Small Wars Journal

Global Guerrillas

Fri, 05/25/2007 - 5:11pm
Brave New War: The Next Stage of Terrorism and the End of Globalization, Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons, 2007, 208 pgs, $24.95.

John Robb's long anticipated book is finally out, and I have to say that I think it's an important contribution to anyone trying to make sense of today's evolving security challenges. It's a rather brilliant synthesis of Fourth Generation Warfare, net war, swarming and global insurgency. For those of you who not routinely read the Global Guerillas blog, Robb is a former counter-terrorism officer with the U.S. Air Force, and is now based out of Boston as a consultant. His blog has been highly regarded by forward thinking analysts as evidenced in the warm foreword written by the prescient James Fallows of The Atlantic Monthly. For those who are familiar with Robb's main themes Brave New War offers a book length treatment of the problem and a number of recommendations for dealing with today's religiously inspired, globally networked urban terrorists.

The author's major projection in Brave New War is a world facing a "global bazaar of violence" as terrorists and would be insurgents around the world learn from and adopt the tactics, techniques and procedures of success in Iraq. The concept of a bazaar is part of Robb's conception of future terrorism and irregular war. In this interconnection bazaar individuals are continually trading techniques, sharing past experiences or recipes, adopting original ideas from one group and merging them with plans or weapons from another era or another theater. In the marketplace of the global guerrilla, there is a lot of trading and few copyright laws being enforced. Rapid adaptation by the community and mimicking is not only condoned, it is often encouraged. In some ways, Robb's conception is very similar to the Wikipedia encyclopedia.

The fast growing informal encyclopedia operates like a large cooperative with many contributions and improvements from a community of interest, which self-polices itself but constantly improves the product. In conflicts around the globe, Robb sees these same phenomena occurring regularly which he calls Open Source Warfare. In the computer development world in business, open source (sometimes called open architecture) is a means of both designing and building systems using common or free software and components that are not copyrighted or tightly controlled. Instead, anyone can use the code and system pieces to create and constantly adapt new programs or capabilities. For Robb, Open Source Warfare is available for any actor interested in adopting, adapting, and improving on new tactics and techniques, globally and in real time. Obviously the World Wide Web and other collaborative tools are facilitating Open Source Warfare or what might become known as Wikiwar. Maybe Tom Friedman is right, and that collaborative tools will create a truly flat world. I just suspect, as in most of the New York Times journalists latest work, is that the dark side of collaboration is going to become more and more of a problem for us.

As evidenced by 9/11 and in Iraq part of the kit bag of today's global insurgent is the deliberate targeting of critical infrastructure or systems to inflict incremental damage and cumulative economic costs on a government. Robb calls this approach systems disruption, as the global guerrillas' fundamental strategy for bringing nation states to their knees. Our increasingly interconnected society and our vulnerable tightly coupled networks afford any terrorist many relatively easy targets. Today's guerrilla is becoming adept at identifying the key nodes in these systems, and generating large cascading effects. But the global guerrilla tries to operate beneath the threshold of a punative or overwhelming governmental response. Partial disruptions, as opposed to catastrophic destruction, maximizes the long term economic attrition against the state, paralyzes the government and undercuts it legitimacy.

For devoted readers of Robb's popular Global Guerrilla blog, this text will serve as an integrated summation and extension of his key themes. For new readers, Brave New War offers a tightly organized and concisely packaged course in modern irregular warfare. Rather than looking backward and trying to graft old models to new times, the author has intelligently recognized what today's thinking enemy has harnessed from our own technology. Robb deftly synthesizes a number of concepts drawn from the old Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW) literature with the fresh insights of John Arguilla, David Ronfeldt, and Colonel Thomas Hammes. Robb offers a great list of recommended readings, to which I would add Professor Bruce Hoffman's updated Inside Terrorism and any of Ralph Peters' insightful anthologies (Beyond Baghdad, Beyond Terror, and Never Quit the Fight). Rupert Smith's The Utility of Force is also a necessary addition. These authors would add depth to the human motivations underlying the actions and behaviors Robb captures so succinctly. The latter's grasp of the dueling narratives of competing commander's and the literal "theater" of operations nicely complements Robb's systems disruption. The importance of the imagery of acts of violence today cannot be separated from the acts themselves.

