This landmark book--a Washington Post bestseller--transformed the theory and practice of counterinsurgency. Colouring his account with gripping battlefield experience from the highlands of Southeast Asia, the mountains of the Afghanistan Pakistan border, and the dusty towns of the Middle East and the Horn of Africa, David Kilcullen argues 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 Al-Qaeda, but, as Kilcullen contends, our current focus is far too narrow, concentrating on only one geographical region and one state. Today's wars present a much different situation: stateless insurgents and terrorists operating across a large number of countries and only loosely affiliated with each other. 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. The Accidental Guerrilla identifies the problem and suggests workable solutions. This highly readable and closely argued book is essential for all those thinking about and fighting wars today.
David Kilcullen is one of the world's foremost thinkers on counterinsurgency and military strategy. He is the author of Counterinsurgency, Out of the Mountains, and Blood Year: Islamic State and the Failures of the War on Terror. He was formerly Senior Counterinsurgency Advisor to General David Petraeus in Iraq and to the NATO Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. He is currently Chairman of Caerus Associates, a Washington-based strategy and design firm, and First Mile Geo, a geospatial analysis firm. He is also a Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, studying insurgency and unconventional warfare. He has served in Colombia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia.