Small Wars Journal

Basil and Spice Review: Counterinsurgency

Sun, 07/18/2010 - 6:58pm

Counterinsurgency by Dr. David Kilcullen, reviewed by Basil and Spice.

... At the heart of Counterinsurgency is Kilcullen's 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 backgrounds -- 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...

More at Basil and Spice.

Categories: David Kilcullen


Anonymous (not verified)

Mon, 07/19/2010 - 2:10pm

Who cares---"conflict ecosystems" are just as valid today as they were when he first wrote about it in 2005.

It applies as well to gangs---which is another thread here at SWJ.

Have yet to see anyone in the COIN community invalid the theory of "conflict ecosystems" even in the IC it gets little to no interest as a form of insurgency analysis outside of say the IWC and some classes at the JSOU.

Anonymous (not verified)

Sun, 07/18/2010 - 8:20pm

David (the Sun Tzu of COIN) Kilcullen is getting a lot of press these days! Why now all of a sudden when his book was published in May? is it just that his publisher's marketing folks are just getting around to it now or does it have something to do with GEN Petreaus taking over in A-Stan?