Iraq and Afghanistan have showed how effective our enemies are at learning. They've ruthless proven to be cunning and opportunistic in every dimension of the fight, and they are completely —to share their ideas and success in real time. On the other hand, we are still catching up, even as they constantly exploit Open Source Warfare's long menu of lessons learned. There are still folks in the Pentagon who think that transformation, RMA's and Shock and Awe are still relevant and deserving of additional funding. State on state warfare may not be entirely a thing of the past, but Open Source Warfare and deliberate partial systemic disruption is as well. Without reservation Brave New War is for professional students of irregular warfare and for any citizen who wants to understand emerging trends and the dark potential of 4GW.

Frank Hoffman is a retired Marine and Washington-based national security consultant.



On some reflection, that last post summarizes what I find so annoying about your position.

Despots have been around for centuries. Despots have been growing feeble and losing their grip for centuries. Populaces have been rising against despots, with varying degrees of success, for centuries.

None of this is a surprise. We all knew that the Mubaraks and ben Alis and Khaddafis of the world wouldn't last forever. We all knew there was no credible succession mechanism in these countries, making an uprising likely. Nobody knew exactly when or how it would happen, but it's been in the cards for decades.

So now all of a sudden it's "OMFG!! OSW!!" and we're all supposed to treat this old phenomenon as something new and striking? We're all supposed to quiver in terror, shake in our boots, crawl to John Robb and beg for a solution? Sorry, but no.

I don't see Mubarak as vital in any way to the US. I personally think he's more liability than asset, and I don't for a moment buy the notion that Mubarak is the only one keeping the Muslim Brotherhood from seizing Egypt, any more than Marcos was the only thing keeping the Communists from seizing power in the Philippines. I suspect that the Islamists will miss Mubarak more than we do, when he inevitably goes.

So you think it's OSW... so what? If it is, OSW is anything but new. More do the point, why do you think we should be worried, and what do you propose that we do about it?

"Critical ally for the US" is way exaggerated, and I don't see anything uniquely "open source" about the rebellion. Certainly not much new about it. I don't for a moment believe that social networking made it happen; it would have happened regardless. People find a way, with whatever tools they have.

Unipolar despots are always vulnerable. Something very similar happened to Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, if you recall... was that "open source" also?

I'm still waiting to be told how you propose to "address" OSW, and why you seem to think that the "open source" description is somehow more significant than a grasp of the specific context of individual conflicts.

Anonymous (not verified)

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 8:20am

Dayuhan---OSW strikes again and this time it is hitting a 30 year dicatorship and a critical ally for the US in the ME process.

The genie is indeed out of the bottle and yes one can actually quantify and qualify OSW.

Bill M.

Tue, 01/25/2011 - 11:13pm


I think Dayuhan identifies a truth that you "seem" to wish away, or at least don't present an explanation for. I guess if you believe that democracy is the end state of political evolution then "maybe" someday in the future (probably distant future) we'll see democratic governments around the globe, but personally I think that is a strategy based on on hope that would more likely than not result in considerable bloodshed; especially in Afghanistan.

Greed, power and hate, even in the 21st century, in my opinion remain powerful drivers of conflict. Some wars are wars amongst peoples and the government has little relevance. Can we really expect any one version of good governance (even in one nation) to effectively mitigate these drivers? Assume I don't like you because you don't look like me, or I don't like you because you control resources I want to control, or I don't like you because your father and father's father killed many of my people, etc. What is the government solution?

Not to sound overly simplistic, but war has been shown to work in protecting one's interests when it is executed correctly. Like you I wish it wasn't that way, but theories suggesting otherwise to date have proven to be simply false promises. I remain open to be convinced otherwise.


Tue, 01/25/2011 - 10:12pm


Re this:
No, the only challenge with the good governance approach is finding a government faced with instability and insurgency that is willing to recognize their role in causation and focus on fixing themselves rather than on suppressing the insurgent.</i>

Another problem with the good governance approach is that "good governance" is not a universal or absolute construct: different people and different parties perceive it differently. If you think good governance is by definition governance by you, and I think good governance is by definition governance by me, we have a lot to fight about and very little to talk about.

It is certainly true to say that bad governance often (not always) produces insurgency, and that insurgency is often (not always) provoked by bad governance. Assuming that we can impose our concept of good governance on others, or that our concept of good governance is going to be universally accepted, is a good deal more problematic.


