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If you have regular customers who are military types, then The Accidental Guerilla is unlikely to be a hard sell. This book is his attempt to explain his thinking on the worldwide Islamic insurgency and the best methods to try and c. Faced with unsuccessful military interventions in several conflicts, some of our own making, the U.S. military leadership seconded Lt. Col. David Kilcullen of the Australian Army to work with them on devising a and testing a new strategy that might allow them to withdraw from their engagements without complete failure. If so, skip ahead to the conclusion of that section and move on -- you can always come back to it. If there is an expert to tell this story, it is Col. Kilcullen. It must be borne in mind that the title is already dated and the situation (in Iraq, for instance) has already altered the strategic environment. It's rare to read a book that you kind of agree with all the way through, but I did with this. A hardcore group of Bin Ladenist revolutionaries has found ways to hide out in traditional tribal networks whose cultures are based on providing hospitality to guests in danger. The point is that they come to insinuate themselves into a local movement, through a combination of marriage, favors, and threats and then try to provoke foreign intervention through terrorist acts. However, I have found no better analysis of the issues we face in Iraq and Afghanistan and no better or more succint recipe for success anywhere. Is Al Queda bankrupting our government? Published While Kilcullen's model is unique and well worth further investigation it is not possible to automatically apply it automatically to other insurgencies, since each insurgency is unique in the variables which compose it. The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One David Kilcullen. The problem is in the details--sure, the local elites are probably willing partners to reject extremists and get their power back, but they and their corruption were part of the problem in the first place (see also: hey, it's a great plan to put the mafia dons back in charge of Sicily, since they aren't fascists!) I agree with some of his applications however. If T.E. And that's not all; the book has many more insights drawn from various battlefields." Kilcullen meanders from Iraq to Afghanistan to Timor to Thailand, stuttering and stopping to share insights on counterinsurgency best (and worst) practices. As a result the United States has attacked these networks for being "sanctuaries" and made enemies out of huge numbers of people whose only motivation for fighting is to be left alone. Refresh and try again. The book ends with the author's experiences in Timor showing that the Accidental Guerilla syndrome is a tactic that has been used outside the Islamic world and which can be dealt with successfully, although the example falls a little flat as Timor appears far less virulent than the problems the world now faces in Afghanistan, Yemen and other places. A deep read for those who may only have a general interest in the subject but an absolute must for those who wish to test the theories of Hybrid and Insurgency/Counterinsurgency warfare against contemporary events. The Accidental Guerrilla By George Packe r May 12, 2009 General David McKiernan, who was sacked yesterday halfway through his tour as commander of NATO … Oxford University Press, 2009, 384 pp. The Accidental Guerrilla by David Kilcullen. Well written and impeccably sourced. It summarized to a fine point...if you are in someone else's country...you are going to piss him/her off. Analysis and Review The Accidental Guerrilla is Kilcullen's account of wars along with his personal experience. Kilcullen manages to takes a logical common sense approach which is remarkably insightful. We’d love your help. His proposed solutions make sense and are food for thought. Although LtCol/Dr. Kilcullen is also a Petraeus/Mansoor acolyte, which has its own baggage. Notes from Gloves / “neo-Salafi ‘jihadists’ … are often implacable fanatics, [but] the local guerrillas they exploit frequently fight because … we are intruding into their space” xiv / “he is engaged in resistance rather than insurgency” xiv / counter-terror, which focuses on removing the terror network, won’t work because it’s enemy-centric; COIN, which focuses on winning the … The author warns the reader that the book is too informal for the academic and too academic for the layman. His fixation of road-building and the ways to stabilize a nation are not seemingly accurate. The Accidental Guerrilla, David Kilcullen; Seven years ago, David Kilcullen was an obscure officer in the Australian Army. This book reads well along with books such as those by Thomas Ricks of the Wash Post -- "Fiasco" and "The Gamble". The US Army advisor