Small Wars Journal

We Were Young, and Urban Once

Fri, 09/27/2013 - 5:38pm

Excerpt from Acknowledgements in David Kilcullen’s new book Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban Guerrilla:

Marine Corps General Charles Krulak said in 1996 the “the future may well not be ‘Son of Desert Storm’ but rather ‘Stepchild of Somalia and Chechnya.’” Ralph Peters, Robert H. Scales, Alan Vick, Roger Spiller, Russell Glenn, Paul Van Riper, John Arquilla, Michael Evans, and Justin Kelly had all written extensively by the late 1990s on urban operations in coastal cities. By 2000, Dave Dilegge - later a torch-bearer for the insurgency of ideas through the Small Wars Journal - had founded a community of interest through his Urban Operations Journal. At the same time, Duane Schattle, Dave Stephenson, and Frank Hoffman were thinking through the challenges of urban operations against hybrid threats.

And there are more in the acknowledgements, dear friends John Sullivan, Bing West, Tammy Schultz and Lou DiMarco. And others, also dear friends, who were part of what I called then “The Urban Operations Mafia”. Not mentioned were Frank Jordan and Randy Gangle , as well as Gary Anderson, of the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab who led the Joint Urban Warrior Wargame series and MCWL’s series of urban operations experiments and TTP development, respectively.  Also not included is my partner in crime at Small Wars Journal - Bill Nagle.

Career risks were taken but those risks paled in comparison to the risks taken by our young Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, Coast Guardsmen and non-DOD personnel who eventually conducted combat urban operations, often in a very high-intensity environment.

I pride myself and am humbled to be included with such forward-thinking individuals.


Actually, it all began in 1998 with a simple Geocities page called the MOUT Homepage that became the Urban Operations Journal, and which became SWJ. - Dave D.