Tue, 01/25/2011 - 10:05pm


"Better quality" of posts is too subjective to "prove" one way or another. I simply maintained that the discussion board offers greater continuity and a more conducive environment for sustained discussion, and I think that's fairly evident. If the points you presented did not get a reception you thought appropriate, the fault may have been with the presentation rather than the format or the audience. I've never known the inmates on that side to be reluctant to address an idea, but it has to be effectively presented and effectively defended. It's not a place where deferential acceptance prevails: as Ken White says, ideas will be shot at and there's always someone around with more experience - unless of course you're Ken White.

I found this comment interesting:
Maybe just maybe if we had taken the time to address OSW and the actual drivers of insurgencies we might be six years ahead instead of 12 years behind.</i>

How exactly do you propose to "address OSW"? Like Bill, I think it's a basically descriptive term, and in many ways it's too generic to be of any great use: I realize that it has to be made very inclusive indeed to support the rather bizarre contention that OSW is "the dominant form of warfare in the 21st century" (a point our grandchildren might be better placed to debate), but there is at times an inverse relationship between inclusiveness and utility. If <i>everything</i> is described as OSW, or claimed to have elements of OSW, we've gone round in a circle and gotten nowhere.

The term "OSW" has been applied to a huge range of conflict situations. Many of these have little in common. Some (like Tunisia) don't need to be "addressed" by the US at all. In each case the key to addressing a conflict lies not in calling it OSW but in understanding the unique context and the unique driving forces and conflicting interests that produce and shape that particular conflict. That knowledge in turn allows us to determine whether we need to address the conflict and - if we do - how we can do so effectively. We've made those determinations badly in the past, but the deficiency has, I think, been in our failure to understand individual conflicts and our own interests and capacities. I do not see how any grand theory of OSW or grand plan to "address" OSW across the board would have been of any help.

As is often the case with these theories, hype and self-promotion have diluted this one to a point where there's little to be gained from it. Too often we hear "OMFG! It's OSW!!"... to which the only reasonable response is "so what".

There's a lot of nonsense written about Mexico. I personally think that calling that fight "insurgency" is a stretch: the cartels are not trying to overthrow and replace the government, nor are they seeking to change the status quo. They are resisting an attempt by the Mexican government to change the status quo, and competing with each other for the ability to exploit that status quo. That's messy, but I'm not sure it's insurgency, nor do I see much that's "open source" about it. I suspect that a "COIN" or COIN-type effort from the US will be forthcoming, as we are very reluctant to acknowledge that the key to this one lies with us, not the "insurgents", but I doubt that it will resolve much and I certainly don't see how "addressing OSW" is going to help in any specific sense. As long as Americans are willing to pay billions for drugs, people will provide them with drugs; as long as the business is illegal the providers will fight with each other and with the forces of the law. Rocket science this is not.

Of course the Tunisian protesters used the tools at their disposal make their effort more effective. All people in that position do the same; the tools change but that doesn't mean a great deal. The tools didn't create the protests, nor were they the driving force behind the rebellion. Focus on the tools only distracts from understanding the causes and the range of possible responses to any given conflict, and attempts to develop overarching theories only distracts from the need to understand each conflict as a unique situation.

What's the purpose and point of declaring every conflict in the wold "open source"? Is it to "prove" that John Robb is a modern-day Nostradamus or does the designation actually provide some understanding of or solution to real-world problems? If the latter, I've yet to see any evidence of it.

Bob's World

Tue, 01/25/2011 - 1:58pm

(Come on Bill, all truly great concepts are "obvious" once they are pointed out. That is what makes them great, as they are validated by their "obviousness."

The wheel is "obvious" but it was a technology that escaped the Incas. Communicable diseases are obvious, yet largely unrecognized until just recently. Good governance is actually fairly easy to operationalize, and those government that do either remain or regain stability fairly quickly. It is difficult to perfect, but perfection is not the standard for success as so many flawed, but stable governments demonstrated daily.

No, the only challenge with the good governance approach is finding a government faced with instability and insurgency that is willing to recognize their role in causation and focus on fixing themselves rather than on suppressing the insurgent. For interventions it is the willingness to relinguish control of outcomes and risking being rebuked by the emergent government.

