Small Wars Journal


Care for a sneak preview of Dr. David Kilcullen's forthcoming book on COIN? His newest book, Counterinsurgency, can be preordered and select portions read (at Look Inside) at the link. Sure to be a classic, here is the product description from Amazon:

David Kilcullen is one of the world's most influential experts on counterinsurgency and modern warfare. A Senior Counterinsurgency Advisor to General David Petraeus in Iraq, his vision of war powerfully influenced America's decision to rethink its military strategy in Iraq and implement "the Surge," now recognized as a dramatic success.

In Counterinsurgency, Kilcullen brings together his most salient writings on this key topic. At the heart of the book is his legendary "Twenty-Eight Articles." In it, he shows company leaders how to practice counterinsurgency in the real world, "at night, with the GPS down, the media criticizing you, the locals complaining in a language you don't understand, and an unseen enemy killing your people by ones and twos." Reading this piece is like reading a modern-day Sun Tzu--an essential read for officers in the field, and not infrequently an excellent source of wisdom for readers of all stripes, military or civilian. In such pithy adages as "Rank is nothing: talent is everything" or "Train the squad leaders--then trust them," Kilcullen offers advice that any leader would be wise to consider. The other pieces in the book include Kilcullen's pioneering study of counterinsurgency in Indonesia, his ten-point plan for "the Surge" in Iraq, and his frank look at the problems in Afghanistan. He concludes with a new strategic approach to the War on Terrorism, arguing that counterinsurgency rather than traditional counterterrorism may offer the best approach to defeating global jihad.

Counterinsurgency is a picture of modern warfare by someone who has had his boots on the ground in some of today's worst trouble spots--including Iraq and Afghanistan--and who has been studying the topic since 1995. Filled with down-to-earth, common-sense insights, this book is indispensable for all those interested in making sense of our world in an age of terror.

We here at SWJ kind of took a liking to Counterinsurgency's dedication:

For Dave Dilegge and Bill Nagle, founders and editors of Small Wars Journal. They gave the counterguerrilla underground a home, at a time when misguided leaders banned even the word "insurgency," though busily losing to one. Scholars, warriors, and agitators, Dave and Bill laid the foundation for battlefield success; our generation owes them a debt of gratitude.

Much appreciated Dave, it sincerely means a lot to both of us. Order Counterinsurgency today.

And while we are on the subject of COIN and preordering books at Amazon - check out another soon to be released title -- Understanding Counterinsurgency edited by Thomas Rid and Thomas A. Keaney. While the $134 and change hardcover price might be steep for some we are told a paperback will soon be available at a significantly lower cost. Still, the book has a great lineup of authors and would be a steal at almost any price.

From the Amazon product description:

This textbook offers an accessible introduction to counterinsurgency operations, a key aspect of modern warfare.

Featuring essays by some of the world's leading experts on unconventional conflict, both scholars and practitioners, the book discusses how modern regular armed forces react, and should react, to irregular warfare. The volume is divided into three main sections:

- Doctrinal Origins: analysing the intellectual and historical roots of modern Western theory and practice

- Operational Aspects: examining the specific role of various military services in counterinsurgency, but also special forces, intelligence, and local security forces

- Challenges: looking at wider issues, such as governance, culture, ethics, civil-military cooperation, information operations, and time.

Understanding Counterinsurgency is the first comprehensive textbook on counterinsurgency, and will be essential reading for all students of small wars, counterinsurgency and counterterrorism, strategic studies and security studies, both in graduate and undergraduate courses as well as in professional military schools.

Here's the author lineup:

Part I: Doctrine

France by Etienne de Durand

Britain by Alexander Alderson

Germany by Timo Noetzel

United States by Conrad Crane

Part II: Operational Aspects

Army by Peter Mansoor

Marine Corps by Frank Hoffman

Airpower by Charles Dunlap, Jr

Naval Support by Martin Murphy

Special Operationsby Kalev Sepp

Intelligence by David Kilcullen

Local Security Forces by John Nagl

Part III: Challenges

Governance by Nadia Schadlow

Culture by Montgomery McFate

Ethics by Sarah Sewall

Information Operations by Andrew Exum

Civil-Military Integration by Michelle Parker and Matthew Irvine

Time by Austin Long

Counterinsurgency in Contextby Thomas Rid and Thomas Keaney

Order Understanding Counterinsurgency today.