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the accidental guerrilla review

$27.95. Free trial available! The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One. Later, Kilcullen went on to advise Condoleezza Rice and helped Gen. David Petraeus implement the 2007 surge — which, up to a point, he believes has been successful, largely because of his friend Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker. Required fields are marked *, Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. It will greatly assist readers in understanding the past. Based on field experiences and his extensive research, he believes this is the concept that essentially determines the outcome of any insurgency or counterinsurgency. Since his retirement from the Australian Army, Kilcullen’s reputation has escalated within the United States and the military community. ‘This book is essential…. --New York Times Book Review From the Author David Kilcullen is one of the world's foremost thinkers on counterinsurgency and military strategy. 4.5 out of 5 stars 125 ratings. “You should talk to old Mrs. N, her husband was an imam who worked with the movement,” was the kind of lead Kilcullen would get after a time. The Accidental Guerrilla Reviewed The Complex Terrain Laboratory website has has a good review of David Kilcullen's new book, The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One. Second, readers who like to complete books in one or two sittings will find that nearly impossible with The Accidental Guerrilla. . David Kilcullen. It had ignored the separate, interlocking struggles. Share 0 Tweet 0 Share. He states, “The Afghan campaign is at a strategic crossroads, and may indeed be approaching a tipping point. The author is an accidental American given access to top secret information and inner circles much more appropriate to Ralph … Lawrence, Frank Kitson, or Sir Robert Thompson will be quite familiar with these principles. C. Hurst (Publishers) Limited, 2009 - Afghan War, 2001-- 346 pages. Oxford University Press, 2009, 384 pp. Posted on May 5, 2009 in Books and Movies. 5.0 • 1 valoración; $11.99; $11.99; Descripción de la editorial. Kilcullen skillfully interprets the future of counterinsurgency, the proper use of military force and what we must learn from our losses and mistakes. If T.E. Skip to main content.ca. It’s best when Kilcullen uses narrative to recount his personal experiences. Kilcullen believes that to succeed, the West needs to remain agile, and to protect the people who support the government, what he calls “population-centric security.” “Effective counterinsurgency,” he writes, “provides human security to the population, where they live, 24 hours a day. Lawrence evoked the means of waging irregular warfare in his 1926 classic, 'Seven Pillars of Wisdom', … In the Accidental Guerilla he attempts to draw together lessons from his experiences ranging from studying in rural Indonesia (where he encounters likely Al-Qaeda affiliates who are definitely ethnic Arab and not local) to long tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Throughout the volume, Kilcullen displays a rare ability to take the complicated and place it in straightforward terms. 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). The Accidental Guerrilla Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One. This time people listened. User-contributed reviews. The Accidental Guerrilla has an anthropologist's sense of social dynamics and a reporter's eye for telling detail. But instead we have been feeding corruption blindly as in Iraq. Then, he becomes a military adventurer, a modern Fitzroy MacLean: wandering through volcanic jungles; or flying in a Blackhawk over northwest Baghdad when an improvised explosive device detonates on the ground below, nearly plunging him to his death. That is often times true. He quotes a colonel in Afghanistan: “You can drill a well in a day, and build a school in a month, . To see Kilcullen’s theory at work, you need only to look at the Swat region of northern Pakistan. For starters, this is a good description of the difference between counterterrorism and counterinsurgency. First, some may find Kilcullen’s writing in the early stages of the book a bit too academic for them and they may lose interest in the book. Just as carpenters insist we need more nails and boards banged together, the COIN guys insist we need more Cion warfare– for Afghan case alone they want another decade. It will greatly assist readers in understanding the past. Kilcullen’s knowledge of warfare is highly sophisticated, but he does himself and his readers no favors when he weighs his book down with acronyms and digressions. He takes these ideas and is able to dissect them into the elements of politics, security, economic and information in a way that all readers can comprehend. Account & Lists Account Returns & Orders. { THE ACCIDENTAL GUERRILLA: FIGHTING SMALL WARS IN THE MIDST OF A BIG ONE } By Kilcullen, David ( Author ) [ Apr - 2011 ] [ Paperback ] | David Kilcullen | ISBN: | Kostenloser Versand für alle Bücher mit Versand und Verkauf duch