David Kilcullen is the world's foremost expert on this way of war, and in The Accidental Guerrilla, the Senior Counterinsurgency Advisor to the Pentagon and architect of 'the Surge', surveys war as it is actually fought in the contemporary world. Colouring his account with gripping battlefield experiences that range from the jungles and highlands of South and Southeast Asia to the mountains of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border to the dusty towns of the Middle East and the horn of Africa, The Accidental Guerrilla will, quite simply, change the way we think about war. This much anticipated book will be a must read for everyone concerned about the war on terror.
While conventional warfare has obvious limits, Kilcullen also stresses that neither counterterrorism nor traditional counterinsurgency is the appropriate framework to fight the enemy we now face. Certainly, traditional counterinsurgency is more effective than counterterrorism when it comes to entities like Al Qaeda, but as Kilcullen contends, our current focus is far too narrow, for it tends to emphasize one geographical region and one state.
The Accidental Guerrilla is based on extensive fieldwork in the world's most dangerous places and examines how terrorists exploit traditional societies and explores the backlash created by external military intervention. It argues for a long-duration, low-footprint, indirect approach to combating extremism that works through close and genuine partnerships with local communities.
Kilcullen takes us 'on the ground' to uncover the face of modern warfare, illuminating both the big war (the 'War on Terrorism') and its relation to the associated 'small wars' in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Philippines, the Horn of Africa, Thailand, Chechnya, Pakistan and North Africa. Kilcullen sees today's conflicts as a complex combination of two trends: small wars and global confrontations, local social networks and worldwide movements, traditional and post-modern cultures, separatist and imperialist ambitions, nativist and pan-Islamic traditions.
- Publication Date:
- 02 / 09 / 2010
- 152 x 230mm