In The Accidental Guerrilla, Kilcullen provides a remarkably fresh perspective on the War on Terror. The type of book the boss will have someone do an executive summary on it as he is too lazy to read it. A must read instant classic for anyone seriously interested in present day conflict. 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. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Kilcullen offers a non-technical introduction to COIN as well as a thoughtful tour of some of the world's insurgencies. 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 to one hundred years. Oxford University Press, 2009, 384 pp. This book should be required reading for every military leader, and for every political leader involved in decisions on military policy and economic development in other countries. I agree with some of his applications however. These “accidental guerrillas” are the kind of individuals Kilcullen met in Java, like Mrs. N’s husband, the local imam. In the end, I loved the book - although very academic and you have to wade through Dave's barely disguised self praise at times. It's rare to read a book that you kind of agree with all the way through, but I did with this. He also hints at how the current conflict may develop - where extremists make use of legislative loopholes to have safe havens in developed countries. When the intervention occurs, it must happen in some local and thus ends up tying the local group to al-Qaida (or some other global group) through the violence of the retaliation. This book is his attempt to explain his thinking on the worldwide Islamic insurgency and the best methods to try and counter it successfully. or that we would overreach and collapse 273ff / US national interest must consider the protection of our democratic, open society as an element 274 / too much attn on terror 276 / we need a frank and open dialog about the real risk of terror, and a cost-benefit anlys of our misdirected attn on it 276-7 / US has limits – we should examine them 280-1 / Powell doctrine stinks 281-3 / try this instead: lightest footprint possible, use local proxies as much as possible, use civil agencies rather than military forces, plan for long-term and low-profile rather than short-term and high-profile engagements 283 / 10 deductions about the hybrid war environment: protracted, requires a moderate national mobilization, must distinguish between enemies, sparing use of military force, limit government agencies (favor private sector), be indirect, DImE, emphasize virtue and morality and credibility, reduce conventional and increase unconventional force structure, and economize 283-7 / two key mission sets: strategic disruption and military assistance 288-9 / our intel structure is designed with the nation-state as the target set – corporate espionage techniques might work better 293 / US dinosaur might get beat by adaptable but smaller insurgent mammals 294 / refocus on the grand strategy 296-7 / DoD gets too great a share of the budget 298 / SOF are “special”; OSS was “strategic” – we need a new OSS 299. The "Accidental Guerrilla" syndrome is a fascinating concept for further exploration and development, however it is not a "one-size-fits-all," silver bullet recipe to understanding the complexity of insurgent 5th generation warfare. Kilcullen takes us "on the ground" to uncover the face of modern warfare, illuminating both the big global war … (Perhaps because I haven't followed this situation much in the news in recent years. While this seems like a pretty obvious conclusion to me, its refreshing to hear from a military official, albeit an Australian one. 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. Truly superb. Time spent with an old friend. I gave this one four stars since I disliked the Accidental Guerrilla aspect of all the discussion. 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. SAASS Comps Prep Wiki is a FANDOM Lifestyle Community. This book is a detailed study of the accidental guerrilla syndrome and why it matters. Well written and impeccably sourced. After readingThe Accidental Guerrilla, one is left to wonder why the Pentagon did not listen to his sage advice back in 2003." 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. "— The Accidental Guerrilla has an anthropologist's sense of social dynamics and a reporter's eye for telling detail. If you are headed to or very interested in Afghanistan, read Chapters 2 and 5. I appreciate the warning that the US has to obey the rules (financial, rules of engagement, treaties) it expects others to uphold, and that extends to the pardoning of war criminals, US corporation behavior in the developing world and exploitative use of contractors rather than local workers and companies. Kilcullen meanders from Iraq to Afghanistan to Timor to Thailand, stuttering and stopping to share insights on counterinsurgency best (and worst) practices. March 16th 2009 A much-needed diversion. 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. Kilcullen is an Australian soldier who for many years has worked for the US advising on counter insurgency. 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. Published 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. Indeed, his vision of modern warfare powerfully influenced America’s decision to … 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. Dave nails it! His proposed solutions make sense and are food for thought. 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. This book reads well along with books such as those by Thomas Ricks of the Wash Post -- "Fiasco" and "The Gamble". Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Overall, I loved the first third but the last 2/3rds knocked off two stars. This is the book I've been waiting 8 years to read. The idea of comparing terrorism with a plague (infection, contagio. Informed by the author's remarkable first-hand experiences as a soldier, counterinsurgency expert, and lead advisor to General David Petraeus in Iraq. Overall, I felt this book was quite informative regarding one of the greatest threats we face in the 21st Century. Now, in The Accidental Guerrilla, Kilcullen provides a remarkably fresh perspective on the War on Terror. Kilcullen thought the U.S. intervention in Iraq was an extremely serious strategic error, but tried, as assistant to General Petraeus in 2007, to devise a method to stabilize the population, reduce violence, and establish governance so that U.S. troops could effectively withdraw and leave Iraq to the Iraqis. A brilliantly written anthropological study of the psychology, drivers, outcomes and behaviors caused by "modern" conflicts at the tribal and personal level. 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." Kilcullen meanders from Iraq to Afghanistan to Timor to Thailand, stuttering and stopping to share insights on counterinsurgency best (and worst) practices. In developing this idea, the basic ideas of counter-insurgency, especially the Petraeus version, such as in the new Army co-in manual, are developed clearly. (Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek) More from the same. His recommendations and conclusions should be examined by policy makers on all levels. 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. 