Currently the largest obstacle to US success in Afghanistan is our unwillingness to relinquish control of the outcome (as defined as preservation of the Karzai regime and denial of the Taliban); and our corresponding unwillingness to hold that same government to task. GIRoA officals must shake their heads in wonder as they watch their offshore accounts grow and the Coalition work so hard to protect their jobs while doing little more than public complaining about corruption, incompetence, etc that everyone knows defines their government.

Meanwhile we leave it to the people of Tunisia to take their own situation in hand, which is always best, but it was in spite of the U.S's efforts there, not because of.

Perhaps the people of Afghanistan will get to stability in spite of our efforts as well some day. That we could do better to help them is indeed "obvious."


I'm not sure how using the open source warfare model (which I'm a fan of) would put us six years ahead of where we're at today, anymore than I think Bob's focus on Gov taking responsibility is new or helpful because it is so obvious, but the hard part is making it happen, and it has been that since the history of governments.

If you think our national intelligence analysts don't understand the OSW concept (even if they don't call it that), then it you who are mistaken. They realize the global nature/network of the threat and the associated complexies. What we're all missing is a viable solution (assuming there is one). As Ken stated, OSW has both fans (I'm one) and distractors, but even as a fan I only find it as a useful way to describe the situation, nothing more. What are you seeing that the rest of us are missing?

Bob's World

Tue, 01/25/2011 - 12:05pm

To declare that "Open Source Warfare" is a new form or warfare is like describing blogging as a "new form of communication."

No, it is still just thinking about something, writing it down, and putting it out for others to think about and potentially comment upon.

What has changed is the number of people reached and the speed at which they can be reached. War is war, and insurgency is insurgency. We just have some new tools in our kit bags.

Give a capenter powertools and a nailgun, and he is still a carpenter, etc.

the nature of insurgency is rooted in human nature and the social dynamics between those who govern and those who are governed. Mao didn't "invent" Maoist insurgency any more than Franklin "invented" electricity or Newton "invented" gravity. Some things just are what they are, and a guy comes along with a fresh perspective on why they are that way, or how to employ something more effectively for purpose. But that doesn't make it new.

I routinely offer "new" ways to look at such old things, but I would never dream to suggest that such things are new (and strongly suspect that many others have developed thoughts much like my own over the course of centuries of mankind dealing with such dramas).

Toss OSW in the bonepile with "4th Gen", "global insurgency" and a handful of other "inventions." Now, if such concepts help one to get to a clearer understanding and to design more effective engagement, then great. But if one begins by thinking that it is something "new", then it is just one more chapter in age-old book that every government appears to read from: "I'm a victim, it's not my fault, it is some new terrible thing that is doing this to us."

So maybe my ideas are new; because I stand for governments taking repsonsibility for their actions and the consequences of their actions; and that has always been far too rare a commodity.

So, to parapharse the latest buzz-phrase in politics, is that politicians writ large need to simply "man up."

Anonymous (not verified)

Tue, 01/25/2011 - 8:53am


Still maintain the validity of OSW-it is interesting that one can point to a number of different events in history and say hey in 1789 that happened or hey in Minila the same thing happened in 1986 so in fact OSW is not new-but then have we really "explained" the events ie their drivers-oh yes we can point at Human Terrain analysis but since when has Human Terrain analysis really ever won a war?---we can point to similar points that have driven the Tunsian uprising and say but hey they are all common all around the world---but really what was the spark, the technology, the key driving element that put the event into play-do not believe that in 1789 or 1986 Twitter would have been driving it or the use of Google Earth by the protesters using it to provide the latest update on the location of security forces as they moved around.

Dayiuhan/Ken-if all these points are so common just why did the national intelligence community miss it? Why then if it is so common are half of the current Arab leaders in their countries scared to death of the Tunisian experince? Because they cannot control what they cannot control.

IE we have for all intents and purposes a full blown drug/crime driven insurgency just a half mile south of the southern bounder where anything that wears a police uniform is targeted for execution, we have now admitted by the Mexican government in excess of 38K killed, we have Mexican citizens unable to leave their homes for the simple necessities, and we have Maoist driven events as well in parallel---and we are concerned about Afghanistan and AQ?

AND there is the assumption of oh well it is drug consumption driven and if we just cut the flow of drugs, money, and guns it will all go away.

Explain that to the citizens of the US in the coming years when we upgrade the US Border Patrol with actual combat forces using COIN tactics on the southern border.

