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Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Accidental Guerrilla - By David Kilcullen Reviewed by JANINE di GIOVANNI

David Kilcullen is a former officer in the Australian Army, a strategist and a scholar. He is also an expert on counterinsurgency, or how to combat a rebellion, and one of the few brave souls who had the ear of people in the Bush White House and advised against the invasion of Iraq. [ An dhe echoed the demise of Pakistan in six months if.....~~~t]

In “The Accidental Guerrilla,” Kilcullen draws on his vast experience not only as a dedicated field researcher, but also as a soldier — he commanded an infantry company in counterinsurgency operations in East Timor in 1999. The most extensive sections of his book concentrate, naturally, on Iraq and Afghanistan (which he still sees as “winnable” with a long-term commitment), but his analysis leads him as well to smaller movements in such places as Chechnya, Thailand, Indonesia and the Horn of Africa.

Discussing the tribal areas of Pakistan, Kilcullen shows how Al Qaeda moved in by taking over communities — establishing bonds by marrying local women, operating businesses, eventually recruiting the villagers as fighters. To see Kilcullen’s theory at work, you need only to look at the Swat region of northern Pakistan.


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