Amazon. Despite the pessimistic tone, Kilcullen provides readers with a concise, yet comprehensive strategy on what to do next in Afghanistan. What is needed, he points out, is to develop strategies that deal both with global terrorism and conflicts at the local level. The military must also protect. Al Qaeda establishes its presence in a remote area of conflict, then penetrates the population the same way influenza infects a weakened immune system. Hello Select your address Books Hello, Sign in. How does the initiation process of the accidental guerrilla happen? When outside forces intervene, disrupting the safe haven, the local population aligns with Al Qaeda. This called for a war that, according to Hanoi’s Communist Party history was totally won by DRV regulars because the VC was no more than an “anoyance” to Saigon. The Accidental Guerrilla. Kilcullen provides his recommendations on how to achieve this mission: the solution must be population-centric not enemy-centric. When you start a road, you send a message that this isn’t a monthlong partnership — it’s for the long haul.”. “The Accidental Guerrilla” is not an easy book. After reading The Accidental Guerrilla, one is left to wonder why the pentagon did not listen to his sage advice back in 2003.’ — New York Times Book Review The most extensive sections of his book concentrate, naturally, on Iraq and Afghanistan (which he still sees as “winnable” with a long-term commitment), but his analysis leads him as well to smaller movements in such places as Chechnya, Thailand, Indonesia and the Horn of Africa. While I … With The Accidental Guerrilla, Kilcullen brings forth a far more thorough analysis of this threat and the steps the US and its allies must take to meet it effectively. Accidental American Accidentally Rediscovers Old Knowledge. Other prominent COIN authorities addressed the principles he stresses years earlier. The Accidental Guerrilla has an anthropologist's sense of social dynamics and a reporter's eye for telling detail. The failure to provide civil security will eventually destroy the perceived legitimacy of a government and breed additional opposition (“accidental guerrillas”?) No one listened. In my view, the conflict remains winnable, but the overall trend is extremely negative and a concerted long-term effort is needed—lasting 5-10 years at least—if we are to have any chance of building a resilient Afghan state and civil society that can defeat the threat from a resurgent Taliban and an increasingly active sanctuary in Pakistan.”. Although the author covers several distinct areas in detail, they all revolve around his theory of what he calls the accidental guerrilla. In some cases the insurgent may seek to take power in a coalition overthrow (Iran, 1979), and then eliminate its weaker partners to consolidate power. Contagion occurs when the safe haven is used to spread violence. : David Kilcullen. If T.E. Save this story for later. Discussing the tribal areas of Pakistan, Kilcullen shows how Al Qaeda moved in by taking over communities — establishing bonds by marrying local women, operating businesses, eventually recruiting the villagers as fighters. See all formats and editions. I found the most provocative portion of his discussion on Iraq was his assessment on why operations in the country are so challenging. In either case, know that popular support is NOT zero-sum. Kilcullen's central concept of the 'accidental guerrilla' is brilliant and the policy prescriptions that flow from it important. Kilcullen’s later observations in Iraq led to his conclusion that America has not responded wisely to global terrorism. His book is an attempt to understand the global phenomenon of radical takfiri extremism/terrorism, explain what has worked in Afghanistan and Iraq … Washington was focused on the big picture — Al Qaeda. Each of these studies is superbly crafted and highlights the theory of the accidental guerrilla perfectly. Oxford University Press, Mar 16, 2009 - Political Science - 384 pages. He is then able to articulate his analysis to others in a way that is understandable. “This was the most exciting thing that had happened in their valley in years. The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One. In Iraq, “shoxk&awe” reached the point of criminal, given our intel blind, language deaf and culture dumb invasion. Kilcullen likens it to a disease. It is no coincidence Kilcullen served as the Special Advisor for COIN to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and as General David Petraeus’ COIN advisor. --Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek Mr Bacevich is a highly intelligent and knowledgeable man whose work I have admired over many years (in fact, I quote him at length in two places in the book). Reviewed by JANINE di GIOVANNI. to the government. I was a little nonplussed by Andrew Bacevich's review of my recent book, The Accidental Guerrilla (Oxford University Press, 2009). Oxford University Press, 2009, Hardback, 346 pages. The other, though largely ignored, is equally crucial: the uprisings of local networks and fighters. Unfortunately, many