does not limit himself to an assessment of c. The Accidental Guerrilla is indeed not an easy read, but is rich with the life experience and thoughtful analysis of one of the world's foremost counterinsurgency experts. Notes from Gloves / “neo-Salafi ‘jihadists’ … are often implacable fanatics, [but] the local guerrillas they exploit frequently fight because … we are intruding into their space” xiv / “he is engaged in resistance rather than insurgency” xiv / counter-terror, which focuses on removing the terror network, won’t work because it’s enemy-centric; COIN, which focuses on winning the population, won’t work because it’s social- and political-centric xv / it’s not terrorism, it’s not insurgency, it’s hybrid warfare xvii / use the term takfiri instead of jihadi or salafist xviii-xix / human security and national security are not necessarily parallel 4 / hybrid warfare combines non-state actors and new tech with all the old threats, in the same operational and strategic space 6 / War on Terror militarizes foreign policy 7 / four models describe the threat environment: globalization backlash, global insurgency, Islamic civil war, and asymmetric warfare 7-27 / while the direct approach was understandable (had to do something after 9/11) but counterproductive to US nat’l interests 20 / extreme intolerance among takfiri and other Islamic groups mean there are sgfnt cleavages the US should exploit 21 / because the US is so strong, it is critical that she establish a fundamentally benign intent – otherwise, every nation on earth is stuck in the security dilemma 23 / opposing models include Islamo-fascism, clash of civilizations, and fourth-generation warfare 28 / al Qaeda is “inciter-in-chief,” not commander-in-chief 28 / al Qaeda mil strat is to bleed US economy white 29 / accidental guerrilla syndrome steps: 1) AQ infects a safe haven, 2) AQ spreads violence, 3) outsider disrupts safe haven, 4) locals ally with AQ to oust outsiders 34-38 / locals reject outsiders like a body rejects a foreign object, even one that has a beneficial purpose 38 / “instability in Afg is a far broader problem than insurgency” 46 / “The Taliban may be cruel … but they are seen as fair” 47 / about a quarter of the insurgents are full-timers, with the balance being ad hoc accidentals 48-9 / insurgency isn’t focused on overthrowing the state – but in creating a Taliban state that includes part of Pakistan 50 / weak district governors give Taliban room to operate 51-2 / development must be targeted during COIN, to ensure only the good guys get aid 66ff / remember that in a traditional society, choices are made collectively, not individually 68 / tribal governance has three parts: tribal elders, local mullahs, and gov’t rep 77-8 / during times of external threat, mullahs get more authority 79 / tribal governance threatened by zealotry, unemployment, and foreign influences from both extremes 79-80 / seven elements of the Taliban system: three in Afg (full-time fighters, local guerrillas, and village cells) and four in Pak (training and logistics, political and religious leadership, recruiting service, and sponsors and backers) 83 / how to counter the elements: secure the people, separate them from the enemy, enable local governance, and connect local government to higher echelons of govt 93 / another breakdown of the method: secure populace, separate enemy elements, build local allies, deny enemy access to the populace, link people to govt, be persistently present, and use full-spectrum political maneuver 94 / “building of a road drags [the enemy] to you,” where you can use echeloned fires to kill him 96-7 / full-spectrum political maneuver is like blocking access with military, withholding something nice (tea, sugar, cooking oil) from the accidentals while providing it to cooperators, and promising relief upon entry into govt negotiations 104 / success requires knowledge of terrain, tribal structure, economics, and politics 106-7 / the presence of a road isn’t the magic – it’s the process of building the road that decouples insurgents from the populace 108-9 / Coalition C2 is byzantine, and that’s not good 110 / priorities: first, build an Afghan state; second, eliminate security threats; third, limit drug trade 113 / “there is no substitute for understanding [the] cultural terrain” 114 / it’s not colonialism if it’s only temporary 114 / blitzkrieg in Iraq was a bad idea 117 / accidental guerrilla syndrome steps in Iraq started with step three, the outsider invades 118 / “accepting the occasional mortaring as the cost of doing business in Iraq” is a better approach than overwhelming kinetic counterfire 125 / it’s force protection getting a higher priority than the strategic benefit of winning popular support 125 / Iraqi terrain that needed clearing wasn’t topographical but human 145 / Iraq hybrid warfare has