Maybe just maybe if we had taken the time to address OSW and the actual drivers of insurgencies we might be six years ahead instead of 12 years behind.

The quote of "discussed, cussed, and found lacking" was a direct quote taken straight out of the Discussion Board when in fact I attempted to bring up OSW a number really a number of times---there was no interest then by the board and there is no interest now by the current set of bloggers to address it-prove me wrong. So the idea of harping take it to the board is rather a waste of time based on past experiences would you not say?

By the way there have been some rather extensive and recently very long discussion threads at this blog on some critical concepts/ideas ie the VSO program in Afghanistan vs the shortness of some of the discussion board events.

In fact some of the bloggers at this site tend to be a better quality in their short paras than the quality of some of the extensive responses on the same topic at the board level-again prove me wrong.


Mon, 01/24/2011 - 11:52pm

The discussion board offers greater continuity and a wider range of contributors. Blog comments generally vanish once the original post is no longer on the upper right of the opening screen, lending a drive-by element to the conversation, which get fragmented and repetitive. The board is not necessarily of inherently higher quality, but it's certainly a more advantageous format for continuing debate.

Despots crumble, lose their grip, and are overthrown; criminal gangs fight over profitable territory and resist those who try to suppress them. Anyone who sees these as new developments badly needs to open a history book. What just happened in Tunisia seems quite similar to what happened, say, in Manila in 1986, to cite one among many cases (Paris in 1789 wasn't all that different, for that matter). It doesn't exactly take an abacus to predict that it's going to happen again: that's like predicting sunrise in the east.

I'm not at all convinced that daily events are proving Robb correct. I'll grant that he has a remarkable capacity to squeeze events into his theories, even when it's a rather difficult fit, but that's not the same thing. Facts are like prisoners: torture them enough and they will tell you whatever you want to hear.

As far as "a complete analysis methodology for COIN" goes, that might be a good place to start a conversation on the board, where it will still be in progress after a week... something that rarely happens on the blog.


kdog101 (not verified)

Mon, 01/24/2011 - 11:46pm

The ANSF may not be ready, but the Afghan people always were ready to provide their own security.

The benefit of arming the people directly is that they are going to be proficient enough right from the start to provide their own security. They are also going to be empowered in the sense that they will not be treated as a subject of Karzai government, but will be treated as a serious entity where their interests can be negotiated.

I recall in Iraq, for a long time we had reservations about allowing the people to arm themselves; relaxing that policy did not lead to disaster. That said, I am under no illusion that such a policy could not have problems, but I think the benefits outweigh the problems. There is this stigma that guns imply violence, but I am inclined to believe guns in the right hands; such as members of the village; decrease fear, make the insurgents more fearful; increase power of the citizens. These are all good things that may ultimately reduce violence. Without weapons, the people are easy targets for manipulation and intimidation. The Taliban and Al Queda feed on this.

Ken White (not verified)

Mon, 01/24/2011 - 11:35pm

<b>Anonymous at 9:39PM:</b>

Dayuhan didn't say the Discussion Board was a "higher level" -- he said, correctly IMO, that <i>"Registration on the SWJ discussion board - <b>a much better place than the blog for enduring <u>exchange</u></b> - is free and easy."</i>(emphasis added / kw)

He's correct in my view, the blog is for generally pithy, one shot comments. To get a discussion going on the blog is difficult and defeats its purpose -- one reason I suggest why you rarely get much discussion here. On the Board, there is freer interchange, more people comment and that facilitates discussion. Longer and more enduring comment is possible and prevalent.

Both Robb and OS have supporters and detractors on the Board. Both have been discussed and, IIRC, no one got hard over on either side of the issues though I do recall the consensus was slightly different than you said, Robb was accorded some respect and had some strong fans but not as much deference as you seem to wish; open source is used, respected and discussed -- but few on that board are going to accord anyone 'divinely guided and infallible' status -- not Sun Wu, not Clausewitz, not John Boyd and not John Robb. Fewer still are going to accept that there is "A" solution to Afghanistan and / or FID and COIN efforts and that most are just too dumb to understand it.

