Quote of the day—John Robb

In the past, winning meant having the largest army. That isn’t true anymore. Now, with new forms of warfare, any small group can successfully wage war. With simpler and more appealing goals almost any cause can raise an army. And they will.

John Robb
Brave New War—The next stage of terrorism and the end of globalization, page 63
[What he says is possible hasn’t always become reality (see for example this description of how we might have fallen into civil war after the November 2016 election). But I have spent enough time in the security field and that I listen closely when he has something to say and I don’t think I have ever considered his ideas crazy or implausible.

In this book he tells how a society dependent upon vulnerable infrastructure can be brought to it knees with relatively few people and resources. The leverage exerted can be enormous. How much does the Molotov Cocktail cost versus the government vehicle it destroys? What is the cost to deliver it versus the cost to defend against it? What is the cost of a power outage versus the cost of a cutting torch to bring down a few transmission line towers? What does it cost to topple the towers versus the cost to defend them?

Go through the list of critical items in our world. Food, water, power, sanitation, communication, roads, bridges, etc. The list of leverage points is almost endless in a high tech society.—Joe]


19 thoughts on “Quote of the day—John Robb

  1. All true. However, the radicals of the ’60s and ’70s tried some of these tactics and failed. And they even had a lot of sympathizers.

    Today it is more difficult. Back then it was still possible to go off the grid, change your name and get new documents, but that’s much more difficult today. And if the government targets you, they win.

    • Did they fail?
      The hard left has taken over the media, Hollywood, the universities, public schools, unions, many federal/state/local bureaucracies / DA offices, police forces, and some portions of military leadership. People have been conditioned to reject Western civilization and embrace nihilism.
      All that would not happen so comprehensively, and simultaneously, by accident.

      • Not in that sense, but their direct action did not achieve their ends at the time. Instead, they were successful in alerting officials that weak infrastructure links needed to be hardened.

        I do agree that the leftist mindset has succeded and dominated even in conservative circles. Western civilization is now equated to white supremacy and individual rights are now at risk.

        • The lefts “direct action” that they failed at was a red herring, a distraction designed to keep people distracted from the REAL agenda….the takeover of Hollyweed, academia and the media. Which they succeeded at spectacularly. Now that they are entrenched and totally in control of all facets of the propaganda machine they will be NO PEACEFUL MEANS of removing them.

  2. Meh. It has always been easier to destroy than to build. What has changed is that the hoi polloi are becoming less inclined to participate in defending against unlawful activities. Instead, people are increasingly becoming reliant on government-controlled security forces.

    • We’re being fed government-controlled security. We’re being made to want it, to fantasize for it, to long for it.

      I caught a scene in one of the cop/fireman TV shows the other night, in which a healthy teenaged boy got stuck in a sculpture in some public space. All he needed was to have one other person lift him three inches to get his head out, but no; it had to become a firetruck team response, with special equipment and all the drama, you know, with the frightened girl standing by and everything. It was the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen so far (the stupidest thing depicted as serious) and there’s no doubt plenty more to come.

      Calling 911 because MaDonalds was out of chicken nuggets was just the tip of this iceberg.

      The genius saints (as depicted in media) in government want to become our gods. And they will. It’s been done before and there’s nothing standing in the way of its being done again.

      If people are dependent on a vulnerable infrastructure, well then so much the better. A society of pajama boys, and of girls who just wanna have fun, will look to their genius/saint/gods when it breaks down, and it won’t occur to them that the problem is themselves and the mindset that’s been implanted in them.

  3. This was covered in 1983, in an amazingly prescient ( and hilarious) novel by Thomas Perry titled Metzgers Dog. Required reading.

    • My bet is on the old and treacherous rather than the young and naïve.

      P.S. I know you aren’t the real David Hogg (among other data points, your IP geolocates to a place far away from Florida) and probably are being sarcastic.

      • Sarcastic is my middle name. And I didn’t even have my VPN on today. Aside from that, gun confiscation isn’t even a young idea. In other news, I just discovered I have the Boomer Shoot off of work this year. Woohoo!

        • This man is an imposter!! I am the real David Hogg!! The young people will win!! Gosh it’s late here at home – which is obviously of course here in Florida – and past my bedtime now. Us young people will win in the morning.

  4. My wife’s uncle was Army SF, fought in Panama and Desert Storm and apparently spent a lot of time doing “stuff” in Central America in the 80s. We were talking about it once before he died and he told me about some of the infrastructure disruption tactics they trained in during the Cold War. It’s downright scary what a small group of motivated individuals could accomplish when it comes to turning a city of any size into an absolute warzone. In his words, it is but a thin veneer of civility that separates people from the animals, a thin veneer that 48 hours without food or lights will strip away

    • We saw how much the Beltway Sniper spooked the ruling class. A few more permanent grid outages, and how unglued will they become?

      • I remember that the FBI profiler had everyone looking for a middle aged white guy in a van. So I guess in that respect it’s not hard to imagine that someone who is trained could cause massive havoc.

  5. I would suggest reading Mike Williamson’s “The Weapon” for a really interesting take on the afore mentioned matter.

    • Agreed. Williamson is former SF too so the scenario described in “The Weapon” is probably based on a lot of truth. It certainly seems plausible.

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