four strategic problems: terrorism, insurgency, sectarian and ethnic conflict (which overlap) and an underlying lack of governance and services 149-51 / Iraq is an insurgency, plus a terror campaign, plus a civil war 152 / locals are allies, not employees – leads to trust and gives honor 165 / tribal-led reconciliations 168-70 / limited success led to bandwagoning 180 / eight COIN best practices: political strategy, comprehensive approach, continuity, secure the populace, synch development, partner with locals for govt, partner with locals for security, disrupt safe havens with a regional approach 265-7 / a local security person is worth about five outsiders, for “tooth-to-tail” and rotation issues alone 270 / GWOT has made terrorism an existential threat for other nations 272 / the existential threat to the US is that we would overreact and become something different (a police state, a colonial power, etc.) David Kilcullen's is definitely worth reading if you are interested in getting one expert's perspective on how western societies should deal with terrorism for the next fifty. Clearly, also, the AQ affiliate Jema’ah Islamiyah (JI) has used Thailand as a venue for key meetings, financial transfers, acquisition of forged documents,75 and money laundering and as a transit hub for operators.”, Duke of Westminster Medal for Military Literature Nominee (2010), Ike Skelton's Military History reading list (nonfiction), http://five-books.com/interviews/mary-kaldor, Goodreads Members Share the Books They've Been Rereading. . This book has much merit by adding to the existing base of knowledge. There is much in this book that I like and admire but having spent a little time looking at some of the more critical reviews of this book I cannot give it five stars or praise it without mentioning criticisms. (Perhaps because I haven't followed this situation much in the news in recent years. David Kilcullen. So, on one level, Kilcullen is absolutely right--21st century extremism is NOT a malevolent, monolithic array of "others" out to get the US. In this regard, Accidental Guerrilla resembles dozens of other Washington books, blending memoir with policy analysis, generously laced with spin. I agree with some of his applications however not all of the ways that he uses this theory are in my opinion, accurate. If I were on active duty or deploying I would read it and reread it. Kilcullen takes us "on the ground" to uncover the face of modern warfare, illuminating both the big global war (the "War on Terrorism") and its relation to the associated "small wars" across the globe: Iraq, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Thailand, the Pakistani tribal zones, East Timor and the horn of Africa. The Accidental Guerrilla By David Kilcullen Oxford, 346 pages, $27.95 Almost everyone, even if otherwise ignorant of military affairs, has heard of Karl von Clausewitz and Sun Tzu. Good to know they finally started listening to the author. I read this in conjunction with Akbar Ahmed's "The Thistle and the Drone," and found it to be a thoughtful take on the War on Terror that combines both a military and anthropological perspective. (Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek) More from the same. The problem is in the details--sure, the local el. Superb and engaging with a fall out which presses you to read more on the subject. But, recognizing that while our conventional war-fighting superiority endures, any sensible enemy will choose to fight us in this manner, we should hold on to the knowledge and corporate memory so painfully acquired, across all the agencies of all the Coalition partners, in Afghanistan and Iraq. Still, his main point, about how precarious the balance of loyalty can be--do the locals shoot at us or join us in "protecting" them--is fascinating and revelatory. Took me a while to pick this book up as I didn't like the title. I gave this one four stars since I disliked the Accidental Guerrilla aspect of all the discussion. by Oxford University Press, Inc. The Accidental Guerrilla has an anthropologist's sense of social dynamics and a reporter's eye for telling detail. These “accidental guerrillas” are the kind of individuals Kilcullen met in Java, like Mrs. N’s husband, the local imam. Author: David KilcullenReviewer: Toby Lauterbach, Online Book Reviews In The Accidental Guerrilla, Kilcullen provides a remarkably fresh perspective on the War on Terror. Centralized Control/ Decentralized Execution. A much-needed diversion. To see what your friends thought of this book. This is the book I've been waiting 8 years to read. While some may say that Kilcullen's theories on the Accidental Guerrilla are not revolutionary, I believe that to the date of the book being published they, in a manner of ways, were. While this seems like a pretty obvious conclusion to me, its