A fascinating conceit with a absolutely great thesis that unfortunately slowly goes off the rails. 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. 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. 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. His proposed solutions make sense and are food for thought. Be the first to ask a question about The Accidental Guerrilla. The Accidental Guerilla and Counterinsurgency, David Kilcullen is a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and chair of Caerus Associates. 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". “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.”. 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. A must read instant classic for anyone seriously interested in present day conflict. The Accidental Guerrilla is indeed not an easy read, but is rich with the life experience and thoughtful analysis of one of the world's foremost counterinsurgency experts. 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. This book reads well along with books such as those by Thomas Ricks of the Wash Post -- "Fiasco" and "The Gamble". Start by marking “The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One” as Want to Read: Error rating book. 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. The author warns the reader that the book is too informal for the academic and too academic for the layman. A concise and well written explanation of global terrorism, and U.S. involvements in Iraq and Afghanistan in historical context. David Kilcullen talked about his book [The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One] (Oxford University Press, USA; March 16, 2009). 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. The point of this book is to come up with a theory of insurgency that explains how new "global" terrorist groups such as al-Qaida can prosper and link up with more conventional national liberation groups. Access a free summary of Blood Year, by David Kilcullen and 20,000 other business, leadership and nonfiction books on getAbstract. 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. In this regard, Accidental Guerrilla resembles dozens of other Washington books, blending memoir with policy analysis, generously laced with spin. Kilcullen is a military officer, but also an anthropologist. Oxford University Press, 2009, Hardback, 346 pages. 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. Informed by the author's remarkable first-hand experiences as a soldier, counterinsurgency expert, and lead advisor to General David Petraeus in Iraq. 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. ... 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