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". I found this a good read- recommended. Discover the latest and greatest in eBooks and Audiobooks. The author is both a skilled researcher and a savvy soldier with experience in several parts of the world. His academic reflection and analysis verifies his participation in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Indonesia. Once again, depending on your background, you may get lost in the depths at some points. Centralized Control/ Decentralized Execution. A concise and well written explanation of global terrorism, and U.S. involvements in Iraq and Afghanistan in historical context. Despite some limitations, David Kilcullen’s The Accidental Guerrilla is a valuable addition to counterinsurgency (COIN) literature. He served in East Timor, and wrote a dissertation on guerrilla warfare in traditional societies. This is a well founded piece of scholarly research. 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. Kilcullen is also a Petraeus/Mansoor acolyte, which has its own baggage. 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). 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. by Oxford University Press, Inc. In the end, apparently, everyone wants to write a book about how the planet should be run. Welcome back. Should be required reading for anyone involved in our two wars. The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One David Kilcullen. A fascinating conceit with a absolutely great thesis that unfortunately slowly goes off the rails. 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". 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. A comforting balm. The easy way to get free eBooks every day. I found this a good rea. His proposed solutions make sense and are food for thought. Be the first to ask a question about The Accidental Guerrilla. 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. 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. In The Accidental Guerrilla, Kilcullen provides a remarkably fresh perspective on the War on Terror. It is a loose conglomeration of actors who have insinuated themselves into local societies by relationships, force and money, and offer something that the local elites were lacking. I did, however, find the section on Timor somewhat difficult to follow. Kilcullen is a military officer, but also an anthropologist. 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. 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. Thank you Mr. Kilcullen for fueling my already jaded view of our "GWOT". The idea of comparing terrorism with a plague (infection, contagions, etc) is interesting but some critics might consider it a leap and that it seems rather simplistic in regards to such a complex phenomenon. While this seems like a pretty obvious conclusion to me, its refreshing to hear from a military of. Good to know they finally started listening to the author. 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 … This observation, however, is only normal given the rapidly changing strategic landscape and the evolution of events. Does our aid and projects support our COIN doctrine or do the people now just see their government as puppets? 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. So, on one level, Kilcullen is absolutely right--21st century extremism is NOT a malevolent, monolithic array of "others" out to get the US. One of the clearest examples comes from America’s first foreign war, the Mexican-American War of 1846-1846, and the invasion of California. 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. This book has much merit by adding to the existing base of knowledge. There are a few parts which, quite frankly,did not seem logical to me, at first in the face of the current threat. As an added bonus I found this to be as politically neutral as a book on this topic can be. He then moves on to Europe to explore how best to understand (and engage) disconnected Muslim communities. 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. The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One. His fixation of road-building and the ways to stabilize a nation are not seemingly accurate. 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. Access a free summary of Blood Year, by David Kilcullen and 20,000 other business, leadership and nonfiction books on getAbstract. It summarized to a fine point...if you are in someone else's country...you are going to piss him/her off. The beginning of the book is absolutely fantastic and reflects the changing perceptions of terrorism and the ways that terrorism is not the simple monolith that we think it is. Yep, been there done that. His relationship with Petraeus is referenced in the Iraq section but you get the sense that he and Kilcullen share a common thinking about how to deal with insurgency in Iraq and perhaps helped form US policy into the relative success that it is now. (Perhaps because I haven't followed this situation much in the news in recent years. Overall, I felt this book was quite informative regarding one of the greatest threats we face in the 21st Century. Indeed, they may already be familiar with David Kilcullen's reputation as a … If T.E. If T.E. Sure, you can eradicate poppies, but what can farmers with no credit grow in drylands or what occuption will soak up that many disgruntled Somali men unless you can restore fishing habitats and access? Analysis and Review The Accidental Guerrilla is Kilcullen's account of wars along with his personal experience. I have read a few of this genre and this is the best of breed in my opinion. I found that to be accurate; my interest in the content didn't survive the demands on my time and aattention, alas. I do intend on re-reading this section of the book.) The “accidental guerrilla” syndrome, as well, is older than many military professionals might think, and American warfighters and leaders have fallen victim to it since before the Civil War. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. “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. Kilcullen has his detractors -- mostly those with no actual experience or cogent arguments -- this book ranks as one of the most important at this juncture in our several wars. Therefore I love his thesis but feel that he is unable to apply the theory to various situations. Kilcullen, The Accidental Guerrilla. Kilcullen is a military officer, but also an anthropologist. That someone may wind up shooting at you. Kilcullen presents quite an academic approach to Hybrid Warfare in this wonderfully rich account of conflict in the modern age. These “accidental guerrillas” fight in small wars and face not only their own governments’ response, but Western response as well. Start by marking “The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One” as Want to Read: Error rating book. David, much to his credit, seemed to be seeking the common core or the unifying thread within the composition of insurgencies as an phenomenon. The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One. The “Accidental Guerrilla” syndrome is a fascinating concept for further exploration and development, however it is not a “one-size-fits-all,” silver bullet recipe to understanding the complexity of insurgent 5th generation warfare. 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