refreshing to hear from a military of. While portions of it may aptly apply to OIF and OEF (operations Iraqi/Enduring-Afghanistan Freedom), the application of said theory to a broader spectrum is less feasible. A fine introduction to the basic concepts of counterinsurgency warfare by one of its leading theorists--- a former Australian Army officer with a PhD and combat experience in East Timor as well as Afghanistan and Iraq, the man who was a key player in the restructuring of the American war effort in Iraq. Kilcullen is an Australian soldier who for many years has worked for the US advising on counter insurgency. He then moves on to Europe to explore how best to understand (and engage) disconnected Muslim communities. While this seems like a pretty obvious conclusion to me, its refreshing to hear from a military official, albeit an Australian one. This is a well founded piece of scholarly research. The idea of comparing terrorism with a plague (infection, contagio. As an added bonus I found this to be as politically neutral as a book on this topic can be. The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One. Take your favorite fandoms with you and never miss a beat. His academic reflection and analysis verifies his participation in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Indonesia. I read this in conjunction with Akbar Ahmed's "The Thistle and the Drone," and found it to be a thoughtful take on the War on Terror that combines both a military and anthropological perspective. Childhood memories and annual traditions. Reads like a dissertation at times. The point of this book is to come up with a theory of insurgency that explains how new "global" terrorist groups such as al-Qaida can prosper and link up with more conventional national liberation g. This is an Australian who combines a career as a military officer with that of an anthropologist. A fascinating conceit with a absolutely great thesis that unfortunately slowly goes off the rails. The US Army advisor does not limit himself to an assessment of counterinsurgency tactics, however. That someone may wind up shooting at you. In The Accidental Guerrilla, Kilcullen provides a remarkably fresh perspective on the War on Terror. Much of what Kilcullen writes is very sensible and persuasive, when he's explaining the nitty gritty of insurgencies. “This book, like its wars, is a hybrid: part field study, part personnel recollection; perhaps too academic to be popular and too populist to be purely academic.”. The book makes an interesting and major contribution to the literature in the field and comes highly recommended to anyone interested in the topic. He then moves on to Europe to explore how best to understand (and engage) disconnected Muslim communities. We asked the... David Kilcullen is one of the world's most influential experts on counterinsurgency and modern warfare, a ground-breaking theorist whose ideas "are revolutionizing military thinking throughout the west" (. This observation, however, is only normal given the rapidly changing strategic landscape and the evolution of events. David Kilcullen is one of the world’s most influential experts on counterinsurgency and modern warfare, a ground-breaking theorist whose ideas “are revolutionizing military thinking throughout the west” (Washington Post). His proposed solutions make sense and are food for thought. The point of this book is to come up with a theory of insurgency that explains how new "global" terrorist groups such as al-Qaida can prosper and link up with more conventional national liberation groups. Indeed, his vision of modern warfare powerfully influenced America’s decision to … He served in East Timor, and wrote a dissertation on guerrilla warfare in traditional societies. “My personal position on counterinsurgency in general, and on Iraq and Afghanistan in particular, could therefore be summarized as "Never again, but..." That is, we should avoid any future large-scale, unilateral military intervention in the Islamic world, for all the reasons already discussed. Then there is Kilcullen the scholar, presenting his own grand theory of insurgency and prescribing a set of “best practices” to which counterinsurgents should adhere. I found this a good read- recommended. David, much to his credit, seemed to be seeking the common core or the unifying thread within the composition of insurgencies as an phenomenon. This Study Guide consists of approximately 21 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Guerrilla Warfare. Bare with Kilcullen through his many stories -- sometimes entertaining, other times academic -- and you will find that The Accidental Guerrilla presents not only counterinsurgency best practices, grand military strategy, and the underpinnings of a new military doctrine, but also a 21st foreign policy agenda. This is an