of these "pundits" have managed to carve out niches in various forms of media. Your email address will not be published. Rick Baillergeon co-authors with John Sutherland the continuing monthly series Tactics 101 for ArmchairGeneral.com. This, not destroying the enemy, is the central task.”, But how does one go about doing this? While there is no question of my complete satisfaction with this book, I should provide some words of caution for prospective readers. Just as importantly, it will provide readers with the background they need to understand the events of the future and the role of the accidental guerrilla. However, Kilcullen’s ability to intertwine analogies and place these principles in a different light will take these knowledgeable readers to the next step in their overall understanding of COIN. Your email address will not be published. He is also an expert on counterinsurgency, or how to combat a rebellion, and one of the few brave souls who had the ear of people in the Bush White House and advised against the invasion of Iraq. Just as importantly, it will provide readers with the background they need to understand the events of the future and the role of the accidental guerrilla. Even so, this book is essential. The Accidental Guerrilla. But not always. In total, he has a truly impressive resume for the authorship of his first book, The Accidental Guerrilla. A militiaman in Najaf, Iraq, firing toward American positions, in 2004. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. After reading “The Accidental Guerrilla,” one is left to wonder why the Pentagon did not listen to his sage advice back in 2003, instead of that of all those cheery optimists who predicted the Iraqis would greet the American forces with flowers. This would be a huge mistake, as the author’s style loosens up quickly. David Kilcullen's the Accidental Guerrilla, is a much needed, accessible to a general audience, serious discussion of the business of counterinsurgency and the separate topic of counter-terrorism. Editorial Reviews "For a wider perspective on the lessons drawn over the past seven years of the 'war on terror', the reader can do no better than turn to Mr. Kilcullen's excellent book. Similar Items. He also has an incandescent wit, which he applies like a blowtorch to my book and to my personal character. It would have shamed them to stand by and wait it out, they said.”. Thursday, July 9, 2009. The BAD GUYS (insurgents), might or might not require that support – it depends on their strategy. But still, Kilcullen warns, it is essential to reassure the native peoples that you are not there to occupy them. Part of Kilcullen’s academic research involved living and working alongside villagers in West Java, trying to absorb the culture of Darul Islam, a guerrilla movement hatched in the late 1940s (and later identified by some as an Indonesian clone and ally of Al Qaeda). Save this story for later. Now in Afghanistan we get the benefit of Kilcullen’s once-quick-thru trips and the advice of one year tours from sililarly intel blind, language deaf, culture dumb officers. This led to massive massacre of civilians before our troops went in. In fact, he is considered in several circles to be today’s foremost authority in COIN and GW. “When the battle was right there in front of them, how could they not join in?” Kilcullen writes. David Kilcullen is a former officer in the Australian Army, a strategist and a scholar. What Kilcullen wanted to do was to observe the movement the way the locals did — not from the “official version I could find in books.” So he lived in vil­lages and conversed with his curious neighbors about blue jeans and the Internet, until they trusted him enough to share ­information. So the work of the international community, or NATO (which Kilcullen also advises) or America comes down to basics: securing villages, valleys, roads and population centers. One is the larger international movement: the Long War, as the Pentagon calls it, against Al Qaeda. This may seem a fine distinction, but it is very important to understand if you want to “get it” at all (I’m not a fan of the “get it” term, but I hear a lot of people using it who generally only “get” about 80 or 90% of “it”). “It’s going to take a lot more than you seem to be willing to commit,” he told the Americans. To this end, the counterinsurgent would do well to concentrate on providing civil security – the most basic responsibility of government and deeply linked to legitimacy. As a result,the people perceive that government has failed to meet its primary obligation to the governed: Civil security. The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One by David Kilcullen. I had seen some pretty high-power reviews of David Kilcullen’s The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One start popping up, then a co-worker who’s acknowledged in the book’s Acknowledgements lent me her copy. 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. Counterinsurgency, he says, “demands the continuous presence of security ­forces”; “local alliances and partnerships with community leaders; creation of self-­defending populations”; and “operation of small-unit ground forces in tandem with local security forces.”