So, it's not a higher level, not at all -- it is what Dayuhan said <i>"Part of me suspects that entering into an exchange with a skeptical, critical, and highly qualified audience is less appealing to them than preaching to a choir."</i> It's a place where you can discuss goals and idea -- but where there's always someone with as much or more experience as you or I and our ideas will get shot at. If we can prove our points, they'll be accepted but if we fall back to the 'because I (or he) said so' routine, we'll get laughed of the board. Rightly so.

So, no it ain't higher, it's probably lower, if anything -- but it is designed for and encourages discussion where the blog is not.

Anonymous (not verified)

Mon, 01/24/2011 - 10:39pm


The quote "discussed and cussed and found of no use" in fact came from the discussion board which if one understands what you are saying is suppose to be a higher quality that say just blogging at this location---not sure why a "discussion board" qualifies as a higher level of learning/knowledge.

This was up recently from John concerning Tunisia---open source can go in a number of different directions.

DK Matai has a great little outline on how the open source revolt spread in Tunisia.

It was very open much open source warfare (OSW, the dominant form of warfare in the 21st Century), but with a rapidly evolving protest/revolt twist (OSW + flashmobs). Thing is, the conditions within which the revolt spread are becoming pretty common. Here they are:

•Extreme price shocks in basic commodities. Food and energy.
•Extreme corruption. A globally connected elite appropriating everything.
•Extreme connectivity. Cell phones and other social media.
Given that the global system is highly unstable (extreme leverage, concentration, tight coupling, etc.) and operating without a control system (hollow nation-states, transactional morality, etc.) that can mitigate excesses, we will see many more situations like this in the future.

Sometimes in this business overwhelming arrogance and relentess self promotion are the price to pay if in fact the theory is groundbreaking---meaning if you are the only one pushing a theory and you inherently know from experience that it is correct and the daily world events are in fact proving the theory globally maybe one has the right to be arrogant---especially if you point out in detail in 2004 the theory in front of DoD and in 2010 daily events are proving you correct-would you not be arrogant as well?

If though one engages in a thought provoking discussion with John I have never found him arrogant so I am not so sure just where you are coming from. In some aspects he has moved on as he feels OSW is in fact a "given"--it is just the rest of the community seems to be stuck in 2004/2005.

Kind of like the 30s debate about of the fast armor led sphearhead attacks which was formulated by the US and put into practice in the term "Blitzkrieg" by someone else.

Strange how we never seem to learn from history.

My arrogance comes from the fact that if one takes John's theory as a given and then uses a modified Kilcullen "conflict ecosystem" as the analysis tool one does in fact have a complete analysis methodology for COIN. Actually in fact the methodology is gaining traction in a number of corners ie JIEDDO as an explanation of we are seeing in a multiple set of different insurgencies globally.

Or can you not see elements of OSW in the Mexican drug war which we will be facing as a military in the coming years?

Again hate to say it --not so sure a discussion board lifts the theoritical debate to a higher level.

Why not start the discussion? Registration on the SWJ discussion board - a much better place than the blog for enduring exchange - is free and easy.

I've often wondered why Robb, or his disciples, have never brought their ideas to the SWJ forum, which would be an excellent place to refine them. Part of me suspects that entering into an exchange with a skeptical, critical, and highly qualified audience is less appealing to them than preaching to a choir.

I am told by people I respect that there is a useful core to Robb's discourse, but I've never been able to endure his overwhelming arrogance and relentless self-promotion for long enough to find it. I am prepared to be convinced otherwise, but it's going to take some doing. Recitations from the scriptures will not suffice.

Anonymous (not verified)

Mon, 01/24/2011 - 7:07pm

And where is the discussion?

Hearing over and over, it has been discussed, cussed and found to be of no interest has been in general the response here-unless I have misread all former blogs on the subject.

Rob Thornton (not verified)

Sat, 05/26/2007 - 10:22pm

Reading the review by Frank Hoffman this sounds like an excellent book to help the SWJ community discuss 4GW and other trends and theories about the future of war. It got me thinking so I pitched to Dave Dilegge the idea that we could have a discussion on the SWC with some possible moderation / input possibly by John Robb, Frank Hoffman or one of the folks more familiar with 4GW theory. The key to gettng the most out of this is participation by a wide variety of backgrounds and interests - which is one of the real strengths of the SWC. I just ordered the book off, and its not too expensive. I'll open a thread on the council and start a sign up list - there is no maximum number or anything like that, just sort of feeling out who might be interested.
regards, Rob