover, many wars are now fought through proxy forces rather than between two nations’ armies directly.
These guerillas can fight small-scale but effective wars which wear down large armies over time, negating their advantages in terms of size and resources substantially.
So while large states may still have access to higher levels of soldiers and supplies compared to smaller ones, they no longer holds nearly as strong a dominance over war as they did historically; that kind of control over warfare has become much more difficult to maintain these days.
New Technologies Are Eroding The Power Of The Nation-State
New technologies, like the internet, have led to a weakening of the power of nation states.
This was once established by the treaty of Westphalia in 1648, where the state was seen as the most powerful entity on earth.
But with new technologies like access to new ideas through the internet, and also other technology such as sophisticated terrorist and insurgent networks, states are no longer able to control their economies or their citizens’ access to knowledge.
In order to protect its citizens from such threats, many nations now need to rely on private security firms for additional security services.
This faith in private entities speaks volumes about how nation states can no longer adequately provide the same securities that they used to enjoy before these new technologies emerged.
The situation has changed dramatically: instead of nations having absolute power over their people, economics and communications, they must relinquish some of this control due to these advancements in technology.
Global Guerrillas Seeking To Undermine The Power Of The Nation-State Through Criminal Activity, Terrorism And Insurgency
Criminal and terrorist organizations are looking for new ways to undermine the nation-state.
Brave New War, a book by journalist John Robb, highlights this phenomenon and examines the various tactics that these groups are employing in order to weaken and ultimately destroy nation-states.
Global guerrilla groups, like terrorists and insurgents, have gained power across the globe thanks to the huge and growing global black market, which is now worth up to $3 trillion.
The expanding black market is further fuelled by technologies such as the internet which has made it easier for cross-border trade.
These groups seek to disrupt or even totally destroy the nation-state.
The aim of most guerrillas is not necessarily to take over states but rather to cause them to fail and be unable to protect their citizens – this gives criminals more opportunities and provides terrorists with a steady stream of disaffected recruits.
Examples of this include Al Qaeda’s intent ,which is essentially destructive and seeks to overthrow all Middle Eastern states in favour of an Islamist empire.
All over the world we can see criminal organisations deliberately attempting to undermine the stability provided by nation-states.
The Effectiveness Of Systems Disruption: How Global Guerillas Can Bring Whole States To A Standstill With Minimal Cost And Maximum Impact
Global guerrillas are employing a new, effective tactic to maximize the damage they can cause with minimal resources, and that is by targeting the vital processes and systems of society.
When they target things like oil production infrastructure, transport networks, electricity grids or communication networks, they can bring those systems grinding to a halt with just a small cost to themselves – often creating an impressive return on investment.
This type of disruption strategy takes advantage of the interconnected nature of these systems.
For example, in Iraq an insurgents’ operation that cost only 1000 dollars caused over $500 million worth of lost export revenue when it destroyed one key point in the pipeline system.
This was essentially a ‘systempunkt’, which if destroyed triggers a chain reaction (‘cascade of failure’) that cripples other parts connected to it too.
In this way, global guerillas have found a new way to inflict maximum damage on their target state while putting in minimal effort themselves.
It’s an incredibly disruptive and effective tactic, one that has been gaining popularity in recent years due to its devastating potential results.
The Emergence Of Open-Source Warfare: How Global Guerillas Defeat Security Services Through Online Networks
Global guerillas are taking a cue from software developers and utilizing open-source networks to develop their tactics and weapons.
Just like software designers, they can share ideas, strategies, and even successful tactics with each other easily.
Thanks to the internet, global guerillas from all over the world can collaborate and pool their resources this way.
It even enables their strategies to grow and evolve rapidly instead of becoming stale like in traditional closed networks.
This open-source warfare makes it more difficult for security services to stop them because without a clear leader, it’s impossible for them to infiltrate or remove leadership as was done in the past.
The 2006 killing of Iraqi insurgent leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is proof of that; by that time OSW had already taken off and Al-Zarqawi was just a figurehead, so his death had no effect on the insurgency.
The Long Tail Effect Of Global Insurgencies: Understanding The Splintered Nature Of Terrorist Groups
The internet has revolutionized the way that warfare works, allowing even small global guerilla groups to become threats.
Before the advent of globalization and the internet, coalitions forces faced just a few large and homogenous terrorist groups, who were often difficult to take down.
However, due to globalization and the internet, even the smallest of guerrilla fighters can now spread their message across various networks in search of supporters and strategies, creating what is referred to as a “long tail” effect.
This means that there are countless tiny groups and factions working together towards their common goal – which makes it almost impossible for coalition forces to defeat them all.
The insurgency in Iraq was a prime example of this phenomenon: with at least 75 separate insurgent groups operating based on different loyalties including for tribal or religious beliefs, coalition forces have had difficulty stomping out all the threats due to this splintered nature of communications.
No matter how good their numbers looked on paper, there always seemed to be new insurgencies ready to join in on the fight.
The State Is Failing Us As We Face Unpredictable And Adaptive Global Guerillas: We Need New Security Strategies To Keep Our Vital Systems Safe
The traditional approaches to security by nation-states have proven themselves to be incredibly inflexible and ineffective when faced with the ever-changing threats of global guerrilla groups.
The black swan concept presented by Nassim Nicholas Taleb explains this phenomenon: no matter how prepared we may think we are, it’s impossible to predict huge unexpected events.
For example, when terrorist attacks happened in the US, government agencies weren’t prepared for them despite their best efforts.
And even after the attack, safety measures implemented in airports were not enough to anticipate further actions from similar organizations.
It’s clear that security systems must become more adaptable if they want to combat this new breed of adversaries.
Unfortunately, what is happening instead is a trend towards police states as security agencies tighten their grip – often exceeding legal or ethical limits of acceptable behavior during their attempts at combating these criminal and terrorist acts.
This has resulted in nations like the United States losing legitimacy because of tactics such as enhanced interrogation techniques used by its National Security Agency (NSA).
It’s clear that existing strategies are inadequate and outdated when dealing with today’s threats and so alternative strategies must be considered if we want to keep ourselves safe.
Nation states can no longer solely provide us with security, but our society as a whole must come together and find new ways of protecting our vital systems from potential disruption caused by terrorists or other criminal organizations.
Decentralizing Vital Systems Is Key To Protecting Society From Global Guerillas
In order to protect ourselves and prevent further harm from global guerillas, it is essential that we decentralize our vital systems.
This would make them more robust, as any attack on one system would be less likely to cause a cascade of failures in the network.
One example of this kind of decentralizing is through the use of platforms.
The internet is particularly well-suited for this purpose, as users can produce and upload software from multiple sources to access the system.
In terms of electricity grids, producers could input power from their own sources – most likely solar panels – which significantly increase the system’s resilience by discouraging large-scale outages.
Ultimately, such decentralization efforts provide us with better protection against future threats than our current, overly interconnected systems are able to offer.
By diversifying who has access to data and other resources, we can drastically reduce the impact that malicious actors may have on our civilization.
The Brave New War Book is a call to arms, urging us to take notice of the growing threats posed by cyber-criminals and terrorists.
These groups are becoming increasingly flexible and decentralized, and nation-states are unable to keep up with their speed or agility.
In this new era, we must become more fluid ourselves in order to be able to respond quickly and effectively.
The book also provides actionable advice on how we can protect ourselves.
It highlights the important of avoiding illegal markets as they are often used to finance criminal groups, so you should be aware of what you are contributing to when engaging in certain activities.
Additionally, it reminds us not to take vital systems for granted and encourages us to plan for disruption.
In order to survive in this brave new world of warfare, we must be constantly vigilant and prepared.