Australian who combines a career as a military officer with that of an anthropologist. The central thesis is that the United States is fighting many people around the world who are simply at war with them because they have intruded on their territory, thus making them "accidental guerillas." A senior counterinsurgency advisor to General David Petraeus in Iraq, his vision of war dramatically influenced America's decision to rethink its military strategy in Iraq and implement "the surge". Quite an insightful book which draws on field experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq to articulate the theory of the 'accidental guerilla' , and also backs up his view that the current conflict in the world is inter-related and cannot rely on military solutions alone. Can it be proved that we are actually doing good with our aid money or just fueling corruption? The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One by David Kilcullen. The Accidental Guerrilla Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One Oxford University Press . Lawrence evoked the means of waging irregular warfare in his 1926 classic, 'Seven Pillars of Wisdom', Mr. Kilcullen describes the practitioner's art of combating insurgents. Kilcullen's in-depth analysis of the tactics of various terrorist organizations is eye-opening and provides a unique perspective to understand the ongoing situation in various Middle East and North African states. I have read a few of this genre and this is the best of breed in my opinion. This offers a lot of opportunity to drive wedges, to offer a better set up and to get the extremists rejected from their hosts. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Thank you Mr. Kilcullen for fueling my already jaded view of our "GWOT". By discussing the ways the nationalist and transnational terrorism we are able to see the way that people are brought slowly into the world of fighting against the United States. Professor Mary Kaldor of LSE has chosen to discuss, So, on one level, Kilcullen is absolutely right--21st century extremism is NOT a malevolent, monolithic array of "others" out to get the US. Recruiting him as an advisor was a very smart move by General Petraeus. Welcome back. The Accidental Guerrilla Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One David Kilcullen. There are a few parts which, quite frankly,did not seem logical to me, at first in the face of the current threat. One of the very best thought books on counter-insurgency out there, including classics such as Nagl's How to eat soup with a knife" or good histories, such as Horne's Savage War of Peace. He is one of the Ph.D.s in General Petraeus' brain trust that was assembled to implement the new counter-insurgency strategy put in place to save the US from defeat in the second Iraq War -- the "surge". There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Drone strikes, raids and other violent assaults have helped break down the traditional social structures of these tribes and given rise to unprecedentedly nihilistic modern phenomena like suicide bombings and the deliberate killing of children by tribesman. The type of book the boss will have someone do an executive summary on it as he is too lazy to read it. The Accidental Guerilla and Counterinsurgency, David Kilcullen is a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and chair of Caerus Associates. The Accidental Guerrilla by David Kilcullen. To date, this is the most clear and concise assessment of our current conflict environment told through the eyes of an anthropologist, counterinsurgency theorist and soldier. While Kilcullen's model is unique and well worth further investigation it is not possible to automatically apply it automatically to other insurgencies, since each insurgency is unique in the variables which compose it. I just bought his next book "Counterinsurgency" and can't wait to read it. Kilcullen takes us "on the ground" to uncover the face of modern warfare, illuminating both the big global war (the "War on Terrorism") and its relation to the associated "small wars" across the globe: Iraq, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Thailand, the Pakistani tribal zones, East Timor and the horn of Africa. This book is a detailed study of the accidental guerrilla syndrome and why it matters. One of the clearest examples comes from America’s first foreign war, the Mexican-American War of 1846-1846, and the invasion of California. This was a memorable book, as well as the first that I read on my iphone based Kindle reader. Does our aid and projects support our COIN doctrine or do the people now just see their government as puppets? March 16th 2009 The author is both a skilled researcher and a savvy soldier with experience in several parts of the world. 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