Tuesday, 23 June 2009

A talk by David Kilcullen

Part of the Authors@Google series, this is an hour long, so too much to summarise, but to encourage you to listen here’s some of what he covers:

He gives a clear explanation of the main theme of his book, The Accidental Guerilla, on how the wrong war-fighting strategies make insurgencies worse. He talks about recent American and British mistakes in counter-insurgency, at one point paying particular attention to the British experience in Basra. He praises the Danish military in Afghanistan, which is nice to hear. He also talks of how aid projects need to be informed by counter-insurgency thinking in order to be effective. And he talks about Pakistan, and the insurgency there that scares him much more than Iraq or Afghanistan.

Now your essay topic for this week: what would a proper counter-insurgency approach to Gaza look like? Hint: containing the population together with the enemy, thus allowing the enemy to consolidate its control of the population, that is not it.

Via Abu Muqawama. Also at Abu Muqawama, Sleepwalking into Helmand, on recent British experience in Afghanistan.

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