The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One

The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One

4.3 21
by David Kilcullen
     
 

ISBN-10: 0195368347

ISBN-13: 9780195368345

Pub. Date: 03/16/2009

Publisher: Oxford University Press


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). Indeed, his vision of modern warfare powerfully influenced America's decision to rethink its military strategy in Iraq and implement…  See more details below

Overview


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). Indeed, his vision of modern warfare powerfully influenced America's decision to rethink its military strategy in Iraq and implement "the Surge," now recognized as a dramatic success.
In The Accidental Guerrilla, Kilcullen provides a remarkably fresh perspective on the War on Terror. 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. Kilcullen sees today's conflicts as a complex interweaving of contrasting trends--local insurgencies seeking autonomy caught up in a broader pan-Islamic campaign--small wars in the midst of a big one. He warns that America's actions in the war on terrorism have tended to conflate these trends, blurring the distinction between local and global struggles and thus enormously complicating our challenges. Indeed, the US had done a poor job of applying different tactics to these very different situations, continually misidentifying insurgents with limited aims and legitimate grievances--whom he calls "accidental guerrillas"--as part of a coordinated worldwide terror network. We must learn how to disentangle these strands, develop strategies that deal with global threats, avoid local conflicts where possible, and win them where necessary.
Colored with gripping battlefield experiences that range from the jungles and highlands of Southeast Asia to the mountains of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border to the dusty towns of the Middle East, The Accidental Guerrilla will, quite simply, change the way we think about war. This book is a must read for everyone concerned about the war on terror.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195368345
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
03/16/2009
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
1,058,619
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Author's Preface
Prologue - West Java, December 1996
Chapter 1 - The Accidental Guerrilla
Chapter 2 - "The Twenty-First Day" - Iraq during the Surge, 2007
Chapter 3 - "The Crazies Will Kill Them" - Afghanistan, 2006-2008
Chapter 4 - "Terrain, Tribes and Terrorists" - conflicts outside Iraq and Afghanistan
Chapter 5 - "Turning an Elephant into a Mouse" - beyond the War on Terrorism
Conclusion
Note on Sources
Notes to Chapters
List of Abbreviations used in the text
Bibliography
Index

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Accidental Guerrilla 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kilcullen's work is a wealth of knowledge for the armchair counterinsurgent and provides valuable insight into the mind of victimized groups of people exploited by war, not of their choosing. He diplomatically states, where, he believes the Bush administration strayed in its choices that initiated the conflict in Iraq offers a worthwhile analysis and solution for correcting the strategic errors made in the onslaught of war. It is a fascinating and highly complex excerpt from a proven expert in small wars. Highly recommended reading for any individual participating in the United States' excursions Iraq, Afghanistan, or Pakistan.
RHA212 More than 1 year ago
For those who seek to understand the current conflicts and the way wars are waged today, this book will be an eye-opener
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TheReadingWriter More than 1 year ago
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. Kilcullen is a military officer, but also an anthropologist. This book is his attempt to explain his thinking on the worldwide Islamic insurgency and the best methods to try and counter it successfully. 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. Kilcullen thinks globalization and anti-globilization, and overwhelming U.S. military dominance are drivers to conflict in the 21st century-that citizens of countries around the world become involved in conflicts not of their making when warring groups enter their "space." They choose the least foreign "side" and fight for their group. In this book, Kilcullen first introduces successful attempts to reduce violence and increase local participation in governance and stabilization in Afghanistan, then sheds light on the conflicts in Iraq, and then discusses East Timor, where he earned his credentials as part of the U.N. peacekeeping force in the 1999. He then discusses Thailand, Europe and Pakistan. Trying to understand an ongoing conflict is extraordinarily difficult, but Kilcullen draws on his experience, research, and natural bent to establish a framework he insists can, will, and is working in various conflict theatres around the world.
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