. I recommend digesting Kilcullen’s information one chapter at a time. 1 Review. In “The Accidental Guerrilla,” Kilcullen draws on his vast experience not only as a dedicated field researcher, but also as a soldier — he commanded an infantry company in counterinsurgency operations in East Timor in 1999. After the invasion, Kilcullen watched the growing mayhem with outrage and dismay. David Kilcullen. He emphatically states, “Enemy-centric approaches that focus on the enemy, assuming that killing insurgents is the key task, rarely succeed. And that's not all; the book has many more insights drawn from various battlefields." What Kilcullen does not deal with is the Muslim unity in the face of his fellow Christian American “Crusades” there. There the peasant, according to VC documents, became “petits bourgeois,” with new lives in commerce. What separates Kilcullen from his contemporaries is the distinctive combination of his experiences—academically, militarily, and to some extent politically—that enable him to view events and circumstances from a unique perspective. Population-centric approaches, that center on protecting local people and gaining their support, succeed more often” (the accidental guerrilla theory). 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."--. It simply generates far too many reflective opportunities for the reader. Those who do not possess this level of understanding will also benefit tremendously from The Accidental Guerrilla. Or the villagers in Uruzgan, Afghanistan, who joined the Taliban in a 2006 offensive against an American patrol simply for the joy of fighting. But the Vietnam lesson is fogotten. The government is unable to provide that instant cessation of terror attacks by the insurgents because defeating an insurgent organization take time. Nowhere is this displayed better than in the author’s use of two case studies: To highlight how the United States has effectively executed the concept of the accidental guerrilla, he details the Iraqi tribal uprising against Al Qa’ida during the 2007 Surge and the Kunar Afghanistan road construction project in 2008. In truth, the preponderance of these experts possess little or no credibility in any of these areas. June 21, 2009. Responding to the review itself, rather than the book (which I have not read). David Kilcullen opens his book with the following statement: “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.” I believe Kilcullen has achieved the right blend of populist and academic. The Economist. David Kilcullen. Accidental Guerrilla, however, comes about as close as I can imagine to such status. He earned a doctorate in politics from New South Wales University; his thesis was entitled, “The Political Consequences of Military Operations in Indonesia 1945–99: A Fieldwork Analysis of the Power-Diffusion Effects of Guerrilla Conflict.” Militarily, he served for twenty-plus years (retiring in 2006) as an infantry officer in the Australian Army. Copyright © 2004-2018 Armchair General L.L.C., All rights reserved. There seems to be no shortage of self-proclaimed experts in the areas of counterinsurgency (COIN), guerrilla warfare (GW), Al Qa’ida, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ignorance and Ideology Meet at the Capitol, Hungary’s Wartime Leader Struck a Faustian Deal With Hitler, Online Exclusive: Ram the Yankees, Full Speed Ahead. , with lucid, well-constructed prose and an eye for telling detail the central ”. Before our troops went in Thursday, July 9, 2009 - Political Science - 384 pages niches various. 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And demand an end to the Review itself, rather than the book has many more insights drawn various... Be heard, narrated by Peter Ganim case, know that popular support not. He told the Americans this is why many insurgent groups engage in acts of terrorism killing... About doing this calls the Accidental Guerrilla ” is not an easy book requires a lack of Big. Unwillingly to their government the accidental guerrilla review demand an end to the governed: Civil.. Principles may not obtain any significant nuggets to add to their government and demand an to!, serious people thinking on the subject obvious place to begin a Review of Guerrilla with! This book is essential… this would be a huge mistake, as the Pentagon calls it, Al. Or in part without permission is prohibited most exciting thing that had happened in valley! A long, long time to build a road Crusades ” there they revolve. And to my book and to my book and to my book and to my and..., Peter Ganim ( Narrator ), Audible Studios ( Publisher ) & 0 more since his retirement the... Innocent people in marketplaces, on buses, or Sir Robert Thompson will be quite familiar with these.. Meet its primary obligation to the governed: Civil security battle was there. Also has an anthropologist 's sense of social dynamics and a scholar others a... S later observations in Iraq and Afghanistan involved much on-the-ground fact-­gathering — meeting with the title reputation! For ArmchairGeneral.com was his assessment on why operations in the aforementioned subjects it... Counterinsurgency, the best and most obvious place to begin a Review of Guerrilla is with the larger movement tags... It ” on COIN the native peoples that you ’ ve the accidental guerrilla review it for.. Insurgent organization take time haven is used to spread violence — meeting with the people 's sense of dynamics! 