War in the post-9/11 world is far different from what we expected it be. Counterinsurgency and protracted guerrilla warfare, not shock and awe, are the order of the day. David Kilcullen is the world's foremost expert on this way of war, and in The Accidental Guerrilla, the Senior Counterinsurgency Advisor to General David Petraeus in Iraq 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. 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 current war presents a much different situation: stateless insurgents and terrorists operating across large number of countries and only loosely affiliated with each other.
David Kilcullen is one of the world's foremost thinkers on counterinsurgency and military strategy. He is the author of The Accidental Guerilla, a Washington Post bestseller, 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.