Accidental Guerrilla Part 2


Well, that did get better as it progressed…I found the first two chapters close to interminable, loved Chapter 3 on Iraq and the last Chapter on the way ahead; I didn’t like the chapter of allegedly supporting case studies: nothing annoys me more than someone flogging a dead horse of a model when the evidence in the case studies simply doesn’t supply the model, in this case, that of the Accidental Guerrilla.

I agree that foreign fighters and Rupert Smith’s ‘franchisers of terror‘ are significant forces in the irregular activity world, however I simply do not accept that national guerrillas become such ‘by accident’. Opportunist, reactive or responsive would be better adjectives for national guerrillas in that they react to and/or seize an opportunity presented by the actions of national or international interventions (civil and/or military).

The other major factor that detracts from The Accidental Guerrilla is its over-fixation on Islamic terrorism, instead of upon more general terrorism and insurgency. By labouring the Islamic angle, the author may be going some way to further the rift between Islamic communities and the rest of the world.

Similarly, the whole concept of ‘hybrid warfare’ just grates…war is by definition is a complex activity that resists simple definitions – one which also tends to punish those who fail to respect this fact. To postulate that hybrid war is either new or different from any other form of war is illustrative of a concept inability to consider and learn from history. Another contribution to the global game of buzzword bingo…

David Kilcullen writes very well when recounting his own experiences, and considerably less well when trying to support his theoretical model. To get the most out of The Accidental Guerrilla, read the preface,  Chapter 3 The Twenty-First Day, and Chapter 5 Turning an Elephant into a Mouse in conjunction with Jim Molan’s Running the War in Iraq. It’s probably entirely coincidental that both books are written by Australian Army officers – or maybe not – maybe that slight aspect of distance from US and NATO issues provides an subtle but important difference of perspective. These readings will give a reader from most backgrounds a firm grounding in issues and approaches for the complex environment. I have a dozen or so pages of notes and will write a more detailed review in the next week or so…

The bottom line on The Accidental Guerrilla is that it is worth reading – the preface, Chapters 3 and 5 outweigh the slog through the other chapters…having said that, down here we have a beer company called Tui which sponsors a range of topical billboards across the country, using the Tui slogan “yeah right“…here’s some Tui moments from The Accidental Guerrilla (yes, I really do like it but these were too good to pass up):

Buy a crate on the way home tonight…

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3 thoughts on “Accidental Guerrilla Part 2

  1. Outstanding post however I was wanting to know if you could write
    a litte more on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Many thanks!

  2. Pingback: Identity | The Daily Post | The World According to Me…

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