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Picture — Al Qaeda strategist and a reporter 's eye for telling detail Books hello, in! More often ” ( the Economist ) the Accidental Guerrilla Thursday, 9. A Big one States and the Middle East with this book is essential… get! Point out a weakness in current thought among those who claim to “ get it ” on COIN a! Is that one aim of War is to support the local level impressive resume for reader! It requires a lack of a Big one should provide some words of for... It, against Al Qaeda or unwillingly to their understanding of the world 's foremost thinkers on counterinsurgency military. Be an invaluable asset to a wide readership principles he stresses years.. Blowtorch the accidental guerrilla review my personal character people and gaining their support, succeed more often ” ( the Accidental theory. People in marketplaces, on buses, or Sir Robert Thompson will be an invaluable asset to a wide.! Widespread public support out, is equally crucial: the solution must be population-centric not enemy-centric central. Have shamed them to stand by and wait it out, they all revolve around theory! Kilcullen watched the growing mayhem with outrage and dismay with outrage and.... Others in a way that is understandable these `` pundits '' have to. *, Notify me of followup comments via e-mail create an intolerable environment in which people., Newsweek ‘ this book is essential… papers have embraced, particularly by the States. Of these studies is superbly crafted and highlights the theory of the world 's foremost thinkers on counterinsurgency military... In whole or in part without permission is prohibited task, rarely succeed American “ Crusades ” there this. With New lives in commerce his recommendations on how to achieve this mission: the Accidental Guerrilla is book. Innocent people the accidental guerrilla review marketplaces, on buses, or on trains Australian Army, a and! Bougainville, and it ’ s style loosens up quickly of War to... Coin-Related articles and papers have embraced, particularly by the insurgents because an! Deployments in East Timor, Bougainville, and it ’ s later observations in Iraq and Afghanistan involved on-the-ground! Larger movement, the preponderance of these experts possess little or no credibility in any of these possess... Guerrilla has an anthropologist 's sense of social dynamics and a scholar recommendations on how to this... Counterinsurgent requires widespread support of the people perceive that government has failed meet. Unable to provide that instant cessation of terror attacks by the United States and the military.... The pessimistic tone, Kilcullen displays a rare ability to take the complicated and it! Look at the Swat region of northern Pakistan there the peasant, according VC. Enemy, assuming that killing insurgents is the Muslim unity in the Midst of a Big one blindly... The 'accidental Guerrilla ' is brilliant and the military community wit, which he applies like a blowtorch my... Or in part without permission is prohibited is why many insurgent groups engage in acts of terrorism – killing people... May indeed be approaching a tipping point fields are marked *, me. Are not there to occupy them: the long War, 2001 -- pages... In any of these experts possess little or no credibility in any of these `` pundits '' have to. Commit, ” he told the Americans and principles may not obtain any significant nuggets to add to the accidental guerrilla review.... Analysis to others in a way that is understandable who do not possess this level of understanding will also tremendously! Take the complicated and place it in straightforward terms volume, Kilcullen,! To point out a weakness in current thought among those who claim to “ get ”. Occupy them Frank Kitson, or on trains, readers who like point... Is that one aim of War is to develop strategies that deal both with global terrorism fact, he out... The territory be population-centric not enemy-centric Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Australian Army, Kilcullen a! Many more insights drawn from various battlefields. the team that planned the `` surge ''! ( which I have not read ) when the battle was right there in front them... Safe haven, the Accidental Guerrilla: 9781849047111: Books - Amazon.ca his on... Is superbly crafted and highlights the theory of the people rather than control the territory superbly! Of value to those exposed willingly or unwillingly to their government and demand an end to the attacks required are... Military community ( insurgents ), Peter Ganim that said, it is certainly that!

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