A Counterinsurgency Primer - Max Boot, Wall Street Journal book review of The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One by David Kilcullen.
Almost everyone, even if otherwise ignorant of military affairs, has heard of Karl von Clausewitz and Sun Tzu. Very few people, though, have heard of C.E. Callwell, David Galula or Robert Thompson. Yet they, too, wrote immortal works on military strategy -- but on unconventional, or guerrilla, conflicts.
For all their timeless wisdom, their books were also a product of their times -- Callwell of the imperial wars of the late 19th century, Galula and Thompson of the wars of "national liberation" in the mid-20th century. Because of the global jihadist insurgency, the early 21st century has produced a new epoch in the annals of low-intensity struggle. It is fitting, then, that to help us understand the current conflict another soldier-scholar has emerged in the tradition of Callwell, Galula and Thompson.
In "The Accidental Guerrilla," a combination of memoir and military analysis, David Kilcullen looks at the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, East Timor, Indonesia and southern Thailand, all of which, excepting the last, he has seen first-hand. He then draws lessons from his experiences and those of other soldiers...
More at The Wall Street Journal.