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

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9781850659556: The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One
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War today is far different from what we expected it to be. Counter-insurgency and protracted guerrilla warfare, not shock and awe, are the order of the day. The Australian 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 highlands of 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. While conventional warfare has obvious limits, Kilcullen stresses that neither counterterrorism nor traditional counterinsurgency is the appropriate framework to fight the enemy we now face. Traditional counterinsurgency is more effective than counterterrorism when it comes to entities like AlQaeda, but, as Kilcullen contends, our current focus is far too narrow, for it tends to emphasize one geographical region and one state. The current war presents a much different situation: stateless insurgents and terrorists operating across large number of countries and only loosely affiliated with each other. Just as importantly, Western armies have done a poor job of applying different tactics to different situations, continually misidentifying insurgents with limited aims and legitimate grievances as part of a coordinated worldwide network. Given the incremental-yet remarkable-success of Kilcullen's strategy in Iraq, what Kilcullen has to say will be widely anticipated. His vision of war has changed Western policy in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, and this eagerly awaited comprehensive account will help shape policy for years to come.

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1st C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd 2009 edition 1st print hardcover book. fine condition book & fine dw. In stock shipped from our UK warehouse.

Review:

'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. 'The Accidental Guerrilla' has an anthropologist's sense of social dynamics and a reporter's eye for telling detail.' ------The Economist

'At the heart of this significant book is the author's declaration that terrorism cannot be addressed by military means alone: that for American or British soldiers merely to kill insurgents is meaningless. He urges policies based upon securing and succouring populations, not on enemy body counts. . . . Kilcullen is an influential man. A former Australian army officer, he became a key adviser to General David Petraeus and then Condoleezza Rice's principal counter-terrorist strategist at the State Department. His book synthesises lessons that America has learnt by bitter experience and that, hopefully, will continue to influence its politics in the Obama era. . . . Almost everything the author says makes sense. His work reflects wisdom purchased by eight years of western military and political folly.' ----Max Hastings, SUNDAY TIMES

'This book should be required reading for anyone involved in the war on terror. Kilcullen's central concept of the 'accidental guerrilla' is brilliant and the policy prescriptions that flow from it important. And that's not all; the book has many more insights drawn from various battlefields.' ----Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek

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